by Diane Rossen Worthington

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crostata Recipe
Rhubarb and Strawberry Crostata Recipe

When I am in a pinch for time but want something special for dessert, I often fall back on preparing a crostata. Sometimes called a galette in French cooking, this free-form tart has endless variations. A crostata is made by rolling out a slightly sweet pastry dough into a large round. The fruit is placed in the center of the pastry and the dough is pulled up around the fruit and folded over to create a rustic looking tart rather than a perfect-looking formal fruit tart.

The unassuming appearance can actually be a good thing. Even my friends who fear pastry making have great success with this recipe because it doesn't have to be picture perfect. The rough country look also expands the opportunity for variation. I have seen versions that feature thick raspberry jam, fresh pitted cherries, apricots and nectarines, blueberries and raspberries to name a few. Make sure to adjust the amount of sugar you add, depending on the sweetness of the fruit you select.

You'll need to roll out the pastry dough to a large 13-inch circle. I keep extra flour on the pastry slab and rolling pin to keep the dough from sticking. You'll notice that you immediately roll out the dough after you make the pastry dough. The reason is that I use frozen butter that keeps the dough sufficiently chilled. I also use white pastry flour that has lower gluten content and does not need to rest. If you are using all-purpose flour, you can chill it for a half hour before rolling out.

Rhubarb is one of those flavors that can be very polarizing, owing to its tart fruitiness that people seem to either love or hate. Pink in color and resembling celery with its long fibrous stalks, rhubarb has a natural affinity to strawberries. This is a case of two distinct flavors merging into a new identity. Make sure to peel or scrape off the outer skin so that the rhubarb is easy to eat. I have found that cutting the rhubarb into smaller pieces than the strawberries will result in a perfectly cooked dessert. Serve warm (if possible) with vanilla ice cream.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crostata Recipe

Serves 6.


1 1/4 cups white pastry flour or all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

8 tablespoons (1 stick) frozen, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup ice water


1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 pound rhubarb, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 pint French vanilla ice cream

1. Prepare the pastry: Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor, and process for about 5 seconds. Add the butter and a few tablespoons of water and process until you have a crumb-like texture, about 5-10 seconds. Add more water if the dough isn't moist enough to hold together and process briefly again. Pat the dough into a disc for easy rolling. If using pastry flour, continue immediately. If using all-purpose flour, refrigerate covered for half an hour, to allow the gluten to relax.

2. Place a 10-inch diameter removable bottom disc of a spring-form or removable tart pan on a heavy baking sheet with a rim so that the pan catches the juices. (This is sometimes called a jellyroll pan.) On a floured surface, roll out the pastry into a 13-inch round. Roll the pastry back onto the rolling pin and transfer it to the tart pan bottom, laying the dough flat to cover the bottom with a 3 inch border overlap, overhanging its edge. Refrigerate while making the filling. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

3. For the filling, in a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, rhubarb, strawberries, lemon zest and ginger. Remove the tart from the refrigerator and sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon flour evenly over the center of the crust. Arrange the fruit mixture in the center of the pastry and then fold about 3 inches of the pastry edges up around the fruit, making pleats, to look like a free-form tart. Brush the pastry with water and evenly sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar over the pastry and fruit.

4. Bake the tart for 40-45 minutes or until the fruit filling is bubbling and the crust is nicely browned. Let cool at least 20 minutes on a wire rack. Transfer the tart, still on the pan bottom, to a serving platter. Slice and serve with ice cream, if desired.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crostata Recipe, Classic American Dessert Recipe




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"Rhubarb and Strawberry Crostata"


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