Cherry Crostata & Tart Cherry Preserves


Recipe from Sanford D'Amato

The crust for this crostata can be made a day ahead. If the dough has been chilled, leave it on the counter for about 30 minutes to soften before rolling. The technique of rolling the crust over sugar and then baking it on a sugar-lined baking sheet results in a candied, crisp, caramelized crust that stays crunchy for days after baking. Feel free to use this crust recipe for any fruit tart.

If you don't have time to make the tart cherry preserves you can substitute 2 cups of purchased preserves, just make sure they are very chunky and full of fruit. Bake the crostata on a parchment-lined baking sheet or you run the risk of not being able to lift the tart off the pan after it's baked!

Cherry Crostata

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup semolina

10 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut in 1/2 inch cubes

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons cold water

1 egg, beaten and divided (set 2 tablespoons aside for dough and the rest for glaze)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon heavy cream

granulated sugar for sprinkling on the tart

2 cups cherry preserves


Toss the flour, semolina, butter and salt in a bowl enough to just coat the butter cubes. Add to a food processor and pulse quickly, about 30 times, until butter is the size of very small peas.

Mix the water with 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg. With the machine running, add to the flour mixture until the dough just comes together – do not over mix. Remove dough from the processor onto a work surface. Flour your hands and form the dough into a cohesive 5-inch-diameter circle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for a half hour.

Preheat your oven to 425°.

Roll out dough, with about 1/4 cup sugar on your work surface, into a 1/8-inch-thick by 13-inch-diameter circle.

Line a cookie sheet or sheet pan with parchment or a nonstick pan liner. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar in a 10-inch circle on the parchment and center the dough over the sugar. Spoon the Tart Cherry Preserves in the center of the dough and spread evenly to within 2 inches of the edge. Pleat the edge of the dough just over the edge of the preserves toward the center of the crostata so the fruit shows in center. Refrigerate the assembled crostata for 15 minutes.

Mix the remaining beaten egg with the heavy cream and brush the pleated top edge of dough. Lightly sprinkle sugar over the egg wash. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden, caramelized and crispy. (Check after 10 minutes and lower to 375° if the tart is getting too dark.) Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 1 (10-inch) crostata.

Tart Cherry Preserves

This recipe is also fabulous on a breakfast scone or spooned over yogurt. Store any unused preserves in the refrigerator and use them within 2 weeks.

2 lbs pitted tart cherries or IQF (individually quick frozen) tart cherries, thawed

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

spice bag filled with:

 1 (5-inch) sprig rosemary

2 bay leaves 1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon

1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns

Place all of the ingredients in a skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring regularly, with a heatproof spatula for about 15 minutes. Strain into a bowl, remove and discard the spice bag, then add the liquid back to the pan. Continue cooking the liquid, stirring regularly as liquid dissipates to a preserve consistency. Add the cherries back in and continue cooking and stirring until there is no runny liquid, but not to the point where it is dry (to a preserve consistency). Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed.

Yield: Approximately 2 cups.