So the good news is that I made a pie this month, and - woot! - on time.
Further wonderfulness: I also made the jam to fill it, and have a recipe for that to share with you as well.
However, with joy comes sorrow, and it is with regret that I inform you that I have to post the recipes out of sync (owing to the fact that it is today the thirty-first of August, so jam must come second or I'll be late with the pies again and you'll all think I'm slack), and also with poor photos (as seems to be standard these days on Delicious Delicious Delicious).
On the whole, I run through life with that most sacred of mantras 'Never apologise, never explain,' and it usually serves me well. However today I feel that some small explanation will help you understand why the photos look rushed and haven't been edited. You see, we went camping on my only two days off this week. There simply wasn't time to sort out pictures for this post and get everything else done before leaving. Messing about on the computer would have robbed me of the vital minutes it took me to floss; I'm not sacrificing good dental hygiene just so my pictures look nicer.
Neither should you.
Now, today's pie is crostata. I have written before about how much I love eating crostata for breakfast when in Rome, but haven't ever thought of it as a pie before. Nigella Lawson says it is though, so let's go with it.
The method she gives in How to be a Domestic Goddess is for a kind of cake-like pastry dough, made with whole eggs. This is not the same kind of crostata that I am used to, which has a firm pastry and a lattice top. But readers: is the word 'cake-like' not enough to make you want to try this out?
I couldn't find suitable tart tin, but remember Francesco telling me years ago that his mother makes crostata in an upturned lid belonging to a Pyrex oven dish, so decided to follow suit.
The result is seriously delicious, and just as good as anything I've eaten in Italian coffee bars. The only thing I would do differently is to smooth out the jam before baking, which Nigella says not to do. Mine didn't spread so much, meaning that the crust of my crostata was enormous. To eat, this was superb, but from an aesthetic viewpoint, I would prefer a narrower pastry border.
Make this. It means you get to eat pie for breakfast. How good is that?
(adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess)
You will need:
75g butter at room temperature150g caster sugar
3 eggs200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powderzest of 1 lemon
1 jar of your favourite jam (I used homemade blackberry, recipe to follow)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
- Sift over the flour and baking powder, and fold in to the egg and butter mixture. Lastly, add the lemon zest, and fold it in well.
- Using a spoon, spread the dough into your chosen receptacle - a 20cm tart tin, or a Pyrex dish of similar dimensions are perfect for this amount. Leave the edges a little thicker than the centre, to allow for a good crust.
- Spoon the jam into the centre of the tart, and spread almost to the edges with a knife.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until lightly browned at the edges. Serve cold, with coffee.