Guessing game! What cake is it?
It can be round… but also rectangular! We eat in the winter … but also in the summer! It is filled with jam … but also with cream, ricotta or fresh fruit! It is a cake for breakfast … but also a dessert to be enjoyed at the end of dinner! To prepare it we use a mold with a wavy edge … but a mold with a smooth edge is also good! We find it decorated in diamond shapes with a grid weave… but also embellished only in the center with individual decorations! So, what cake is it?
Of course, it can only be the CROSTATA!
The tart is a typical Italian dessert based on a pastry dough stuffed in the more traditional version with jam, but over time the variations have become innumerable. The word crostata derives from crostare, which means to cook so that the surface layer darken and form a crosta (crust).
The tart seems to be one of the oldest cakes of Italian pastry, even if its origin is not easy to place in time. Many attribute the merit of its invention to a nun of the convent of S. Gregorio Armeno (Naples). The strips of shortcrust pastry on the surface of the cake should recall the grates with which the cloistered nuns attended religious services.
A shortcrust pastry preparation seems to have also been known in Venice after the year one thousand, when they began to use sugar imported from the East.
Probably the first codified recipe dates back to the 14th century, when the French chef Guillaume Tirel inserted it in his cooking manuscript “Le Viander”.
It is said that it was the only cake able to put Queen Maria Theresa of Austria, wife of King Ferdinand of Bourbon nicknamed “the queen who never smiles” for her always cold and sulky expression in a good mood!
The tart is the home-made dessert par excellence, where simplicity and taste meet. I love the scent that comes out of the oven while it is cooking and its rustic look that tastes like home.
The recipes of the tart that can be found on the internet or better yet asking in the various houses, restaurants, pastry shops … are endless! The processing of shortcrust pastry has its own precise but still customizable procedures.
I learned how to cook the crostata from my mom: I leave you her recipe, making sure that the tart you will get will be a real goodness!