A crostata or galette, depending on where you are from is a rustic dessert. It consists of pie dough wrapped around fresh fruit and baked to delicious goodness. In my book and in my head, I consider blueberry crostata a “healthy” dessert, since it is mostly fruit, right? Right! You can use a variety of fruits such as peaches, apples, pears or blackberries. Remember, a recipe is just a suggestion! I love making blueberry crostata because without being a good baker I was successful the very first time! YAY. Even my husband who is the designated baker in the family was impressed with my blueberry crostata. I think I will try another fruit next time. Actually I think I will try peaches since they are coming in season.
Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits. I eat them almost every day, probably about 1/2 cup a day. Yes, I keep the blueberry growers in business. Even in the wintertime when they become a bit expensive, I bite the bullet and buy them. The way I look at it is I am doing something good for my health. Blueberries contain antioxidants which are helpful in reducing the risk of some types of cancer. This time of year, however, they are starting to become a bit expensive. Something to consider also, studies have shown that even after being frozen, blueberries do not lose much of their nutritional value.
Blueberries are native to North America. Their origin goes back thousands of years. When Europeans arrived in America, they discovered that the Native Americans were harvesting blueberries year round. They were using the little blue fruit in everything from soup to stews to folk medicine. Also, it is believed that Native Americans were the first to make a sweet baked good using blueberries. This was basically a pudding of sorts made from blueberries and cracked corn.
Blueberry crostata is the perfect ending to a traditional European dinner or a simple summer meal. The amazing crispy texture of the crust and the sweetness of the blueberries make for great contrast in texture. The crostata will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 days.
Here is a rustic and easy recipe that is great to make during berry season! The dough comes together quickly and this can be ready for a picnic or gathering fast.
*Neufchatel is in essence a low fat cream cheese
- Preheat oven to 375'F.
- Prepare the filling: In a bowl place blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Mix well and place in the refrigerator.
- In a separate bowl, mix the cheese with milk and the egg and place in the refrigerator.
- For the dough: In a food processor place flour, salt, sugar and vinegar until combined. Add butter and egg wash and continue to pulse until mixture forms a ball. Remove from the food processor and flatten out on a floured surface with the palm of your hand. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface to create a 12" circle.
- With a spatula spread cream cheese around the circle leaving a 2" border.
- Scoop blueberry mix on top of the cream cheese mixture and bring up two pieces of dough at a time making sure you pinch well where the dough pieces touch each other.
- Brush the crust with egg wash and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes.