7.05.2012

Rhubarb and Almond Crostate


There was some homemade rhubarb jam in the fridge and I thought I'd better do something constructive with it besides slathering it all over toast every morning. These little gems are a cross between a crostata and a cookie. I cheated too. I used some packaged pie crust that was in the freezer. Quelle horreur! But oh, that rhubarb jam was divine. And the almond filling on top has cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg in it. Really, as Ina would say, how bad could that be?

I like the pick-up and walk away aspect of this dessert (kids will too), but also, you could serve it on a plate for dessert with a dollop of whipped cream (or even ice cream) on top. Lisa from Lisa is Cooking made them with a strawberry and fig jam, without the almond topping. Crostate are common in the bakeries of Italy.


You can use any jam (homemade is certainly best) and you don't need to make the almond topping if you don't want to, but I like that little "hat" on top and it adds more layers of flavor. You can cut the pastry circles any size you want; I made them large cookie size.


Rhubarb and Almond Crostate

Adapted from The Mozza Cookbook by Nancy Silverton



Ingredients:

For the crust:
Use your favorite pie crust recipe and add some orange and lemon zest to it (or cheat and use packaged) OR you can find the original recipe in her cookbook (also online) and make it from scratch.
For the jam layer:
8 heaping tablespoons homemade jam
For the almond filling:
¾ cup almond meal/flour
2 extra-large egg whites (save yolks for another use)
½ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions:

Make the crust.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.
Use a plate about 6-inches in diameter as a stencil and cut out four rounds. (I cut them smaller) Save the scraps for the lattice. Place four on each prepared baking sheet. Chill the scraps.
Roll the edges of each round inward forming a 1/2-inch rim. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of jam into the center of each round, then smooth the jam right up to the edge of the rim. Repat with all the rounds. Refrigerate.
To prepare the almond filling, in a medium bowl stir together the almond meal, egg whites, powdered sugar, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Spoon 1 teaspoon of almond filling onto the middle of each tart and spread it out slightly, leaving the marmalade visible around the edges of the tarts. (You may not use all of the almond filling.)
Remove the scraps from the refrigerator. Then pinch off a piece and roll it out with your fingertips to create a long, thin noodle like strand about 1/4-inch in diameter. To get it nice and even, I rolled it on parchment paper, stretching while rolling.
Lay three strands evenly spaced across each jam-topped dough round. Then lay three more at an angle, creating a diamond-shaped lattice on each jam-topped dough round. Trim the strands with your fingertips, pinching them into place to stick.
Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to one day.
To bake: Adjust the oven racks so that one is on the top third and the other is on the bottom third of the oven. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the baking sheets from the refrigerator, take off the plastic wrap and bake about 25-30 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until golden. Remove the sheets to cool on a rack to room temperature.

29 comments:

  1. I wish I had some rhubarb jam in my fridge now! Hopefully I can still find some rhubarb at the farmer's market...these crostate sound so delicious!

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  2. oh my Barbara - i think these are wonderful! rhubarb is one of my very favorite fruits of the summer and then wrapping it ever so carefully into a hand-carry pastry crust? really, how bad can that be??!!!

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  3. Would it work with awesome, homemade strawberry jam?

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  4. So tempting! Those are fabulous crostate.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  5. These cookies don't only look delicious, but they have a nice presentation too. With all that jam I made, there's no reason not to try them out.

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  6. Amazing I love fruits crostata look awesome barbara!!

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  7. I have some rhubarb squirreled away in the freezer just in case I come upon recipes such as yours. It is a favorite around here and the season is much too short.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  8. How cute! And, there is nothing wrong at all with using ready-made pie crust. It probably allowed you to enjoy the results a lot more quickly!

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  9. Hey Barbara...these almost look too pretty to eat! And they sound divine.
    I sure hope your Summer is going great. I sure wish I could get back to Florida sometime in the future. I loved my stay there last time.
    sending hugs...

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  10. I hope you had a good 4th!

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  11. These are absolutely too delicious ingredient wise and perfection epitomised when it comes to presentation :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  12. I have never seen such a pretty lattice and I love going to the year, plucking a stalk and using what grows locally!
    :)
    Valerie

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  13. Mozza is such a cool place. This is another great rhubarb recipe from you Barbara. I need to make you your own file for saving them all. To think I do that same old pie over and over. No excuse now that you have offered so many great rhubarb dishes (oh that ice cream!!!). Can't wait to try it.

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  14. Oh! I've seen the cookbook and eaten is the restaurant, but did not see this on their menu...this crostate looks great, especially the combination of jam and almond...beautiful dessert Barbara.
    Have a great weekend :)

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  15. HI BARBARA!!!
    your desserts are always amazing....I/WE are having a party ehre SUNDAY.....kind of like a late 4th of July party!!!So I just might whip up your jello dessert...it looks perfect for the occasion....
    How is your summer going?????
    SOuth Florida.....keeping cool?????
    I will be in Orlando in late August and again in Oct...hope it's not to hot!!!!
    hugs,
    jamie

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  16. what a dainty little tart! rhu-barbara, you've done it again. :)

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  17. These are so cute, and thanks so much for the mention! The almond topping sounds fantastic. I love that these are pick-upable and pretty enough for plating.

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  18. This is a lovely treat. Your desserts are always special and this sound delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  19. Hi Barbara,

    These look so good and I love the thought of the combination of rhubarb and almond...yum.
    Hope you are having a good weekend and I wish you a happy week

    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  20. I love the almond toppers you put on these lovely little pies. What a wonderful way to use some of the strawberry-rhubarb jam I made a few weeks ago. I'm looking forward to making this, Barbara.

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  21. What a pretty dessert! I don't think I could resist these!

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  22. Your crostata look really tempting Barbara.

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  23. These sound divine. I'm on board with anything rhubarb and I especially like that these are individualized. Perfection!

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  24. I like that little hat as well and almonds are always nice with jam.

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  25. Oh my, what a lovely baked you have here. Wish I can grab a few out of the screen. Adacadabraaaa...... haha... Nope, it's not working!
    Kristy

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  26. These rhubarb delights are so beautiful!

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  27. Rhubarb jam! (How I miss rhubarb) These sound fabulous.

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