“He that would travel much, should eat little.” ~Benjamin Franklin
Unfortunately (or is it fortunately?), I have not been adhering to this statement during my short four months in Italy. One of my friends here and I have felt the need to bake over the past few weeks, and since I didn’t travel anywhere this past weekend (although a trip to Ravenna is in the works…), we decided to experiment with a recipe that our Italian teacher gave us for crostata, and Italian dessert. It’s kind of like a shortbread crust with jam on top…if you want a picture you can Google it. It actually turned out pretty well, although we were nervous because the dough was extremely oil. I would recommend strawberry jam, although we’ve also done it with cherry. If you want to try it, here’s the recipe:
1 glass of sugar (medium glass, ¾-1 c probably…one thing about Italian cooking is that they don’t really follow a recipe…)
350 g flour
½ a pack of baking powder (2 tsp, maybe?)
1 jar of jam, stirred
1 glass sunflower oil (again, somewhere between 3/4-1 cup)
- Pour some oil onto the bottom of a round pie tin and spread around to prevent from sticking.
- Combine sugar, flour, eggs in a large bowl. Stir until mixed well.
- Add baking powder. Stir until mixture becomes thick
- Add ¾-1 c. of oil while stirring. Add gradually so that it becomes mixed in. Add amount necessary until the crust become doughy.
- Sprinkle flour onto pan.
- Spread some of the dough out to cover the bottom of the pan, about 1 cm thick.
- Roll the remaining dough into thin strips, less then a centimeter thick, line the edges of the pan with some of them.
- Cover the bottom crust with jam that has been stirred.
- Place dough strips criss-crossing over the jam, press them down.
- Use a fork to ridge the edges.
- Bake at 180 degrees Celsius, 20 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the criss-crosses at the top are slightly brown…
Like I said, no one really follows a recipe in Italy, so play with it till it tastes pretty good. The dough may also be very oily, but it still turns out okay. Add a little more flour if it’s not sticking together.