An easy strawberry crostata to celebrate the beautiful spring season, with an easy almond crust and a heavenly Italian cream filling.
Almond Crust (from King Arthur Baking):
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup almond flour
For the pasticcera cream:
- 2 cups full-fat milk
- 1 vanilla bean pod, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, washed and leaves removed
- 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
- 3 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
1. Prepare the crust: Grease a 9” fluted tart pan and set aside.
2. Beat together the sugar, butter, salt, and extracts.
3. Add the flours, stirring to make the crumbs that cling together when squeezed. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Prick all over with a fork. Freeze the crust for about 15 minutes.
4. While the tart is in the freezer, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Bake the crust for 18-22 minutes, until the edges of the crust are golden. Set aside to cool completely.
6. Prepare the filling: Warm the milk and the vanilla bean or vanilla extract over low heat. (Keep it low as you do not want the milk to boil.)
7. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until combined. Add in the cornstarch and stir until no lumps remain and the mixture is smooth.
8. Once the milk is just warmed, remove and discard the vanilla bean, if using. Very slowly, whisk the warmed milk into the egg mixture.
9. Pour the mixture back into the pot and cook over medium low heat, whisking gently, until the mixture thickens and is the consistency of pudding, about 5-8 minutes. Be sure to keep whisking.
10. Once thickened, pour the mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the fridge until cool.
11. Assemble the crostata: Remove the crust from the pan and place on a serving plate. Fill the shell with the cream.
12. Cut the strawberries into thin slices and arrange them on the pastry cream in a circular pattern (see photo).
13. Put the jam in the microwave for 20 secs. Gently brush the jam over the strawberries.
14. Chill the tart for about an hour. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds before serving. Enjoy!