The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.
I chose to make a semi-traditional version, jam, combined with one of my family’s favorites, Creme Brulee. It was wonderful and everyone loved it, thanks to Simona for the great idea!
First I made the jam. I know a lot of people are afraid of it, but it is really quite simple and this recipe is quick and easy. If it were in season I would use fresh berries, but since they are not, I used frozen berries (from Costco or Sam’s Club) which also cuts down on the prep time a little as they are all ready to go.
4 lb frozen mixed berries (blueberry, marionberry and raspberry)
4 cups sugar
1 package liquid pectin
Put 2 small plates in your freezer. Add all ingredients to a large heavy pot (copper if you have one).
Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the jam thickens (about 20 minutes).
It will start to steam and when it seems thick . . .
Take the plate out of the freezer and drop a small spoonful of jam on the plate, put it in the freezer for 1 minute and if it has a skin on top it is ready, if not, keep cooking and try again in a couple minutes. (Do be careful though, I managed to break one of my plates as I set it precariously in my overfilled freezer and then opened the door.)
This makes 4 pints so I used one and canned the remaining 3 for gifts.
The Crostata. Following the directions for Version 1 of pasta frolla from Simona I prepared the crust.
I love home made baking, but I do allow for modern conveniences, so I used the food processor method:
Now bake according to Simona’s directions and cool completely, then refrigerate for at least an hour.
Next Step – make the brulee layer:
This is a stove top method for making the custard.
4 egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 cup brown (or raw) sugar
Beat the egg yolks 5 minutes or until they are thick and light yellow, gradually beat in 3 tbs of sugar. Heat the cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it is just hot to the touch, add the vanilla then pour half of the cream very slowly into the egg yolks whisking constantly. Then stir that mixture back into the cream and cook stirring constantly over low heat until it thickens, about 5-8 minutes (do not boil).
Pour over the cooled jam tart – covering with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. (It will look a little lumpy from the plastic when you take it out but don’t worry, when you put the sugar layer on it smooths out.)
Sprinkle with brown (raw) sugar and place under a preheated oven broiler just until the sugar caramelizes. Don’t leave – it happens fast and if it burns it will ruin your tart!