I don’t know about you guys, but I spent the last two weeks of my life absolutely swooning over the #CStuscany trip. The sweeping views of golden hillsides, the al fresco dinners with flowing wine, those incredibly lavish villas — my vacation envy was in full force and I couldn’t help but find myself daydreaming of an Italian getaway of my own, on more than one occasion.
But when you’re a baker with no European vacation in sight, all of that daydreaming (and Instagram story viewing) of international feasting can only mean one thing — inspiration of the buttery, sugary variety.
One of my favorite things about Italian cuisine is its simplicity. The spotlight on fresh, flavorful ingredients, combined with simple techniques and a focus on la dolce vida is a food philosophy I can not only 100% get behind, but one I try to replicate in my own kitchen style. Today’s recipe embodies those values in the form of a effortless, delicious crostata.
Known as Crostata di Marmellata to nonnas all over Italy, this staple of the Italian kitchen is a simple shortcrust pastry, filled with jam and baked to a golden brown.
While I don’t have a yard filled with apricot and fig trees, overflowing with ripe fruit, prime for jam-making, I do happen to be engaged to an Italian-American who goes gaga for anything lemon or fig flavored, so I know a thing or two about flavoring an Italian-inspired dessert. And since our local Texas fig trees are currently brimming with fruit, I chose to make a fig-filled version with lemon-scented crust.
Unlike a pie which utilizes fresh fruit — an absolute dream when done right, no doubt — a crostata is filled with jam, so there is no guessing for “doneness,” no fear of watery filling or soggy-bottomed crust. This no-fuss preparation is an A++ in my opinion, and once you get a taste, I have no doubt you’ll agree.
Top with lemon-infused whipped cream or toasted almonds for an extra special touch, and enjoy!