Io Cucino Crostata

“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
2 eggs
1 glass sunflower oil (again, somewhere between 3/4-1 cup)

  1. Pour some oil onto the bottom of a round pie tin and spread around to prevent from sticking.
  2. Combine sugar, flour, eggs in a large bowl.  Stir until mixed well.
  3. Add baking powder.  Stir until mixture becomes thick
  4. Add ¾-1 c. of oil while stirring.  Add gradually so that it becomes mixed in.  Add amount necessary until the crust become doughy.
  5. Sprinkle flour onto pan.
  6. Spread some of the dough out to cover the bottom of the pan, about 1 cm thick.
  7. Roll the remaining dough into thin strips, less then a centimeter thick, line the edges of the pan with some of them.
  8. Cover the bottom crust with jam that has been stirred.
  9. Place dough strips criss-crossing over the jam, press them down.
  10. Use a fork to ridge the edges.
  11. 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.


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