Mixed Berry Crostata With Lemon-Honey Ricotta Cream


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter, cold (8 tablespoons)
3 Tb. ice cold water
12 ounces blackberries
16 ounces strawberries, trimmed and cut into halves and quarters
Zest of 2 lemons, divided
2 1/2 Tb. flour
2 1/2 Tb. sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 Tb. Turbinado sugar (or regular sugar)
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup soft ricotta cheese
3 Tb. honey


Add the first three ingredients to a food processor. Pulse once or twice to mix. Chop the cold stick of butter into cubes. Add them to the processor and pulse until the butter clumps are the size of peas. Add 3 Tb. of very cold water to the processor. Pulse it a few more times, until the dough comes together. Dump the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form the dough into a round disk and wrap well. Place in the fridge for at least thirty minutes.
Place the blackberries and cut strawberries in a medium bowl. Add one-quarter of the lemon zest (about ½ tsp.), along with 2 ½ Tb. of flour, 2 ½ Tb. sugar, and ¼ salt of salt. Toss well.
Preheat the oven to 450*. Once cold, roll the dough into a 12 inch free-form circle. Fold half the dough over the rolling pin and move it to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Pour the fruit mixture in the center of the dough and spread out, leaving a 1 ½ - 2 inch rim around the edges.
Gently fold the edges up over the fruit, making sure not the let the fruit poke through the dough. It looks best when you go around the circle in one direction while folding. Mix 1 egg with 1 Tb. of water. Brush the egg wash over the exposed dough. Sprinkle the dough edges with Turbinado sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes—until edges are golden brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Pour ¾ cup of cream into the food processor. Process for about 1 minute—until a stiff cream forms. Add the ricotta, honey and the remaining three-quarters of the lemon zest. Process another 30 seconds, or so, until well combined.
Serve the cream with the Crostata—try not to eat so much you get a tummy ache! Serves 6-8.
The ricotta cream is a very loose cream because of the runny honey. I personally love it this way! If you want a stiffer version, either use whipped honey or substitute sugar.
In a hurry—buy a premade roll-out pie crust and skip making the dough!




What makes this crostata special? Let's start with the obvious, freshly picked berries. You could make this with frozen berries any time of year, but it's not quite the same. The berry mixture is also not overly sweet...I think that's what makes it so addictive. You could truly just keep eating and eating it--as my husband so kindly demonstrated! The crust is a simple pie crust, but homemade pie crusts are fairly special on their own. And last, the Lemon-Honey Ricotta Cream. DON'T skip the cream--it's to die for! A fluffy blend with smooth cheese, sweetened with honey, and brightened with lemon zest. You will be licking your plate clean!




Wednesday, June 2, 2010 - 8:59pm


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