Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Before baking, looking like a bad attempt at an ogre's purse

After cooking, looking much more edible

Note the lower crust: cooked!
I've now started my dreaded baking class. This is the one where we make cakes, supposedly. Although right now we're deep in pie country. This is good, since pies are much more familiar, if not easier to make.

Our first assignment: the Crostada. These are to pies as slugs are to snails. No shell. No tin to provide support and structure. So these things will change shape as they bake, flattening as the apples inside liquefy. They're rustic so that's all right. It's also fine that you can't roll out a perfectly round crust to save the Earth from invading monsters from Planet 67. A rustic crust in this instance is a happy crust.

A crostada is a pie crust folded up like an ogre's purse over a fruit filling, brushed with egg wash and topped with streusel (not streudel. I don't know why they couldn't invent more dissimilar words. Must be another diabolical method to torture culinary students).

The crostada in the photos wasn't made in class. Although we used a fancy deck oven at school, the bottom crust was half raw. Uncooked flour is not what I want to taste in my dessert, so I decided to play with the thing at home.

This crostada went on a baking sheet on top of a pizza stone, with nothing to insulate it from the stone's heat. This did the trick, along with a bit longer cooking time. The lower crust was acceptably done, without the raw flour flavor.

The great thing about crostadas is that they can be any size, and someone less than skilled at rolling out perfectly circular dough can take shelter under the term "rustic".  It's rustic, not circular! It's planned that way! All is well. Eat!

No comments:

Post a Comment