I swear I’m going to get my act together one of these days. In the midst of the regular busyness of life, we’ve been sidelined over and over the last couple weeks with sickness. It’s made for lots of snuggles and slow days which I love but definitely thrown a wrench into our schedules and left me feeling kind of frazzled and chaotic. I have SO many recipes I want to share here, so bear with me next week if you get bombarded. My goal is to get caught up and back to a regular posting schedule.
Anyway, a new Yakima Magazine hit newsstands today and in it I share a recipe for a raspberry rhubarb crostata. It’s tart and sweet and the dough is crumbly and buttery and deliciously decadent. It’s the perfect spring and summer treat and as the seasons change it’s an easy one to swap for whatever fruit is in season.
Spring is in full force at my house. My children have taken on the distinct aroma of wet dirt and grass. The knees of their pants are constantly stained from sliding in the wet grass. As soon as their feet hit the pavement of our driveway after school, they take off into the yard, kicking soccer balls, riding bikes and running around checking on our many animals.
We live on a couple acres and have added quite the array of farm animals to our family over the last year. I lovingly (ok, maybe a little sarcastically) refer to our house as the McCoy Family Petting Zoo. Our three cows had babies in the early spring, and let me tell you, baby calves are in a category of cute all their own. From the windows at the back of our house we can watch them play and run through the pasture. Their silky black fur is as soft as a puppy’s and they run right up to you, unafraid, for a pet or more likely in hopes of some oats. They spend hours each day chasing each other, racing up and down the pasture. When they finally get tired, they collapse in a sunny spot for a nap.
When I was trying to decide what to share this month, I wanted to make something bright and flavorful and sweet. I have a rhubarb plant growing in a pot on my patio and its bright green leaves and dark pink stalks inspired me to make a sweet treat. I love the brightness and bitterness of rhubarb and I appreciate it’s one of the first plants to poke its hearty stalks out of the dirt each spring. Paired with strawberries or raspberries, the sweetness of the berry compliments the rhubarb and makes for a flavorful, bright treat.
The beauty of a crostata is its delightfully rustic appearance. And by rustic, I mean it’s supposed to be a little misshapen, oblong…imperfect. But making the pie crust isn’t hard and the flavor of homemade crust is incomparable to what you buy at the grocery store. Don’t be alarmed if the juices run a bit and the crostata takes on an even more rustic appearance than you were expecting. I assure you, it will taste great and a scoop of ice cream goes a long way in hiding imperfections.
For the pastry (makes 2 crostatas)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, diced
- 6 tablespoons cold water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon raw sugar
For the filling
- 12 ounces fresh raspberries
- 4 cups rhubarb, sliced into ½ inch pieces
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
To make the pastry, place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and pulse several times until the butter breaks up into the size of peas. Turn the processor back on and add the cold water one tablespoon at a time, stopping the machine as soon as the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and roll into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
In a large bowl combine the raspberries, rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch and orange zest. Stir well until the sugar dissolves and set aside.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Take the dough from the fridge and slice in half with a knife. Roll the pastry on a floured surface until it’s about ½ an inch thick. Using a slotted spoon, scoop half the fruit mixture onto the middle of the pastry. Spread evenly leaving about an inch border. Gently fold the border of the pastry over the fruit, pleating the dough so the juices don’t run (they juices will still run, that’s ok, that’s what makes it rustic). In a small dish, beat an egg with 1 teaspoon water. Brush egg onto the crust and sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling slightly. Remove crostata from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Move to a platter or tray and cut into wedges. Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.