Food & Drink

Crisp Strawberry Crostata Recipe with Vanilla Pastry Cream and Balsamic Reduction | What’s Cooking

Straberry Crostata Dessert Recipe with vanilla pastry cream and balsamic reduction from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.

Ripe, sweet strawberries; rich, luscious pastry cream; syrupy balsamic; and a scoop of vanilla-bean gelato, all atop a buttery, flaky crostata shell. You’re going to want to make this summery dessert next time you have people over: it’s a showstopper. Making homemade pastry cream and dough may sound like a challenge, but it’s actually pretty easy and requires only a few ingredients. Even better, you can whip up all the components of this extremely delicious dessert four days ahead of serving, and assemble it in just a couple minutes for your guests (just save macerating the strawberries for the last minute). Serve, sit back and enjoy how popular you have now become.

For a nice touch, warm up the crostata shells in a 350°F oven for a few minutes before serving. And a really good jam can stand in for the streak of raspberry sauce, if you don’t want to make it yourself. Just warm the jar in a microwave and add a few drops of water to loosen it to a spreadable consistency; passing it through a sieve to remove any seeds is also a good idea.


Crisp Strawberry Crostata
From our Nordstrom Blue Stove Restaurant
(Makes 6 servings)

Crostata Dough
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

  1. In a large bowl, mix flour and salt until combined. Add butter and toss to coat each cube with flour. Using a pastry blender, cut cold butter into flour until the mixture is crumbly and the butter pieces are no larger than the size of a pea. Add ice water and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together and there are no patches of loose, dry flour.
  2. Turn out dough pieces onto a piece of plastic wrap and, using the sides of the wrap, bring the dough pieces together into a ball. Wrap tightly, flatten into a disk and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  4. Remove dough from refrigerator and, to help avoid cracks when rolling, set it out for a few minutes at room temperature. Lightly flour your rolling surface and the top of the dough. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough, turning after each pass and adding more flour as needed, until it measures between 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick.
  5. With a sharp knife, cut dough into circles measuring about 7 inches. Bring up the edges of each circle by 3/4–1 inch and crimp evenly around the circumference (about 8 times per circle), folding them over and gently pressing the crimped edges into the dough below. Transfer to a baking sheet.
  6. With a fork, prick (dock) the central area of the circles where the edges are not overlapping 8-10 times. Lightly brush the circles with melted butter and sprinkle turbinado sugar around the edges.
  7. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 25-35 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The baked crostata shells can be kept in an airtight container for up to three days before serving.

Pastry Cream
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 cup corn starch
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

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  1. In a small saucepan, scald milk over medium heat by bringing just to a simmer.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add egg yolks, whole egg, corn starch and sugar and whisk until well combined and mixture is lighter in color.
  3. While whisking constantly, add a small amount (about 1/2 cup) of hot milk to egg mixture. Again, while whisking constantly, add tempered egg mixture to hot milk. Over medium heat, continue whisking until the pastry cream just begins to boil and thickens.
  4. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.

Raspberry Sauce
10 ounces raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar

  1. In a small saucepan, bring raspberries, water and sugar to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce has reduced in volume by half, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Pass raspberry sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl to remove the seeds. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.

Balsamic Reduction
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

  1. Bring vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer until thick and syrupy, and reduced to about two tablespoons. Set aside to cool.

Crostata Assembly
Crostata shells
Pastry Cream
1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Balsamic Reduction
Raspberry Sauce
Vanilla-bean gelato

assembly
  1. Add strawberries and sugar to a small bowl, toss to combine and set aside to macerate.
  2. Adjust the viscosity of the raspberry sauce with a few drops of water if too thick after being cooled.
  3. On a serving plate, paint a streak or spread a spoonful of the sauce down the center and place a crostata shell on top.
  4. Whisk the chilled pastry cream to return it to a smooth consistency. Add about two tablespoons of pastry cream to each shell, and divide the strawberries among the shells.
  5. Drizzle strawberries with a teaspoon of balsamic reduction and top each with a scoop of vanilla-bean gelato. Serve immediately.
Straberry Crostata Dessert Recipe with vanilla pastry cream and balsamic reduction from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.

Try these recipes and others at a Nordstrom restaurant near you, and find more recipes to make at home in our What’s Cooking series and Nordstrom cookbooks (available in selected Nordstrom restaurants and Ebars).

Have a favorite dish or beverage from our restaurants or cookbooks that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!

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—Jeff Powell (Photos and Intro)

Straberry Crostata Dessert Recipe with vanilla pastry cream and balsamic reduction from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.