Crostatine with Ricotta, Yogurt, and Berries, a buttery crumbly base, a luscious creamy filling, a fresh fruity topping all in one cute dessert, a crostatina, tartlet, in Italian. A real taste of summer.
Song of the day: Così Celeste - Zucchero & Cheb Mami
The summers spent in my parents' hometown in the countryside were a welcomed change from living the everyday life in a big city.
Hills, greenery, a river, small houses replaced the cement, the crowded streets, the tall buildings. Even though our house was in the heart of the town, and not in some remote land surrounded by nothing, I had to adjust my ears to unfamiliar sounds: birds chirping, bugs flying, a clinking and clattering in the kitchens, and church bells, that replaced the sound of the horns, the traffic, and the buzz of the city.
The perks of spending all my summers in the country were: 1) I knew everybody, and everybody knew me and my family, so my parents felt comfortable leaving me to go around alone or with friends; 2) my grannies, cousins, aunts, uncles, all spent the summer there; 3) I could do things I would not do in Rome, like accompanying my grandpa fishing or tending the garden, going with my dad berry picking, spending most of the day outdoors.
The hilly countryside just 1-hour drive from Rome, where the little town was, did not have many wild berries, like blueberries, or raspberries, but mostly blackberries, and some delicious, small and sweet strawberries.
My father would love the abundance of berries we have in Canada in the summer, he would make jar after jar of his amazing jams. While me and my mother, we would make crostata and crostatine, filled with some kind of cream: whipping cream, or lemon pastry cream (our favorite), or a simple ricotta and sugar. We would top them with whatever fruit we have, strawberries being my favorite.
These Crostatine with Ricotta, Yogurt, and Berries are easy to make, light and fresh and taste like summer. The shortcrust pastry is buttery and crumbly, a hand-held dessert for sure, that will leave crumbs everywhere and will melt in your mouth. When you bite in, the freshness of the ricotta/yogurt mixture with that hint of lemon zest is going to brighten things up, while the berries will bring their juiciness and natural sweetness to balance all the flavors.
I used organic raspberries from British Columbia and organic small strawberries from our local farmers' market. The ricotta was our homemade, so creamy and smooth; the eggs, organic free-range, and you can see it from the lively golden color of the short pastry. Great ingredients for a simple, delicious treat.
These Crostatine with Ricotta, Yogurt, and Berries take me back to my family and the lovely Italian landscape where I am surrounded by love and beauty.
Song of the day: Così Celeste - Zucchero & Cheb MamiPrint
For the crostatine
- 150 g butter, at room temperature
- 125 g sugar
- ½ vanilla bean, the seeds
- ½ organic lemon, the zest
- 3 organic egg yolks, at room temperature
- 250 g flour "00" (or all-purpose)
For the Filling
- 150 g ricotta
- 100 g Greek yogurt
- 30 g sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
- ½ lemon, the zest
For the topping
- summer berries
- icing sugar, to dust
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a handheld mixer, work the butter, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, and lemon zest.
- Continue mixing on medium speed and incorporate the egg yolks, one at a time, then add the flour. Mix until smooth.
- Make a ball with the dough then flatten it into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Keep in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Butter the tartlet pans and cover the bottom with a parchment round. I used 6 x 4-inch (10 cm) tartlet pans with removable bottom. I had some leftover dough that I put in the freezer for later use.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).
- Take the dough out of the fridge and wait a few minutes that it gets easier to roll. On a floured surface, roll the dough to a 3 mm thickness. Cut the rounds, bigger than the tartlet pan and place them in the pans. Using your fingers work the dough gently into the bottom and edges, cutting with a knife the excess dough from the edges. Prick the bottom lightly with a fork.
- Blind bake (that means without the filling) for 10-15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until nice and golden.
- Take out of the oven, let cool on a rack.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta, the yogurt, the sugar, and the lemon zest until smooth.
- Fill the crostatine with the ricotta mixture, then add the berries on top.
- Dust with icing sugar, and enjoy!
The total time includes the resting time for the dough in the fridge.
I didn't need more than 6 crostatine, so I wrapped the rest of the dough in plastic and put it in the freezer for later use. When you want to use it, thaw it overnight and leave it outside to come to room temperature. Then roll it and make more crostatine.
- Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dessert, Tarts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Italian
I love baking and kneading dough because it takes me to a happy place in my soul.