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Crostata di Visciole (Cherry Crostata)
From Food Festivals of Italy, by Leonardo Curti and James O. Fraioli


For the Pasta Frolla Sweet Italian Pastry

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup butter, cold and cubed
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest

For the Cherry Filling

5 cups pitted fresh cherries
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Egg Wash

1 egg
1 Tbsp water


Spray an 11-inch fluted round tart pan with a removable bottom with nonstick spray and then line with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 350F (175C).

In a food processor, add flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder; whisk to blend. Add butter and pulse about ten times. Turn mixer on and add eggs, vanilla, and zest and then pulse until it looks grainy. Turn out on a clean surface and knead into a ball; cut in half and shape into two 5-inch disks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Remove dough 5 to 10 minutes before rolling time.

Roll out 1 piece of dough on a lightly floured surface, into a 12-inch circle. Trim edges, slightly, before lifting and placing over pan. Let edges hang over loosely. Roll out second dough into an oblong shape at least 12 x 14 inches. With a fluted pastry wheel, make 1-inch-long strips lengthwise to make twelve 1-inch strips.

In a bowl, mix together the cherry filling ingredients and then pour into tart pan with the dough. Brush the dough strips and edge of tart with egg wash, then in a lattice design, lay 6 strips down in one direction, 1-inch apart from each other. Then on an angle, lay the remaining 6 strips on top of previous strips. Press down to seal edges and remove any dough hanging off sides of pan.

Place tart on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until golden and bubbly; let cool. Garnish with powdered sugar before serving.

Yield: Serves 8

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