Italian Crostata with Homemade Haskap Jam, a delicious dessert made of a crumbly short pastry topped with a velvety sweet and tart homemade jam. A typical Italian dessert to end a Sunday lunch or dinner. Bonus recipe: Easy No-Pectin Haskap Jam.
Song of the day: Seven Days - Sting
Until I came to Canada there was no such thing as Sunday supper. Sunday was all about lunch: at my parents, at my grannies, at my place, at friends, at relatives, either we hosted or were the guests, or went out to eat, it was always a Sunday lunch.
Italian Sunday lunch
Sunday lunch is a big thing in Italy. It requires a few hours of your time, the sitting time, I mean, and maybe a few stretches of your belt. Buffets are definitely not in the Italian DNA, while multiple courses are. Antipasto, first course, second course and side dish, dessert, fruit, and coffee. With time in between each course, time to converse and drink some wine, digest a bit, and make room for what comes next. With different plates for each course, and no, a dishwasher isn't always in the picture. At my grannies, for example, no dishwasher, and no warm water running from the faucet, and usually, many of us eating, so, yes, lots of dishes to do after. But when the food is also food for the soul, you're all relaxed and in a good mood, and many of you are sharing the task, it doesn't seem like work.
Many of those Sunday lunches ended with a homemade crostata, one of the most popular desserts in Central Italy, and definitely among my circle of friends and family. Usually, a crostata with jam, homemade most of the times, or for particular occasions, a crostata with ricotta and chocolate, or with a lemon pastry cream and topped with fresh fruit. [A little Wikipedia etymology: The name derives from the Latin word crustāta, the feminine past participle of crustāre (to encrust), and ultimately from the noun crusta (crust)].
This time, the occasion was to showcase a wonderful homemade jam, that I made with hand-picked haskap berries at the beautiful Rosy Farms, in the outskirts of Edmonton, on a beautiful day, surrounded by passionate people sharing a long table dinner.
A buttery crumbly short pastry meets a velvety sweet-with-a-bit-of-tart jam
Making a crostata comes naturally to me. I made it many times and I see myself making it for many years to come. It is probably the sweet I ate the most and that feels like home to me. In this particular case, I felt like being more artistic, and I replaced the usual lattice top with carved and stamped leaves and dots. Sometimes, you just have to let loose and go for it.
And how well it was received, validated my creative spirit.
When I make my crostata with the typical lattice top, people here mistake it for a pie. On the contrary, the pastry is more like a shortbread than a pie crust, a tart, more than a pie, and one that you can hold in your hands and eat it. Our favorite way of eating crostata, a slice in your hand, no cutlery, but so satisfying.
Italian Crostata with Homemade Haskap Jam is my way of letting you into my Italian life. Hope you enjoy!