Strawberry Rhubarb Crostata


We finally have a glorious, warm summer weekend here in Sonoma County. After weeks of unseasonal rain, the garden was sluggish. Once the rain finally cleared and the heat arrived, our strawberries began their march from green to ruby red. The difference between a home grown strawberry and supermarket bought is astounding. Home grown, or farmer’s market strawberries are smaller, sweeter, and taste more like, well, strawberries! Supermarket strawberries are gargantuan, cottony and don’t taste very intense at all. If I have to use a supermarket strawberry, I doctor them up with sugar to bring out their sweetness; not necessary with home grown.

Yesterday, my son Brian and I headed out with baskets in hand to pick strawberries for an early summer dessert. Between what we ate out of hand, it was a miracle we had enough for the crostata!

This crostata has a freeform crust and the filling blends sweet strawberries with tart and juicy rhubarb. I love it paired with an ice cold glass of Hanna Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc. The honeyed sweetness of the dessert wine complements the buttery crust and enhances the sweetness of the fruit filling.

INGREDIENTS
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
7 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks
3 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
4 cups of strawberries, hulled and halved
2 stalks of rhubarb, cut on the diagonal crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
juice of half a lemon
2 teaspoons cornstarch

To assemble crostata:

1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar



DIRECTIONS

For the crust:

Blend flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add butter and pulse to combine, until mixture looks like coarse sand. Add ice water and pulse until mixture begins to come together.  Turn dough out onto a floured surface and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Dough will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

For the filling:

Combine fruit, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch in a large bowl and toss gently to combine. Let stand 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove dough from the refrigerator. Roll dough out on a floured surface into a 12 inch circle with even thickness. Place dough onto a sheet of parchment paper placed on a sheet pan. Pile fruit filling in the middle of the circle, then fold the edges of the dough up around the fruit, pinching to make a seam every two inches or so.

Brush the edge of the crostata liberally with beaten egg, then sprinkle edges with turbinado sugar. Bake for 45-50 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Serves 6-8.



WINE PAIRING

Serve with Hanna Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc.