March 18, 2009

Results - Fig and Raspberry Crostata

Fig and Raspberry Crostata

Crostata's are a traditional Italian tart usually made with jam filling and folded over edges, in this recipe Rockpool has put a nice summery twist to it. I both love and hate this recipe, it was really easy to make and was very tasty, but it didn't turn out exactly as planned, mine ended up fold-less. But, that's half of the fun of cooking, you try something and it might not turn out exactly as you planned. My theory is, if it tastes good, regardless of what it looks like - its a success!

Figs in situ

One of the things that I really like about figs is the colourful filling of the little fruit. From the outside they look quite ordinary, with their pale green flesh, but once you peal that outer packing away it reveals a creamy white flesh pack full of pink seeds. Every bite is heaven, and I can't help but be taken back to my childhood every time I bite into a fresh fig. I particularly like hot figs that have been warmed by the summer sun, the juiciness of fig is increased and it almost tastes like fresh fig jam, but not quite as sweet. I guess its a perk of having a a fig tree in your very own backyard.

Chopped up figs, ready to go onto the pastry/frangipane base

So, back to the Crostata. There is nothing really to report on the actual making of the tart, it was extremely easy, almost no skill required at all....or so I thought. I assembled the crostata exactly as explained in the recipe. I even went to the point of pulling out a ruler and measuring the size of the pastry, just to make sure it measured up. I really, really wanted it to be perfect. And before it went into the oven, it really did look perfect. 

Perfectly looking Crostata...right?


Somehow, during the cooking process my crostata went from this, to this.....FIG PIZZA!!

Ta da....Fig Pizza!

To say I was heart broken is an understatement. The smell emanating from the oven while it was cooking would have knocked out Martha Stewart herself. I was salivating way before the pastry even starting cooking, it really smelt delicious. When I opened the oven to sprinkle the raspberries ontop, I saw that the pastry had unravelled itself. In the end when I pulled the Crostata out, cut it up and served it with some creme fraiche, I didn't care that the sides were not folded had no impact on the taste and consistency of the tart at all. The pastry was crumbly, the frangipane was smooth creamy and gooey, the figs had almost caramelized and taken on a whole new flavour which went well with the tartness of the warmed raspberries. The combination of all the flavours were very well thought out, the only set back to the dessert was my presentation.

Maybe I didn't fold the top over enough, maybe I needed to leave a longer piece of pastry to fold over, maybe I didn't pleat the pastry firmly enough, maybe my oven was too hot when I first put the crostata in. I really don't know what happened. If anyone has any idea I would be truly grateful. But I do know one thing, this recipe is way too good to not try again. All I need are some figs. Here figgy fig fig. 

Seconds always taste better than the original, especially when you add icing sugar



Arwen from Hoglet K said...

Oh how disappointing that it flattened out! It really is the taste that counts though. It sounds beautiful. I got some figs the other day, but I just ate them. I should try your recipe if I get my hands on some more.

Ali-K said...

Wow, you've been busy since getting back!

I'm sorry but your fig pizza makes me laugh...ONLY because you were so pumped to make homemade pizzas last month.

Always wanted to (and never got around to) make crostata. So jealous of your fig tree.

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Hi Arwen - I was pretty disappointed at the flattening out, but it tasted pretty damn great!! so in the end I was happy.

Hi Ali-K - LOL at the pizza comment. I totally forgot about the pizza I made last month. Maybe thats why my crostata flattened out, maybe my oven was used to making pizzas! lol

bunchesmcginty said...

Maybe freeze the pastry for about 20 minutes after rolling it out, after assembling it.

Sometimes that helps with keeping the shape.

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Thats a good idea bunchesmcginty. The recipe does call for cold pastry from the fridge and then add the ingredients, maybe I took too long and the pastry managed to warm up. I'll do the freezer trick next time and see if that works. THANKS FOR THE TIP!

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Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Oh you must have been heartbroken, especially as it smelt so good! But the taste is what is important. And you have your own fig tree? I'm extremely envious!