Sweets

Strawberry Crostata + Basil Whipped Cream

Strawberry Crostata | www.hungryinlove.com
Basil Whipped Cream | www.hungryinlove.com

Before this here pie, the last time I enjoyed strawberry and basil together was in a vodka drink. They're splendid companions whether the accompanying vice is booze or butter (as in this case). Do you ever draw recipe inspiration from cocktails? It's a great place to go hunting. Cocktail lists these days are chock full of cryptic, trendy-sounding mash-ups like 'Balsamic, Sassafras + Peat' or 'Cocoa, Orange Blossom, + Smoke'. Eh? It's pretty much impossible to forecast what the drink will taste like but there's entertainment value in the puzzle. Strawberry + basil on the other hand is a more down-home combo. I know exactly the flavors they'll deliver: summer weekend. Since Memorial Day graced New England with one of those I was reminded of the note-to-self I'd filed after that cocktail: 'strawberry season - subtract vodka - add whipped cream'. The strawberries haven't quite arrived yet here but I couldn't wait that long.

Strawberry Crostata | www.hungryinlove.com
Strawberry Crostata | www.hungryinlove.com
Strawberry Crostata | www.hungryinlove.com
Strawberry Crostata | www.hungryinlove.com
Strawberry Crostata + Basil Whipped Cream | www.hungryinlove.com

Ingredients

Strawberry Crostata

For the Crust

This is a killer crostata dough from Bon Appetit's May 2011 issue. The original recipe features a filling of raspberry and rhubarb. I've enjoyed it many times and also dabbled with other berry combos. They all shine with this crust as the foundation. I heart it. You will too.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 12 Tbs. chilled unsalted butter (1.5 sticks), cut into small cubes (cold butter is key; after cutting place in a bowl and pop in the freezer until ready to use)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. whole milk or half-and-half

For the Filling

  • 4 cups strawberries, hulled and cut in halves or quarters
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 Tbs.)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Sea salt and granulated sugar

Basil whipped Cream

  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 6-8 sprigs fresh basil
  • 2 Tbs. confectioner's sugar

 

Prep

Infuse the Cream

  • In small saucepan heat cream over medium-high heat just until bubbles begin to appear around the edge of the pan
  • Remove from heat
  • Add basil and allow to steep for ~20 minutes
  • Move the saucepan to the fridge and continue to steep until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours

Make the Dough

  • Whisk egg and milk (or half and half) together in a small bowl, set aside
  • In a food processor pulse flours, sugar, and salt until blended; about five seconds
  • Add cubed butter and pulse until mixture is gravely and butter is the size of peas, about 6-8 pulses
  • Add egg mixture and pulse until dough begins to come together into moist clumps
  • Turn dough onto a floured surface and gather into a ball
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and put in fridge to chill, at least 90 minutes

Prep the Strawberries

  • About 30 minutes before you're ready to assemble the crostata, prep the strawberries
  • Cut into halves (or quarters if very large) and measure 4 cups
  • Stir together strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a bowl and let sit for ~20 minutes

Assemble the Crostata

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Whisk egg in a small bowl and set aside
  • Tear a sheet of parchment paper (roughly the size of your baking sheet) and place on your work surface; dust with flour
  • Use a rolling pin to roll dough into a 12 inch round on the parchment paper
  • Lift parchment paper and place on baking sheet before adding the filling
  • Brush dough with beaten egg
  • Scoop strawberry filling into the center of the dough and carefully spread, leaving a 1.5 inch border
  • Fold edges of dough over strawberries
  • Brush dough edges with beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with sugar and sea salt
  • Bake until the crust is browned and filling bubbly, about 45 minutes
  • Let cool before cutting and serving

Make the Whipped Cream

  • Remove cream from fridge
  • Discard basil sprigs
  • Place cream and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (chill the bowl and attachment first for best results)
  • Beat cream on medium-high speed until firm peaks form, about 6-8 minutes (don't over beat or you'll end up with butter)

Serve crostata slices dolloped with whipped cream and basil chiffonade.