Crostatine crema e lamponi, or tartlets with custard and raspberries, are dainty little treats and taste delicious. They have a tender, buttery pastry, a silky custard filling, and sweet and tart raspberries towering on top. A great dessert to share with the ones you love.
Song of the day: Sugar - Stevie Wonder
[This post was first published on June 3, 2015, it has been updated for recipe and pictures]
What are crostatine?
I just love making Crostatine. They are little tarts, or tartlets, made of a short pastry that is light, and crumbly. They can be filled with jam in my healthier version made with oil and spelt flour. Or filled with Nutella in the most scrumptious rendition. Or, they can be blind-baked and then filled with a delightful custard or ricotta and topped with fresh fruit.
Let's start with the crema
To begin with, I normally make the crema, a lemon flavored custard. Since it needs to cool down, you can make it a few hours prior or even the day before.
I always use the recipe my mother taught me, simply using eggs yolks, flour or cornstarch, sugar, lemon rind, and milk.
Follow the steps in the recipe card and don't forget to place plastic wrap on top of your custard to prevent it from drying out.
Next, I like to prepare the raspberries. I wash them gently in a colander, then place on a paper towel to dry, then on a plate, well distanced so they keep their beautiful shape.
You can use other berries, or a mix of berries, or a mix of fruit.
The pastry dough
I usually make the pastry dough in a food processor. It is quick, and easy. But I have also made it in a bowl, working the butter with a fork or a pastry cutter. A stand mixer with the paddle attachment works great, too.
- In the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer, add the flour, baking powder, and shaved cold butter. Pulse or mix until a crumbly texture is achieved. Then, add the sugar, the vanilla extract or paste, and egg. Pulse or mix until it starts to come together but still looks crumbly. Do not overwork.
- Take the crumbs out of the bowl, shape into a ball, flatten it, then wrap it in plastic and set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Rolling and shaping
Take the dough out of the fridge, flour a work surface and your rolling pin, then roll out the dough to a thickness of 3-4 mm, adding more flour underneath the dough and on the rolling pin if it gets sticky (placing it back in the fridge to firm up works fine too). Using a 5inch/13cm round cutter, cut as many circles on the dough as you can. Gather and re-roll all the scraps of dough. You should end up with 4 or 5 rounds of dough.
Grease 5 x 4 inch/10 cm tartlet pans with removable bottoms, then gently place the rounds of dough in each one. I used a spatula to lift the dough into the tartlet pans. Press them gently at the bottom and on the sides, then cut any excess dough from the top. Repeat for all the tartlet pans.
Prick the bottom of each pastry. Then, place pieces of parchment paper, more or less the size of the base, in each tartlet pans, and add pie weights, or dried beans. This is called blind baking.
Note: If you do not have tartlet pans use a large muffin pan. You will make more tartlets. Watch for the baking time.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they are nice and golden on the sides.
- Once out of the oven, remove the weight/beans and the parchment paper.
- Let cool completely on a rack before adding the custard and raspberries.
- With a spoon, or a piping bag with a round tip, fill each pastry shells with a couple of tablespoons of crema.
- Add the raspberries starting from the outer circle, pressing lightly into the cream, trying to fill most of the space.
- Repeat for all the tartlets.
Crostatine crema e lamponi
The pastry of this crostatine is light, tender, buttery, and crumbly. The crema, custard, is silky on your tongue, rich and slightly lemony. It also offers the perfect creamy bed for the sweet and tart raspberries to sit.
Optional, you can sprinkle the top with icing sugar or, if you want the raspberries to be glossy, you can brush them with gelatin or, simply, thin some apricot jam and lightly brush the top.
In the end, the combination of shell, custard, and fruit in a forkful is heavenly. Each component works well to let the other shine, in a harmony of flavors and textures.