Monday, May 19, 2014

Strawberry Crostata

I'm so crazy for crostatas right now. They're really just free form pies but there's something about the imperfect shape and the rough edges of the pastry that draws me to them. They're an ideal homemade dessert because they don't have to look perfect. I imagine them being served in the garden on a roughly hewn table next to a vase of flowers from the garden. Very Tuscan or Tyrolian.

Strawberries finally arrived at my market in masses. Lovely big, juicy strawberries. I had been waiting for an excuse to try making a strawberry crostata and now I had every reason.

I winged it on the pastry, and I have to say this pastry recipe is a keeper. You'll be seeing more of it. It's quick to make, and it rolls out smooth and easy. I only used half of the pastry dough and froze the other half. I'll keep you posted on how well that went. Best of all, it tastes great and baked beautifully.

Some juices ran even though I let the baked crostata stand before cutting it. The biggest problem was that the middle sank as it cooled. When I bake this again, I'll use 3 tablespoons of corn starch. I'll also use 1/2 pound more strawberries and make a point of folding over less of the pastry.

Our strawberries were on the sour side. They could have been a little bit sweeter. I served it with whipped cream which added sweetness, but the trickiest part of this recipe might be deciding how much sugar to use. If you have very sweet strawberries, 2 tablespoons could be enough. If they're not sweet, and you have a sweet tooth, you could easily go all the way up to 1/2 cup of sugar.

That said, we gobbled it up like we had never seen food before. This served about four little piggies. It smelled heavenly, and tasted even better.

Strawberry Crostata in Pecan Pastry


1/2 cup pecans
2 cups flour + extra for rolling out
1 tablespoon sugar
4 ounces (1/2 package) cold cream cheese
1 stick cold butter
pinch Kosher salt
2 cold eggs

In a food processor, chop the pecans until tiny. Switch to pastry blade if you have one. Cut both the butter and cream cheese into 8 pieces.  Add flour, sugar, cream cheese, butter, and salt to the pecans already in the food processor. Pulse, pulse, pulse until well mixed. Add the two cold eggs and pulse until the dough forms a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.


1 pound - 1 1/2 pounds strawberries
2-3 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup sugar (see comments above)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 lightly beaten egg

Preheat oven to 400. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper. Wash and hull the strawberries, then cut in half and place in a bowl. Mix the cornstarch with the sugar, sprinkle over strawberries, and turn to mix. Add the lemon juice and turn again to mix well.

Cut the pastry dough in half. Dust your surface with flour and roll out one half of the pastry in a circle about fourteen inches in diameter. Dust with additional flour if needed. It's okay if the edges are rough and uneven. Move to the parchment paper on the baking sheet (very important because it's hard to move once it's full of strawberries). Mound the strawberries in the center. Move a few further out toward the edges. Fold the pastry up over the edge of the strawberries, turning and folding until done. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg. Bake 30 minutes.

Let stand about fifteen minutes before cutting. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Mix dough in food processor.

Pulse into a ball.

Roll out.

Add strawberries.

Fold dough up over the edges. When you do this, make your dough edges a little smaller.

Sinfully good!

Be the first to know what's coming next!

THE DIVA WRAPS IT UP won't be out until June 3rd, but Krista is having a contest. You could win a copy! One lucky person who leaves a comment on this post before midnight May 24th will win a signed copy to be shipped as soon as it's available. Good luck and be sure to leave an email address in your comment so Krista can contact you!

Last week's winner is (drum roll)



  1. I love reading your books and am looking forward to reading this one.

  2. My this looks beautiful.
    What happened to strawberries? I remember them from my childhood (back when the dinosaurs roamed) as being small and intensely sweet. Now they are huge and rather tasteless. Even if I pick them myself locally.
    I bet the lemon juice adds just the right punch.

    1. Good question, Libby. I'm suspect they've suffered the fate of tomatoes and apples, bred to travel well and not bruise or spoil. We gave up flavor. Occasionally I hit a batch that are wonderfully sweet but I admit that's rare.


  3. Yum! I can almost smell the strawberries. I remember when my grandparents grew them in their garden. I also remember the time I wanted to take some to my sister who was home sick. I didn't choose the best means of transport--my pocket! LOL.

  4. Yum, yum---I can almost taste that desert. I'd like to try it with blueberries.

  5. That looks and sounds delicious!

  6. So wish I could have this dessert, but I am allergic to strawberries. Maybe I'll try it with blueberries. At least I am not allergic to books! Would so love to win a copy!

  7. It's early in the morning and now I want fresh strawberries and whip cream - and a piece of your crostata! Can you tell I'm hungry!

  8. I love croustade. I can make these gluten-free, too. Yummy! And it's definitely strawberry season. Love that!

    Daryl / Avery

  9. Can't wait to try this! The crust sounds like it would compliment the berries very well. Have you tried other fruits? A slice of crostata, a cup of tea and your book = heaven.

  10. How about adding some rhubarb? My husband would love this.

  11. We are berry crazy here! Luckily we live close to several local berry farms so we can buy them the day they are picked! So yummy! I will have to make this recipe for my family and home daycare! I love your books and often use several of the ideas that Sophie mentions to decorate our home around the holidays! Thanks for such a wonderful series! I can't wait to read "The Diva Wraps It Up"! Jennifer

  12. Sounds scrumptious--especially with the cream cheese in the crust. I agree with Barbara T. that adding some rhubarb would taste great--its my new favorite food!

  13. Helena GeorgetteMay 19, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    There is a place called The Farm in Salinas were you can get big sweet strawberries! I really like the idea of pecans in the crust! I want to try the Crostata with mixed berries or apples....
    My mother's strawberry pie recipe~
    Marie's Strawberry Pie

    1 9-inch pie shell, baked & cooled
    2 cups strawberries, sliced (I like to add more, as much as 2 cups more)
    3 tablespoons strawberry jello
    1 cup water PLUS a little more
    1 cup sugar
    3 tablespoons cornstarch
    sweetened whipped cream

    Mix sugar & cornstarch. Bring water to a boil. Add sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in jello until dissolved. Cool. Add strawberries; mix well. Pour into pie shell. Refrigerate until set. Top with whipped cream. Enjoy!

  14. I've never had a cooked strawberry pie. I have the ingredients. I may try it. Your series is one of my favorites.

  15. I love making easy! While the strawberry filling looks divine, I'm really curious about the crust! I'll have to give it a try. Have you every used instant tapioca in your pie fillings? You never notice it in the pie but it really helps solidify the juices.

  16. This is magnificent, Krista! I can't wait for our strawberries to arrive (at least a month)



  17. Looks yummy! I would try agave as the sweetner. You can use less to get the same sweetness as sugar.

  18. looks delish. will have to try this one

  19. Hi Krista! I love all your Diva Books. I can't wait until your new one comes out.. how exciting!! :) I would love to have a signed copy by you. Thank you for the chance to try to win one!

  20. The picture alone looks delicious.

  21. I have never had a crostata, it looks wonderful. Now my mouth is watering. I definitely have to try this one.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

  22. That looks so good. I wish I had one right now. Oh, well. Maybe just strawberries and cream. I'd love to win the book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  23. Can't wait to read the new book

  24. Want to try this one. A friend of mine buys a can of strawberry pie filling and then cuts up a large container of strawberries and puts it in a graham cracker crust. Wonder if the same mixture would work with this recipe?

  25. This looks yummy!! I love strawberries. I can't wait to read your next book Krista-- I've read every one of the Diva series. :)

  26. oh this looks so good! be awfully nice to have a slice while reading your new book!!

    anne harris

  27. Wish I could reach into the computer and get a sample of the crostata. I've never heard of crostatas before. I have two of your Diva books and maybe sometime I'll try your new animal series (I've seen it at the library -- Murder, She Barked, I think it's called).


  28. I'm allergic to strawberries but I made the mushroom one a while back. My daughter suggested adding in tomato sauce next time. I told her that was a calzone! I might try this with blueberries instead. gaelicfairieATgmailDOTcom

  29. Wow, this looks great, Krista! Strawberries are on sale again this week for $1.50 lb. so I'll get lots and try your crostada. (Already have a bag of shelled pecans left, hooray) Can't wait to read the new book.

    lola777_22 (at)hotmail(dot)com

  30. I haven't made a crostata yet, but your recipe really makes it sound easy. I've got strawberries growing like crazy in pots all over my yard. Hmm....I know what I will be doing this weekend!
    I really love the different holiday themes that the Diva books have. I look forward to each book coming out, and I can't wait for this one!.

    1. Oops, I forgot to leave my email address:

  31. This looks so yummy! I wish the picture would come to life.

  32. This looks delicious. My mother used to make a very similar crostata with apples, which brings back very happy memories. Looking forward to reading the new book.

  33. Wow it looks good!!
    We also now have cheap strawberries here in Canada so I have make one like that one of these days.
    I love reading your books and it would be great to win the latest one :-)

    My e-mail :

  34. This pie crust looks like it might be easy to make (except I do not have a food processor). I just may have to try it for other things than this strawberry crostata - ie. pumpkin pie. Instead of one larger crostata, could this be made in small individual servings? especially if using mixed berries instead of strawberries.
    Looking forward to reading your new release.

  35. Perfect for Memorial Day festivities! Can't wait to read the Diva Wraps it Up!!!

  36. Berry dessert and mystery what a great combination!

  37. Ah yes, my email address:

  38. Allergic to strawberries but there are so many other fruits to try - blueberries, pears, apples, cherries, blackberries - I could go on and on.

  39. And the winner of a copy of The Diva Wraps It Up is CathyM! Congrats, Cathy! Please send your snail address to Krista at KristaDavis dot com. T

    Thanks for entering everyone!