I love crostatas. They’re a perfect metaphor for the kind of baker I am. Rustic, free-form, versatile, not overly fussy. So, as I pondered what to do with these beautiful organic blackberries that found their way home from the store with me, a crostata was an instinctive choice.
Lemon and blackberries are super good friends, so my mind was sent pondering how to bring those 3 together for a little lemon crostata blackberry meeting. You don’t see many lemon crostatas, and I think it’s mostly because the heat that it takes to cook your pastry does not nice things to your lemon curd.
Undaunted, I forged ahead in my quest to bring lemon and crostata together once and for all. In an unusual moment of enlightenment, the solution appeared rather simply actually… only use part of the curd before baking and save most of it to be applied after the crostata comes out of the oven. So this is how to do it....
Make your favorite pie crust, roll it out to roughly 10” round (or any size really), spread only a thin layer of your lemon curd on the dough (a little thicker where you will be folding the pastry over it), sprinkle the folded edges of the pastry with a little sugar and bake (I cooked it on my baking stone).
After it has cooled a little, spread the rest of your lemon curd over the center and dot prettily with your fresh blackberries. Slice and eat.
Oh, my. This was everything I had hoped it would be...creamy lemon curd, flaky pie crust, juicy blackberries. I had some crème fraiche waiting to scoop onto the top, but totally forgot it. Whipped cream would also be nice, but it didn’t need it.
Come Sunday morning, though, we think a little crostata would be just the thing with our coffee, but as pastry will do, it was sadly a little soft from sitting through the night. Truth be told, I don’t really mind soggy pastry covered in lemon curd for breakfast, but I thought our crostata deserved more than that, so I heated up the grill pan and placed the rest of our crostata upon it. Within a few minutes, we were treated to a perfectly crisp crostata, the lemon curd having warmed just a little, re-creating that just-from-the-oven lusciousness you might crave on a Sunday morning. We like that.
CROSTATA WITH LEMON CURD AND FRESH BLACKBERRIES
1 9" pie crust (homemade or store bought)
lemon curd (recipe below)
4-6 oz fresh blackberries (blueberries would work nicely too)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. (I cooked my crostata on a baking stone which required a longer preheat to get the stone hot, but it made it a nice crisp crust)
Roll your pastry to about a 10-inch round. Transfer to a parchment-covered baking sheet or pizza paddle. Spread a thin layer of lemon curd over the dough, putting a thicker layer around the edge where the dough will be folded. Fold about 2 to 3 inches of dough over the curd, making little pleats where necessary. Sprinkle the folded edge with sugar. Cut off the excess parchment paper.
Place in preheated oven (if using a baking stone, slide your crostata onto the stone) and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is nicely browned.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Spread the remaining lemon curd over the middle of the crostata and top with your berries. Slice and eat while still slightly warm.
Adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten
3/4 cups sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup lemon juice
pinch of salt
Zest the lemon into the sugar and mix well.
Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate.