A Touch of Sunshine: Blueberry Crostata

BlueberryCrostata

I’m sorry. I live in California.

At about this time of year I find myself prefacing my cooking with this admission, when the month of February rolls around and my recipes take on the air of spring.  While we lived in Europe, especially in London and Denmark, February was just another winter month – drizzly, dreary and dark. Sunshine, daffodils and mimosas were whispered rumors from our southern European neighbors. If we wanted to experience them it required boarding an airplane. Otherwise, we continued lighting our fireplaces, making stews and wrapping ourselves in wool while patiently waiting as the days crept longer.

But now we live in California. It’s early February and the markets are displaying hyacinths and tulips. The weather may be foggy, but you can count on the sun to shine through at some time of the day. And, in true spoiled California fashion, produce is abundant, bringing with it the luxury of instant gratification. I realize this sounds pretty good, but I confess I miss the limitations of the seasons and the heightened pleasure of enduring the fleeting moment of, say, strawberries or asparagus. There is something innately satisfying about waiting for the change of seasons to deliver its goods, a humbling process that properly puts us in our place in the grand scheme of Mother Nature. I wonder if my children will forget the perspective of four distinct seasons. (Goodness knows how we’ll ever survive a move from this area.)

So, instead of flaunting a springtime recipe with impossible-to-find ingredients for those of you knee-deep in snow, this recipe for Blueberry Crostata is one we can all make. Blueberries can easily be found in the freezer of our markets, or, if we’re lucky, there may be some remaining in our own freezers from last summer. And since we can all do with a little sunshine, the crust and filling are brightened with fresh lemon zest.  Enjoy.

Blueberry crostata

Blueberry Crostata
Makes one 9-10″ crostata

For the pastry:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces unsalted butter, cold, cut in pieces
1 egg yolk (save egg white as glaze)
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream

For the filling:
2 cups blueberries (if frozen, do not defrost)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 egg white

Combine flour, sugar and salt in bowl of food processor. Pulse to blend. Add butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg yolk with 2 tablespoons cream in a small bowl. Add to dough and pulse to blend. Add remaining cream and pulse until dough sticks together. Gather dough in a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30  minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface in a 12″ round.  Toss blueberries, 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon zest together in a bowl. Mound blueberries in center of pastry, leaving a 2″ border clear. Brush the border with egg white. Gently fold in pastry over blueberries, leaving center exposed. Brush pastry with egg white. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon sugar over blueberries and pastry.

Bake in oven until pastry is crisp and golden, 45-50 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

7 responses to “A Touch of Sunshine: Blueberry Crostata

  1. Thanks for sharing! I am so sick of winter and this brightened my day!

  2. Pingback: e

  3. What a delicious crostata!! I love the vibrant, blue colors! Wow!

  4. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I really feel hungry!
    Cheers,
    Carsten
    tasteandshare.com
    food social network * wine social network

  5. I’ve literally had this page open for days, drooling over these scrumptious photos. What I really need to do is go get some of the locally grown blueberries squirrelled away in my freezer and make one of these already!
    I do miss all the glorious food available in California, but am so grateful that at least blueberries do well in Missouri! :)
    P.S. Thanks for linking to my blueberry breakfast bars.

  6. Hey! Great recipe! Mine is in the oven right now. Some things to add or clarify- roll the dough out and put the blueberries on when the dough is already on a baking sheet or whatever you’re cooking it on. I tried to transfer mine from counter to baking sheet and it fell apart and I had to put it back together. Also, is there lemon zest in the crust? If so, when do you put it in?

  7. It was good. But a Tabelspoon of flour mix with the berries would be better. Less runny and would hold the blueberry s better. Otherwise a good one to keep.

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