Welcome to my BlogSpot. I have created this blog in hopes of inspiring everyone to cook. I have found my inspiration from living in both Southern and Northern California. My influences in flavors have come from family recipes and meals with emphasis on healthy foods, marrying into an Italian family and the ethnic flavors throughout California. There are so many wonderful memories connected to our family dishes as well as new memories in the dishes that have been recently created. My husband, Randy who is recently retired, has been my biggest supporter and inspiration in our kitchen. He is my taster, my sous chef, and has created some really great dishes himself, which will be added to this blog. It is my hope that you too will be inspired to cook and create your own dishes for your loved ones and enjoy the craft of cooking.

One thing I ask of you is if you print out, email and pass out my recipes, please include my name and link.

Be sure to check out my Sweaty Equities blog about the ups and downs of crafty projects and our DIY remodels.
You can find it at http://sweatyequities.blogspot.com/

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fresh Plum Crostata

One day we were watching Giada De Laurentiis on Food Network and she made a beautiful Apricot Crostata. We immediately went to the store and got the ingredients and enjoyed it that evening. The crust was flakey, buttery and wonderful and the dish itself was savory and sweet at the same time. It paired beautifully with Sauvignon Blanc. In June 2011, I made Apricot Crostata for my daughter’s baby shower as well and it quickly disappeared.
This summer we have an abundance of plums so I decided to make the Crostata with the plums instead of the apricots and twist it up a little. It was even better than the Apricot. There are so many wonderful things you can do with Giada's wonderful Crostata crust. I think I’ll just keep coming up with more fillings. Stay tuned.
Fresh Plum Crostata
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cold, butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup cold mascarpone cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

  • 2 cups plums, sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch.
  • 8 ounces Fontina cheese, rind removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Set aside:
  • 1 egg, beaten with ½ teaspoon water
Crust: Add the flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is finely chopped and the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the mascarpone cheese and lemon juice and pulse a few times. Add the ice water and run the machine just until the mixture is moist and crumbly, but does not form a ball. Do not over mix. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Press into a disk, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Filling: In a medium bowl, combine the Plums, Pecans, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt and honey. Stir in the corn starch and carefully blend until all the ingredients are coated. Stir in the cheese.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Put the chilled dough on a floured, non stick flat cookie sheet. Lightly flour the top of the dough. Roll the dough into an 11-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Put the plum filling in the center of the dough, spreading evenly, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the dough border over the filling to form an 8-inch round. Pleat the edges of the pastry and pinch to seal any cracks in the dough. Using a pastry brush, brush the crust with the beaten egg.

Bake until the crust starts to turn golden, about 15 to 18 minutes. Cover the crostata loosely with a piece of foil and cook until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted, another 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the crostata from the oven and allow to cool somewhat. Place on a cutting board and slice with a large sharp knife. Arrange on a serving dish.