Saturday, 31 October 2015

Wholewheat crostata and some news

Wholewheat crostata

Well, if there are two or three people wondering where I've been lately and why I'm not posting regularly on the blog, I finally want to tell that some important changes are happening in my life.
Please don't worry, it's nothing bad, just something that took most of my time in the last two months and probably will still take it in the next future.
The news is that, after almost two years in Dubai, me and my family just came back to Italy; and exactly for the same reason why we had moved to Dubai two years ago: my husband work. Something we were somehow prepared to, even if we were getting used to Dubai lifestyle and for sure we'll miss it a bit.

To be honest I would have much preferred to cook, take and edit pictures, write recipes and posts rather than doing what I actually did in the last two months, that is in random order: meeting with moving companies for relocating all of our things back to Italy (and realizing how much stuff is possible to accumulate in just two years is quite shocking), finding a school for my son (actually two, as most likely we are going to move from where we are now), make a selection of things to leave back or throw away, wrapping all our clothes and other stuff in plastic covers to protect them during the travel, getting some refunds for activities paid in advance (this apparently easy task was actually a tough one), preparing the luggage to carry with us (one of which almost full of food, of course), meeting with friends to say bye (this was the best part actually, even if the saddest one and even if I didn't have the time to see all the people I would have loved to). And the daily routine? Almost the same as before, of course ...

Luckily, despite all the things to arrange before leaving, we were able to make a long weekend trip to Muscat, in Oman, where I had never been before; and I am very glad we did, as I had the opportunity to relax and enjoy a really beautiful place that I strongly recommend to visit especially to those living in Dubai or the UAE.

And now we are in Italy, still in a temporary accommodation in a (most likely) temporary city.

I just want to reassure my few readers that I'm not going to quit blogging, as I like it too much.
But probably in the next future I still won't be able to be as present as I used to be, and for reasons you can easily guess: finding a new house  (what a tough job!), all our stuff arriving soon from Dubai (I do not want to think about it), my son settling in the second - the third considering also the Dubai school - new school (poor boy), rediscovering the city (which city I don't know yet; the only certain thing is that it will be one out of two, both of which I've already lived in, even if for a very different number of years), reconnecting with people and friends, getting into a new routine,

Well, I'll try to keep you updated on the progress of my relocation in my home country, as well as to share some of my Italian life.
In the meantime I leave a recipe that I had in my archives: a jam crostata with a wholemeal shortcrust pastry base, very rustic and very tasty.
Wholewheat crostata

As I've said before, I have a sort of passion  for crostata, I love experimenting new combinations of flours, sugars and fats and alternating consolidated recipes and new ones (on the blog you can find some of my crostata here).
The recipe I am about to share has a shortcrust pastry made with 50% wholewheat flour and unrefined cane sugar which both give a rustic texture and a very pleasant flavor. It's not very sweet so feel free to increase the amount of sugar if you have a really sweet tooth (maximum 20 grams though).
It would be nice to use a homemade jam for the filling. In any case I recommend to use a jam made with at least 60% fruit (organic if possible) and sugar cane or a natural sweetener (like apple juice), to reduce the amount of added sugar.
The same pastry can be used also with other fillings: custard and fruit, chocolate ganache, lemon or orange curd or whatever you like.
Being made with a part of wholemeal flour, the pastry is quite delicate and may be difficult to handle; if so, you can roll it between two sheets of lightly floured baking paper and use the same paper to transfer the rolled dough into the tart pan.
Hope to talk to you soon!
Wholewheat crostata

Wholewheat jam crostata
makes one 20 cm Æ tarte  
125 g wholewheat flour
125 g cake flour
125 g butter, chilled and cubed
90 g granulated unrefined cane sugar
1 whole medium egg 
1 yolks
zest of 1/2 large lemon (organic, not waxed, if possible)
seed of 1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
pinch of salt
your favorite jam or marmalade (about 250 g for one 20 Æ cm tarte)
Place the flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add in the cubed butter and, using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until you get a crumbly mixture and there are no more visible pieces of butter.  Mix in the sugar and then lemon zest.  Lightly beat the egg yolks and whole egg with a pinch of salt and the vanilla seeds or extract. Using a knife or your fingers, mix the beaten eggs into the flour - butter mixture until the pastry comes together into a ball.
When preparing the pastry it is important that everything is cold: keep your hands cool, or use the blades of two knives or a pastry scrapers for mixing the ingredients; alternatively ingredients can be mixed using a food processor.
Once the dough comes into a ball, wrap it in plastic film and refrigerated for one day (or anyway for at least 1 hour).
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Take the dough out of the fridge and, on a lightly floured counter, rapidly work then roll out about 2/3 of the pastry  to 5 mm thickness;  gently transfer the rolled pastry to a buttered and floured 20 cm round tart pan cutting out the excess pastry (I recommend to make a thicker border for the tart by rolling the excess pastry into a thin rope, then placing it around the edges of the tart pan).
Prick the base with a fork and fill it with jam.
Roll out the excess pastry and cut into strips, about 1cm wide and place them over the top to create a lattice.
Bake at 180°C for about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden on top.
Let cool in the pan (when hot the pastry is very fragile) before transferring to a serving plate.
Wholewheat crostata

1 comment:

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