Someone I know called me a "closet food blogger" and I blushed from ear to ear. For this is the same someone I am so petrified to have over to dinner for fear that my food won't be delicious enough or taste good enough...kind of like when Julie Powell had (or thought she was going to have) that other French lady (I have a horrible recall of names) over to dinner and worried herself into a frenzy. Yes, like that.
Well anyway, I'll never be a food blogger - I just am not that good. But I do like to share what works so indulge me if you will for yet another recipe from this definitely, positively, 100% not food blogger - just another mother trying to get it right in the mothering/feeding/parenting/existing and trying not to send my children off to boot camp before summer ends, just like you.
This yummy yummy yummy recipe has a story behind it. You see, we've been ordering it's restaurant version from our favorite little local Italian joint for-evah. And we really really really love it. A lot. But it is $25 per crostata and when you need 2, well, that can get a little ridiculous in the wallet department so I was really excited to see if I could bake one on my own that was anywhere near as good as Luca's.
And know what else?
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter @ room temp
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups raspberry jam
Combine everything but the jam in a large bowl - some people like to use a food processor or mixer, pick your poison - just do not overmix. Once the dough is uniform and looking like it's cousin Mr. Piecrust (but thicker and sweeter), wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour until it's nice and firm.
After refrigerating, press about 2/3 of dough into bottom of greased tart pan or 9-inch pie plate, making sure it goes up the sides to form an edge. Reserve the remainder of the dough. Spread the jam all over the unbaked crust as if you're spreading sauce out for a pizza - it's the same idea.
Then, roll out the rest of the dough into strips and make a free form lattice, or ropes or whatever shapes you like on top of the raspberry jam.
Place crostata in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes. My oven is finicky, and likes to burn things I put in it, so I watch mine carefully after the first 20 minutes to make sure it doesn't get too brown. You'll want the color to be just barely golden to yield the most delicate flavor.
Cool and dust with powdered sugar and voila! Now you're practically an Italian Pastry Chef, but better - because I don't think Italian Pastry Chefs wrangle kids and dogs, laundry, summertime outings, family drama, dirty kitchen floors, grocery shopping, bill paying and everything else that mothers and fathers do in a day while at the same time baking up something as tasty as this! Go forth! Rock the crostata.
Serves 10 - 12, generously. Oh! Don't mind if I do.