Thursday, September 16, 2010

Crostata with Pears, Apples, and Taleggio

I was flipping tv channels a couple of weeks ago, and I caught the very end of a segment in which Giada was making a rustic crostata with dried apricots, walnuts, and cubes of taleggio. It sounded like such an interesting mix, and it sounded so autumnal, I was sure I could make it seem like fall around here by baking it. By the time I was ready to get baking, we had received some apples and pears from our CSA, so I changed the plan just slightly by using those fresh fruits instead of dried apricots. Now, about that cheese, yes, it is usually a savory cheese. Taleggio is a soft, washed rind cheese that’s relatively mild-flavored, and I was curious about how it would work in a sweet dessert. As it melted into the fruit and nuts, it added richness and interest, and if you weren’t told it was there, you might not realize there was cheese in the filling at all. The crostata was perfect served warm from the oven, and I preferred the leftovers re-heated rather than served cold from the refrigerator.

There wasn’t just cheese in the filling, there was also mascarpone in the crust. The dough was made in a food processor by combining flour, salt, sugar, and butter. It was pulsed until the butter was coarsely mixed into the flour, and mascarpone and lemon juice were added. The machine was pulsed a few more times, and then it was left running briefly while ice water was added. The dough was wrapped and refrigerated for 30 minutes before being rolled out on parchment paper cut to the size of a baking sheet. That was a great tip by the way. By rolling the dough on parchment paper, it was very easy to lift the paper and move it with the dough to a baking sheet in one fell swoop. Then, the dough was topped with a mixed of chopped pears, apples, walnuts, half of the cubed taleggio, a little flour since I was using fresh fruit, lemon zest, cinnamon, sea salt, and honey. The edges of the dough were rolled up and over, and the remaining cubed cheese was scattered on top. The dough edges received an egg wash, and the crostata baked for about 40 minutes.

I will say this is not a dessert for ice cream or whipped cream on the side. It requires no embellishment, but it was delicious with a glass of wine. Nuts, honey, fruit, and cheese were enveloped in a golden, flaky crust, and the warm, sweet flavors were accented by the mildly tangy cheese. It’s still about 95 degrees, so I didn’t make fall happen, but the flavors made it seem like fall should be coming soon.



38 comments:

  1. Ooooh, simply delicious. Love how you added the cheeses for the slight bit of savoury :)
    *kisses* HH

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  2. So funny, I had that recipe saved. I love your take on it even better though. Combining cheese with pie is a very good thing.

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  3. Awesome! That is a heavenly combo. Taleggio is one of my favorite Italian cheeses.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. That sounds pretty enticing Lisa. Love that combination, you are so good at baking unique stuff like this.

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  5. Yum! All my favorite ingredients combined, my mouth is watering. Going to save that recipe and bake it too!

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  6. Yum! These pictures are great. Looks delicious!

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  7. i love what you said about making it fall by baking--i totally do that

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  8. Rolling the dough between parchment paper or cling film makes it very easy as it doesn't stick on the surface and rolling pin. This sounds delicious but I still have to understand the various terms used. What's the difference of a crostata to a galette?

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  9. I saw the title of this post and thought it was a savory tart. Could work as both, don't you think? Maybe tiny slices as a topping on an arugula salad?

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  10. Looks delicious! Love the combo!

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  11. Whoa, you read my mind! I've been wanting to do something very, very similar.
    Your crostata looks really tempting and delicious.

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  12. yes, this looks totally perfect for autumn and very rustic :)

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  13. Ivy: Crostata and galette are both used to mean rustic tart. I believe crostata is the Italian term and galette is French. But, galette is sometimes used to refer to a cake as well.

    Dana: At first, I wasn't sure if this was a savory or sweet tart, and it could go either way. For savory, I'd skip the sugar in the crust and maybe just drizzle a little honey over the filling rather than use the full amount. I think it would be great with a salad!

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  14. Man, I'm lying low for less than a week and I come back and you've got FIVE posts???? You are blogging woman! It's funny, I saw Giada's crostata and thought, "I bet Lisa cooks this". Well, almost. This version looks wonderful too, and I'm so ready for the autumn culinary color!

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  15. Here I come fall - and here I come crostata. This looks like a great way to start the Fall season.

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  16. Wow, Lisa! I missed that episode. What a fabulous fall rustic tart...using both pears and apples! And I LOVE the cheese!

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  17. This looks so delicious. I see a lot of various tarts when perusing food blogs but have yet to try one. Yours looks mouth watering! Great pictures!

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  18. I'm kinda done with summer, really. And if making this crostata would help make fall come more quickly, then I'm in! I know Taleggio goes very well with pears and am curious to find out what would happen with apples in the mix. I'm thinking, awesome!

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  19. Your savoury crostata , I love it a lot!! I love these tasty combined real flavours in here,...

    Indeed, ..give me a good glass of wine & I will have the perfect evening with my husband!

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  20. Your crostata has a total autumn look! I would love a glass of Procesco to go with a large slice of this gorgeous crostata.

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  21. This looks fabulous! Now I'm craving pastry!

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  22. What a brilliant Crostata. I'm a huge fan of a dessert that has a touch of savoury running through its veins :)

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  23. i've always been kinda put off by fruit and cheese together in desserts dishes. i wish i knew why--i feel like i'm missing out on some good stuff!

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  24. I might have to pretend that this is actually a savory dish...and eat it for lunch! Looks delicious and it really screams FALL.

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  25. Sounds like a delicious dessert balanced with cheese in its filling. Pictures are so gorgeous that they make me drool!

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  26. So pears are here? I need to hit the markets. I've been thinking about a pear dessert myself. This looks delicious. And a mascarpone crust- that sounds and looks divine!

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  27. I'm still gorging on the last of summer's plums. When those are gone, I'll be reaching for the pears and this recipe. ;)

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  28. That's so funny! I saw the same episode and was so intrigued with the crust that had mascarpone in it. Something put me off about hers though - maybe the dried apricots as they make me think of granola. You did a fantastic job with this - I have a feeling it would top Giada's:) Thanks for sharing!

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  29. O that looks so lovely Lisa and those flavors sounds absolutely delicious together. Very autumnal indeed!

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  30. love rustic desserts like this, especially the addition of cheese!

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  31. Oh my goodness, I bet this was phenomenal with the sweet and salty savory from the cheese. Totally sounds like my kind of dessert. What a wonderful idea making use of all the wonderful bounty of the CSA. Cannot wait to try it for myself.

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  32. Wow, this is a beautiful crostata...great flavors :)

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  33. I must've been away while you posted this!
    How could I miss this one?
    Beautiful crostata or galette!

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  34. Wow, the cheese sounds so delicious - yay for apples and fall!

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  35. such a great combination of flavors!
    I love Tallegio cheese...melted in crostata with apples and pears, sounds amazing :)

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  36. my fiancée and i were watching Pushing Daisies the other night, and one of the pies featured in the episode was pear in a double-layer Gruyère pastry crust. that sounded great, and this might even sound better! Taleggio is such an amazing cheese.

    cheers and thanks for posting,

    *heather*

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