For the most part I don’t usually plan what I make. I prefer for the inspiration to come to me organically. It doesn’t always work and can mean I spend quite a bit of time just reading cookbooks. The only exception is when I have an ingredient that I need to use. A few weeks ago I purchased the Rhubarb and Berry Jam for the lovely Jam Roulade; however the leftover jam has been sitting in my fridge ever since. I decided to make this lovely Crostata from Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. It’s crumbly, cake like and delicious.
Crostata requires a relatively small number of ingredients: 75g of soft butter, 150g Caster Sugar, 2 Large Eggs, 200g Flour, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, zest of one lemon and 200g of jam.
Cream the butter and the sugar. The eggs must be added one at a time. Continue to whisk the mixture until the volume has almost doubled in size. Nigella suggests it should almost be like a mousse.
Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once the mixture is combined fold in the lemon zest. The mixture is still quite sticky.
The mixture forms the base of the Crostata. The mixture needs to be spread across the base of the tin you’re using. I used a tart tin so I could easily remove the Crostata for serving. The technique to manipulate the mixture is be light with the spoon. It exactly like manipulating the base of the Raspberry Slice. Leave a crater in the middle (so the sides are higher) for the jam to be placed. (To understand scroll down to the cooked Crostata)
Once you’ve manipulated the base add the jam to the centre. It’s not meant to be perfect so don’t slave trying to get a perfect circle. Cook for 40-45minutes or until the cake like base is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. (I’m terrible I use a knife).
As you can see the Crostata is rustic. It’s tastes lovely, almost like pastry but it’s still cake like. It’s difficult to explain. The jam adds a sweetness that can be a little overpowering if you don’t have a sweet tooth. The jams can be substituted to taste.
150g caster sugar
200g plain flour
zest of 1 lemon