Wednesday, June 19, 2013

rhubarb ricotta crostata.

This recipe won rave reviews and my Mom requested to keep a wedge of the leftovers which is kind of like getting a seal of approval from the most elite food jury.  (Let’s just say I went home beaming that day.)  This crostata is the epitome of summer outdoor eating (which is how we consumed it on Father’s Day).  The addition of whole wheat flour to the crust provides a wonderful nutty texture especially when paired with a creamy layer of ricotta.  The rhubarb filling is tart and sweet and a wonderful counterpart to the other components.  The best part of this dessert is that it requires nothing more than dollop of barely sweetened whipped cream, a shady spot to eat it in, and good company. 

Rhubarb Ricotta Crostata
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

For the crust

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk

For the fruit filling

2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 cups 1/2 inch – thick slices rhubarb (about 1 -1 ¼ pounds)
6 ounces strawberries (quartered) or raspberries
2/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon

For the ricotta

1 cup fresh ricotta (buy as local and homemade as possible)
¼ cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon
½ teaspoon of ginger

To make the crust: Combine both flours, sugar, and salt in a processor; blend for 5 seconds. Add butter; pulse until butter is reduced to pea-size pieces. Whisk egg and milk in a small bowl to blend; add to processor and pulse until moist clumps form. Gather dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill at least 1 1/2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

To make the filling: Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl; set aside. Combine rhubarb, strawberries or raspberries, lemon zest, and sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves and juices are released, about 6 minutes. Stir in cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil (rhubarb will not be tender and slices will still be intact). Transfer to a bowl. Chill until cool, about 30 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge until ready to use.

In a bowl combine the ricotta, sugar, juice of lemon, and ginger.  Stir to combine.  Taste and adjust ginger, lemon juice as necessary.

To prepare the crostata: Preheat oven to 400°. Roll out dough on floured parchment paper to 12" round.  Spread ricotta mixture around the base leaving 1 1/2" border.  Mound fruit filling in center of crust on top of ricotta. Gently fold edges of dough over filling, pleating as needed. Brush border with egg; sprinkle with raw sugar. Slide parchment with crostata onto a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 45 minutes. Let crostata cool on baking sheet on a rack. Transfer crostata to a platter, cut into wedges, and serve with whipped cream (or ice cream).

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