A crostata is an Italian free-form rustic tart so it is very forgiving if dexterity is not your ‘thing’. It will taste good no matter how you fold the pastry. In France they call it a galette. + A recipe for a fruit galette using summer fruits.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 spring onion, finely sliced plus some for garnish
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 sheet shortcrust pastry, defrosted if using frozen
20 cherry tomatoes or 6 large tomatoes
80g Parmesan, grated and some shavings for garnish
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk
1. Preheat the oven to 180C Fan – 200C – 400F – Gas 6. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
2. Roll the pastry sheet on a floured board so it is about an inch larger (it seizes up in the packet). Place on the baking paper on the baking sheet. Place in the fridge to chill.
3. Cook the spring onions in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until soft. Add the fennel seeds for the last minute.
4. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half (if you are using larger tomatoes cut them into thin slices). Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and black pepper.
5. Remove the pastry from the fridge and sprinkle it with grated Parmesan, leaving about a 2 inch rim all round. Dot with the spring onion mixture. Place the tomatoes on top, layering them evenly. Gently pull the pastry rim up over the edge of the filling (see our photograph). Brush the edge of the pastry with egg yolk and brush the tomatoes with olive oil.
6. Bake the crostata for 20-25 minutes until golden and oozing. Leave to firm up on the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes before sliding onto a plate for cutting (or leave it on the tray if it looks like it may split). Sprinkle the top with shavings of Parmesan and the reserved spring onions.
How to make a summer fruit crostata or galette
Follow the same instructions above in terms of shaping the pastry, but instead of sprinkling grated Parmesan on the pastry sheet, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of demerara or caster sugar instead.
Pile about 200g of fresh fruit (raspberries, apricots, strawberries, blueberries, peaches or a mixture) into the middle of the pastry leaving a 2-inch rim of pastry. Sprinkle the fruit with a small spoon or two more of sugar and pull the pastry up over the edges.
Brush with egg yolk and bake at 180C Fan – 200C – 400F – Gas 6 for 2-25 minutes until the pastry is golden and the fruit juices are seeping onto the baking dish. Leave for 15 minutes to ‘set’, then slide the tart onto a plate carefully. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream.