"The crostata is the quintessential Italian dessert. This particular crostata has its roots in Roman Jewish cooking. You can find the city's most famous version at the small bakery Boccione, as well as on the menus of restaurants in the Jewish ghetto. I love this dish so much that one of my favorite restaurants sets aside the best piece for me each time I dine there." —Kristina Gill, Rome-based food writer and photographer

Gallery

Credit: Paola & Murray

Recipe Summary test

active:
50 mins
total:
9 hrs
Servings:
8
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"The crostata is the quintessential Italian dessert. This particular crostata has its roots in Roman Jewish cooking. You can find the city's most famous version at the small bakery Boccione, as well as on the menus of restaurants in the Jewish ghetto. I love this dish so much that one of my favorite restaurants sets aside the best piece for me each time I dine there." —Kristina Gill, Rome-based food writer and photographer @kristinagillfood

This recipe originally appeared in our Fall 2021 issue. Get the magazine here.

Ingredients

Crust
Filling

Directions

For the Crust
  • Place flour, sugar, butter, egg yolks, salt, and vanilla in a food processor and pulse until mixture holds together when squeezed, about 8 pulses (4 seconds each). Transfer dough to a large bowl. Use your hands to press and squeeze dough together to form a smooth ball.

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  • Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan. Press 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. of the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan and halfway up the sides, about 1/8 inch thick. Pat remaining dough into a flat disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill crust and dough disk in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

For the Filling
  • Preheat the oven to 350°.

  • In a medium bowl, stir the ricotta with a rubber spatula until loosened. Beat 1 egg in a small bowl, then add to ricotta along with the sugar, salt, and vanilla. Sift the cornstarch over the mixture. Mix with the spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl so no streaks of yolk remain.

  • Remove crust and dough disk from the refrigerator. Let disk sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the reserved egg whites and 2 tbsp. of water with a fork until combined. Brush crust with the egg-white wash and prick all over with a fork. Pour in the ricotta filling and smooth with an offset spatula. Wipe the spatula clean. If the preserves are not already spreadable, spoon into a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high until they loosen slightly, 30 to 40 seconds, stirring halfway through. Spoon preserves evenly over the ricotta and spread with the offset spatula. If needed, trim excess dough to about 1/4 inch above filling; set aside.

  • Unwrap dough disk and place on a lightly floured work surface. Lightly dust top of dough with flour. Roll dough into an 1/8-inch-thick round. Cut into eight 3/4-inch-wide strips. Lay four strips on top of filling, spacing evenly apart. Place remaining 4 strips on top of filling in opposite direction, forming a lattice (no need to weave). Press and seal strip ends to bottom crust edges. Trim excess dough strips.

  • Beat the remaining whole egg with the cream, if using, or 1 tbsp. of water. Brush the dough strips and edges with the egg wash.

  • Bake crostata until crust is golden brown and filling is puffed, about 55 minutes. Let cool completely, about 3 hours. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan to loosen and release the springform pan sides. Crostata can be chilled for up to 1 day.

Tips

At least four hours before cooking, place the ricotta in a fine-mesh sieve to drain. Alternatively, squeeze the ricotta in a clean kitchen towel to remove as much liquid as possible.

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