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Blackberry Vanilla Crostata (Gluten Free)…

November 27, 2010

Moving sucks.

It really does. We all know it, most of us have done it. It sucks. Moving your business is, dare I say, a whole lot suckier.

I know I sound like a sulky teenager, but bear with me. I’ve a right to be sulky. We just moved our business. *exasperated sigh*

How you can accumulate so much stuff in a few short years is beyond me. Packing everything into boxes and knowing you’re just going to have to unpack them on the other side can be a little soul-destroying. Then there’s moving fridges and freezers and stainless steel work stations. Not a job for three girls.

Thank the Lord for our wonderful friends and family members who dropped everything to come and help. We owe you. Lots.

At the end of it all there are lots of good things about moving, but you have to wade through the muck to get there. And it makes you oh so tired.

I’m surprised I found the time or energy to participate in Daring Bakers this month, but I’m so glad I did. Coz pie makes everything better.

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

I scoured the internet for a gluten-free crostata recipe with not much luck. I’ve been taking G’s advice about not just adapting recipes left right and center but learning from those who’ve been doing this a lot longer than I have. Why? Flops can be demotivating. Especially when you have a lot of them in succession.

So I searched but didn’t find anything worth trying out. I decided to adapt and hope for the best. I was rewarded. It broke the flop streak. *Air Punch!*

Crostata is basically an Italian tart. The base is a type of short crust pastry known as Pasta Frolla, which I found to be lighter and slightly more crumbly than Pâte Sucrée (sweet short crust pastry). The difference between Pasta Frolla and Pâte Sucrée is that Pasta frolla uses egg to bind the dough whereas Pâte Sucrée uses water. I had to use gluten-free flours (duh) but the bonus was that there is no gluten (uh…duh!) and sometimes over-working doughs made with gluten flours can result in tough pastry. So no tough pastry for me.

Blackberry Vanilla Crostata:

Pasta Frolla:

(Adapted from the Daring Bakers recipe)

  • 1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon castor sugar
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour mix (such as Shauna’s gluten-free all-purpose mix)
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp guar gum
  • a pinch of salt
  • 115g (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl to combine.

Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it is the texture of coarse, wet sand.

Make a well in the center and add the egg, yolk and vanilla essence.

Mix together with a fork at first, then with your hands until it comes together.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. You can also pop it in the freezer for an hour if you’re impatient like me.

Now you make the filling. Blackberries! Yum.

I don’t have the correct proportions for the filling as I just added as I went. I used about 500g Blackberries, 30g butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp vanilla essence, 2 tbsp corn flour in 4 tbsp of water and then extra water to thin it down.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan.

Add the blackberries, sugar and lemon juice and stir to coat the fruit.

Cook over med.high heat until the fruit is soft but not mushy.

Combine the corn flour and water in a small bowl and stir into the mixture. Cook for about 5 min longer and add water bit by bit if it gets too thick. Lastly, add the vanilla essence and stir.

Let cool to room temp before using as a filling.

Ok. Back to the pastry. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Take it out of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface. (tapioca flour works great for me)

Roll it up over the rolling-pin and unroll it over your pie pan. Press into the pan. Be gentle, the dough is quite soft and can break easily.

Chill your shell in the fridge for about 30 min, then fill.

Make a pretty little lattice that you learned from Annie.

And bake for 20 – 30 min until the pastry is golden brown.


P.S. I’m eating an apricot.

P.P.S. It would make good pie.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa permalink
    November 27, 2010 3:27 pm

    Well done Robyn! That is one gorgeous pie….and the lattice work is beautifully done : )
    Yay for encouraging successes in your quest for gluten free baking!
    By the way, we invested in a pasta machine while on holiday recently and have enjoyed the most wonder fresh pasta ever since. Spaghetti, tagliatelle, ravioli, tortellini…C is a pro at it! Thanks for the encouragement to go for it all those months ago.
    lots of love, M

    • November 28, 2010 9:21 pm

      So glad you guys bought one! You’ll never look back :) I’m actually making lasagne tmrw. Thanks for the encouraging comment!

  2. November 27, 2010 11:36 pm

    You poor mover you. At least you had tart, which looks beautiful. has some gorgeous looking gluten free stuff, including tarts, if you want to have a look.

    • November 28, 2010 9:23 pm

      Thanks Adele :) I took a look and I’ll def be going back for more. Her stuff is gorgeous. In another league!

  3. November 29, 2010 12:43 am

    Blackberry and vanilla sound like a beautiful combination, and I love the lattice on top!

  4. November 29, 2010 6:48 am

    Wow well done on the challenge , the crostata and the filling is awesome. Beautiful pictures.

  5. November 29, 2010 9:50 am

    I’ve attempted gf puff pastry and loved that no matter how much I worked it, there would be no toughness!

    Mmmm blackberries.

  6. November 29, 2010 1:14 pm

    Hope you are settling down in the new place pretty soon…

    This blackberry vanilla crostata is so delish. Just love the lattice, so neat and professionally done :-)

  7. November 30, 2010 10:32 pm

    I’m very impressed with your lattice work. And that’s a great recipe for this time of year!

  8. December 1, 2010 5:37 am

    It looks like you made this out of plastic… it is perfect!! i am in awe!

    Also, I know you have been super busy, but we are doing a holiday blogging event and would love if you could join! let me know if you are interested… i did a post with more details on Monday.

  9. December 1, 2010 9:36 am

    I love the lattice on your crostata. I am glad that making it in the middle of a hectic time was helpful. And you are right about gluten-free pastry: I never thought about it. I want to try and make a gluten-free pasta frolla now: thanks! Apricot crostata sounds good.

  10. December 1, 2010 5:02 pm

    I love the photoes..they are like saying eat meeeee

  11. December 1, 2010 6:50 pm

    Hey everyone, thanks for all the wonderful comments! I love how daring bakers brings everyone together. :)

  12. December 3, 2010 11:36 am

    Oh yumness! How you managed to whip up such a great looking tart while in the midst of moving is beyond me – it look amazing!

  13. December 6, 2010 12:18 pm

    What a beautiful dessert! Fruit desserts are the best, and this one looks great.

  14. December 17, 2010 9:55 am

    This looks incredibly tasty and oh-so-moreish! So glad I stumbled across your beautiful blog! Will definitely keep coming back for more :-)

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