Today I’ve decided to work from my terrace in the sun and write the blog outside for the first time of the year. Despite the virus terrorising our country (countries), we still try to enjoy staying home as much as we can and have discovered that it’s more a mental game than anything else. To give us something to do and calm our nerves we’ve started baking, like many other Italians. If you check my boyfriend’s facebook account hundreds of posts with different kinds of cakes and pizza’s are appearing. Where some nations hoarded toiletpaper, Italians hoarded flour and yeast. Not because they thought the nation would run out of it soon, but because they wanted to do something nice, which according to Italian standards, has everything to do with cooking and baking.

Below you’ll find our recipe for the crostata (a typically Italian cake), based on the following recipe https://ricette.giallozafferano.it/Crostata-alla-confettura-di-albicocche.html

(This cake was entirely created by my boyfriend, I only enjoyed it):
Ingredients: (10 portions) oven dish of 28 cm + plastic foil
For the dough:
300 grams of flour
60 grams of raw sugar
60 grams of agave sirup / honey
1 tsp of vanilla powder (not vanilla sugar!)
180 grams of butter (needs to be a little bit soft, so put it out of the fridge for a couple of hours before you start)
2 eggs
Lemon zest of half a lemon (check if these are bio lemons, otherwise you cannot use the skin)
2 – 3 tbsp of (oatmeal)milk
1 tsp of salt (salt is really important in a sweet recipe as I’ve been told various times. It brings out the sweetness more, which means you can use less sugar)

For the filling:
300 grams of marmalade (choose any type you like, just make sure that it is more than fifty per cent fruit, preferably more than 70 per cent, or do the marmalade yourself)
Lemon zest of half a lemon

Preparation:
1.Put the butter in a bowl, add the sugar, the vanilla powder and the lemon zest. Mix this slowly while adding the honey.
2.In another bowl you can put the two eggs, the milk and some salt and mix this as well (using a fork would be enough).
3.Add everything together in one bowl and mix it until it becomes one paste.
4.Start adding the flour. Not all at once. It’s better to divide it in two and add a portion one at a time. Mix everything together with the flour. The dough that you’ve created now should be soft, but not sticky.
5.Put some flour on the kitchen counter and flatten the dough a little bit by using a rolling pin or an empty bottle.
6.Take som plastic foil, add some flour onto it and onto the dough and wrap it around the dough. Then put it in the fridge for either the entire night, or at least for four hours.
7.Add the marmelade into a bowl together with the lemon zest and mix the two with a spoon.
8.Take the dough out of the fridge, remove the plastic foil and put it on a counter sprinkled with flour. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on the dough.

Use the rolling pin or an empty bottle to flatten it and create a big round shape (it might be wise to put some flour on your rolling pin or bottle).
9.Put the oven dish on your stretched out dough and cut the dough around it. The leftover pieces of dough you’ll need later.
10.Butter the oven dish and put a sprinkle of flour in it before adding the round thin shape of dough to the dish.
11.Turn on the oven to 165 degrees C.
12.Take a fork to make a couple of tiny holes in the dough before adding the marmalade. Spread the marmalade evenly, leaving approximately a cm of space between the side of the oven dish and the marmalade.
13.Recover the rest of the dough, cut nice stripes (1 cm wide) and create a pattern by first putting stripes of dough horizontally on the marmalade and then diagonally.
14.You should still have some dough left with which you create a nice border around the cake. Then take the bottom of a knife, fork or spoon and put some soft pressure with it on the dough, creating small dents all across the border.
15.Put the cake into the oven and let it bake for 45 minutes.

Enjoy your crostata!

From Italy with love,

Merel

p.s. all steps are important in this recipe, don’t underestimate this. Also the quality of your marmalade is important. We were so lucky to get homemade plum marmalade from my boyfriend’s parents.