Crostata di frutta with crema pasticcera


Crostata with Fresh Cream and Custard
Many birthdays and cakes have passed amongst my Masters class, and I am slowly getting around to posting them. This birthday bake was for Andrea, my Italian classmate from Turin. He requested this creation, apparently a favourite Italian summertime dessert. Having never made it before I was a little apprehensive. And although it looked and tasted amazing, serving it to 25 classmates was a disaster. The gooey custard cream filling runs away as soon as you attempt to slice it. Perhaps better made as individual tarts or just eaten with 25 spoons.

For the Itailan Pie Crust: Pasta Frolla
250g white flour
150g butter cubed at room temperature
100g of sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon of salt

In a large bowl cream together the sugar with the egg yolks.

Next add the butter to the sugar and yolk mixture.

Add Lemon Zest, Vanilla Extract, and Salt – Mix together with a fork to blend all ingredients together.

Next work in the flour with a fork and then start to use your hands and form a round ball.

Using your hands knead the dough gently with your fingertips.

Wrap the ball of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes roll the pastry on a lightly floured counter until it is about half a centimeter in thickness.

Carefully place the pastry over a lined and buttered + floured tart pan. Don’t worry if cracks form in your pastry, just smooth over with your fingers. Remove the excess around the pan. Take the excess pastry and roll into a rope and place it around the edges of the tart pan pressing down to make an edge.

With a fork poke holes at the bottom of the pan, and place parchment with some beans or pie weights on top.

Bake at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes until the pastry starts to lightly brown.

For the Custard
1 cup of milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/2 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tbsp of flour
1 1/2 tbsp of corn flour

In a bowl mix sugar, corn flour, and the egg yolks until smooth.

In a sauce pan bring the milk to a boil.

Whisk in the egg yolk mixture into the sauce pan.

Continue to whisk while bringing it to a boil.

Simmer for 2 minutes stirring until it becomes smooth and thick.

Stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour into a bowl and press plastic or wax paper to the surface. Place in the refrigerator and let cool completely.

For the Fresh Whipped Cream
3 cups of heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup of icing sugar
3 tsp of vanilla

Whip the cream on high with an electric beater until peaks begin to form.

Add the vanilla and the icing sugar, continue whipping until the cream is near firm.

Once the custard is cooled off you can take the whipped cream and slowly add it to the custard. Put back in the fridge until your pie crust is cooled down from baking and ready to be filled.

Assemble the Crostata di Frutta
Once the pie crust is cool, spoon in the filling and smooth right below the top of the crust

Top with fresh seasonal fruit