Monday, May 20, 2024

Soft Italian Crostata with Cream and Strawberries

Treat yourself to this picture-perfect soft crostata filled with velvety Italian custard cream and sunshine-sweet strawberries compote. A taste of Italy in every bite!

Today, I present you this beautiful and mouthwatering Italian dessert that I'm sure is going to impress your guests. An extra-soft crostata base topped with a thick and luscious layer of creamy Italian custard, covered with a juicy and sweet strawberry sauce. 

So good! Take a look ...

Now, let's break the recipe down step by step, so you can recreate this heavenly dessert in your own kitchen. 

First up, let's talk about that crust. This is not the usual crostata crust, made with Italian pasta frolla, similar to a buttery cookie crust. This one is way different. It's a soft, vanilla-flavored, soft and buttery cake-type of crust. This means that all you have to do is mix the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, just like you would do for any cake. No rolling pin and no waiting for the dough to chill. Just mix the batter and pour it onto the tart pan. 

For this specific soft crostata, you can use your regular tart or quiche pan. OR this!

I bought this mold on Amazon and I LOVE IT! No removable bottom, but it's nonstick and, when greased well, you can easily release the tart. When flipping the tart upside down to decorate, there's a little edge on top that lets you easily fill the middle with cream or fruit,... or your favorite topping. 

And as you can see, I overdid it a little with the custard cream but you know what?!? It's really the best part. Every bite is filled with half cake and half cream. Plus the strawberry sauce on top!. Dreamy.

Now, onto the custard. Traditional Italian custard, or crema pasticcera, is all about simplicity and richness. To achieve that velvety texture, make sure to whisk your eggs and sugar until they're pale and fluffy before adding the milk. And when cooking the custard on the stove, be patient—it'll thicken slowly, but the end result will be worth it!

This is my favorite recipe, as you know by now which I use for lots of desserts.

Finally, let's talk about those strawberries. You are welcome to top with your favorite fruit. Fresh or compote. For this crostata, I cooked the strawberries with lemon juice and sugar to soften. Make sure to let them cool completely and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Oh, and remember to use the strawberry juice to soak the crostata base for extra moisture and strawberry flavor. Alternatively, you can spread the cake with some strawberry jam!

Please note that this cake can get messy really fast. So make sure to chill the cream before topping the cake base and assemble just before serving for the best result.  

Here is my full video recipe that shows you how easy it is to decorate like I did. But you're also welcome to do a simple layer of cream and top with the strawberries. 

How to store this crostata: 

To store any uneaten portions, simply place the dessert into an airtight container and refrigerate.  It'll keep well for a couple of days, but trust me—it probably won't last that long!

Other Italian dessert recipes you might like:

My NEW Cookbook

PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD: Italian Soft Crostata with Crema Pasticciera and Strawberry Sauce

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