Cranberry Almond Crostata
Cranberries are a rarity, even to this day, in Italy, so this crostata represents an achievement that’s uniquely Italian-American. Though many crostatas employ jam, this one gets its zest from fresh cranberries cooked down and paired with an almond-scented crust—and the proportion of filling to crust is perfection.
- For Filling:
- 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen Cranberries (10 ounces)
- 1/4 cup fresh Orange Juice
- 1/2 cup Sweet Orange Marmalade
- 1/2 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbspn Granulated Sugar
- For Pastry Dough:
- 1/8 cup whole raw Almonds, (1/4 pound) toasted and cooled
- 2 cups all-purpose Flour, divided
- 1 ¼ sticks unsalted Butter, softened
- ½ cup packed light Brown Sugar
- 1 large Egg, lightly beaten, divided
- ½ teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 teaspoon pure Almond Extract
- 2 teaspoons grated Lemon Zest
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- Make dough: Pulse almonds with 1/4 cup flour until finely ground (be careful not to grind to a paste). Beat together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1 Tbspn beaten egg, chilled for egg wash and beat remaining egg into butter mixture, then add vanilla and almond extracts, beating well. At low speed, mix in almond mixture, zest, salt, and remaining 1-3/4 cups flour until mixture just forms a dough. Halve the dough and form each half into a 5-6 inch disk. Wrap disks separately in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.
- Make Filling: Bring cranberries, orange juice, marmalade, brown sugar, and 1/4 tspn salt to a boil in a heavy medium pot, stirring, then simmer uncovered until some of the cranberries burst and mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Cool filling quickly by spreading it in a shallow baking pan and chilling until lukewarm, about 15 minutes.
- Bake Crostata:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees with a foil-lined large baking sheet on middle rack. Generously butter a 9-inch springform pan.
- Roll out one piece of dough between two sheets of parchment paper into a 12-inch round. The dough will be very tender.
- Remove top sheet of parchment and invert dough into springform pan. The dough will tear easily but can be patched together with your fingers.
- Press dough over bottom and up side of the pan, trimming dough to reach 1/2 inch up side of pan. Chill shell in refrigerator.
- Roll out remaining dough into a 12-inch round in same manner. Remove top sheet of paper, then cut dough into 10 (1/3-inch) strips with a pastry wheel and slide (still on parchment paper) onto a tray. Freeze strips until firm, about 10 minutes.
- Spread filling in chilled shell and arrange 5 strips 1-inch apart on filling. Arrange remaining 5 strips 1-inch apart diagonally across the first strips to form a lattice with diamond-shaped spaces. Trim edges of all strips flush with the edge of shell.
- Brush lattice top with reserved beaten egg and sprinkle top of crostata with granulated sugar.
- Place crostata pan on hot baking sheet in preheated oven and bake until pastry is golden and filling is bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes. (If pastry is too brown after 30 minutes, cover loosely with aluminum foil.)
- Cool crostata completely in pan on a rack, 1 ½ to 2 hours, to allow juices to thicken.
- Cook's note: Crostata is best the day it is baked, but can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept covered with foil, at room temperature.
- Recipe courtesy of: epicurious.com