Individual Mixed Berry Crostatas

Dsc02137 This Sunday is a very important day for two reasons.  First of all, it is of course Mother's Day (you can thank me later if you forgot--run out and get a gift, pronto!).  Second, May 11 is also National Eat What You Want Day.  Don't believe me?  Check out Brownielocks, a fantastic website that I frequent, which lists all kinds of quirky, yet apparently official, holidays (No Pants Day, which fell on May 2, even has its own website--visit at your own risk.) 

It is no coincidence that these two occasions fall on the same day of the year.  In fact, I am willing to bet that a group of savvy mothers was responsible for the lesser known holiday earning an official spot on the calendar.  I mean, one wouldn't want to disrespect the tradition of National Eat What You Want Day any more than one would want to disrespect their mother.  This is a holiday that leaves no room for guilt after you have indulged in your favorite something sweet, and it allows one of the most important women in our lives to thoroughly enjoy her big day.

Preparing these individual Mixed Berry Crostatas for May11 would be killing two birds with one stone.  Taking the time to make a homemade treat is the perfect way to show mom that you care.  And after smelling the flaky, buttery crust and seeing the juicy roasted mixed berries, anyone would want to eat one of these.  Preparing individual sizes provides each person with their own personal treat--so much better than a slice.  After dessert, you can all brainstorm on your creations for Limerick Day (May 12)!  Here are a few extra tips for these berry tasty treats:

  • Feel free to mix and match the types of berries that you use for the crostata filling.  You can do all one flavor, or a mixture of berries. 
  • For some extra crunch, you can sprinkle the top of the crostata with nuts or with a streusel topping prior to baking. 
  • Instead of making 8 miniature crostatas, you can make one large crostata with this recipe.  The baking time will likely need to increase 10-15 minutes to ensure that the crust in cooked through and golden brown on the bottom.
  • Although this dessert is best eaten the day that it is prepared, it can be held at room temperature, covered, for one day. 
  • Be sure to not overwork the pastry dough in order to achieve a light and flaky crust.

Individual Mixed Berry Crostatas

Makes 8 individual crostatas

For pastry

2 cups flourDsc02132

3 tablespoons sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 large egg yolk mixed with 3 tablespoon cold water

For berry filling

1 cup fresh blackberries

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup fresh raspberries

⅓ cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon salt

1 large egg mixed with 2 tablespoons milk

Additional sugar for sprinkling

Prepare the pastry:  Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Using a pastry blender, mix in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Pour the egg yolk/milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until the dough just starts to form a ball.  Press together with lightly floured hands, and form into a flat round.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.  Combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a large bowl.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into 8 pieces.  On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a 6-inch round (approximately).  Place the rounds on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Scoop about ¼ cup of the berry mixture into the center of each round and then fold 1-inch of the dough over the fruit all the way around to form a rim.

Brush the outside of each tart with the egg wash.  Sprinkle the tarts with the additional sugar.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking process.  Let cool for 5 minutes and then serve with vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

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