Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
A crostata is an Italian type of tart – depending on where you go in Italy, sometimes you’ll see them looking rustic and freeform, and sometimes they’re made in a tart pan and look a little more refined. Regardless of how you want to construct a crostata, this dough is perfect for whatever application – even just a traditional pie! I love the addition of cornmeal in this dough, because it adds a great flavor and texture element. Additionally, because cornmeal has no gluten, it helps keep this crust very tender and crisp through baking.
Use this dough any time a recipe calls for a crostata or pie crust – it’s perfect, and so easy! You can really let your imagination go wild – go savory and fill a crostata with caramelized onions, or even the filling from my tomato tart! Of course, it’s perfect for desserts as well – follow Lizzy’s guide for a perfect fruit crostata, or you can make my simple one with raspberry jam.
Make sure you don’t skip the step of allowing the dough to rest in the fridge for an hour before working with it! It ensures that the butter stays cold, and relaxes the proteins in the flour, which results in a more tender, crisp crust!
Fool Proof Crostata Dough
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 tablespoons 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 1/3 cup ice water plus 1 tablespoon if needed
- To a large bowl add the flour, cornmeal and salt. Use your hand to combine everything together. Add the cold butter and begin quickly working it with your fingers, smearing it slightly to make small streaks of butter with flour and pieces of butter the size of a chickpeas. Do not over work. Add the ice water and stir to combine. When it is just starting to come together, pour the mixture out onto a clean surface and knead the mixture 4 or 5 times to bring it together. Form a flat disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour. The dough is now ready to use as either a crostata or pie dough crust.
- *Cooks note: The recipe can be doubled for a double crust pie. The beginning steps can be done in a food processor pulsing in the butter and water. Just be careful not to over process.