It’s finally spring, which means more veggies, colorful fruits, and sunshine on my skin and my tastebuds! Right on cue, Ina Garten posted her Raspberry Rhubarb Crostata on Instagram. (This is a recipe from her 2016 cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey.) It’s a gorgeous sight to behold: The golden crust, the vibrant raspberries and rhubarb, and the sweet syrup bursting through the edges. I obviously needed to replicate it, stat.
In her Instagram post, Ina says the best way to enjoy in-season fruits is on a crostata. “Peach in summer, apple in winter, but my favorite spring dessert is a Raspberry Rhubarb Crostata. The rhubarb is tart, the raspberries are sweet, and it all comes together in a buttery crisp crust. I hope you like it as much as I do!!” I did! My whole family did! Even though I only used raspberries for this recipe (rhubarb isn’t available where I live yet), it was the ray I sunshine I needed to kick off spring.
What Is a Crostata?
A crostata is like an open-faced flat pie. Love pie, but think it’s fussy and difficult to make? Try your hand at a crostata—it is rustic, free-form, and so much simpler to make.
To make a crostata, a single crust of buttery pie dough is rolled out into a large circle. The center is typically filled with some sort of fruit mixture (in Ina’s recipe, she has rhubarb and raspberries tossed with orange zest, sugar, and cornstarch), though savory toppings are common too. The border is then folded inward to create a barrier that keeps the filling from flowing out. No need for expert crimping skills to create the border—it’s okay if the edges are jagged and the angles awkward. Instead of transferring the crostata into a pie dish, bake it on a sheet pan. Does the filling leak out while it bakes? That’s okay! Remember: it’s supposed to be rustic.
A Tip for Rolling Out Crostata Dough
Ina’s recipe for the dough calls for flour, sugar, salt, butter, and ice-cold water. You pulse the ingredients in a food processor until they come together and then divide the dough into two portions: one for now, one for later. Trust me, you’ll be so glad to have an extra piece of dough for later. This crostata is that good!
Ina recommends rolling the dough on a lightly floured surface and transferring it onto a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. When I roll the dough, I like to do it right on the sheet pan. That way I don’t have to clean my counter before and after. Also, I won’t risk the dough sticking to my counter and tearing.
Can you use store-bought pie dough? Absolutely! Though nothing beats a buttery homemade crostata crust, store-bought is fine. Buy one that you unroll—like our favorite one from Trader Joe’s—not the crust that comes pre-crimped in a tinned pie pan.
By the time you enjoy Ina’s crostata with raspberries and rhubarb, peak-summer strawberries and blackberries will come, then peaches and plums followed by fall fruits like apples, pears, and figs. Looks like we’ll be making crostata all year round. Thanks, Ina!