Thursday, May 10, 2012 / 35 Comments / , , , ,

Easier than Pie: Balsamic Strawberry Crostata with Mascarpone Cream and Pistachios


Yesterday the girls and I went on an adventure down to McGrath Family Farm in Camarillo.  I was familiar with the McGrath farm from their spot at our farmers market, and recently heard that they invite the public to pick strawberries. We had so much fun blueberry picking last summer that I knew it was a trip we couldn't miss. Though I'm not sure how normal it is to drive 45 minutes for strawberries, the experience was well worth it. 
McGrath Family Farm far exceeded my expectations. The shop was filled with organic produce and stunning displays of flowers. The man working in the shop was so friendly and made us feel like we were part of the McGrath family. The girls picked strawberries to their hearts' content and then played with the resident rabbit, Levi. Next time we will bring a picnic and have lunch at the picnic tables.
The drive home was not quite as much fun. I'm a nervous driver to begin with. Then add an overtired 2-year-old who decides to scream at the top of her lungs for the last 30 minutes of the drive. Not pleasant. When we got home and L had her nap, B and I decided we needed to make a quick and easy treat with our berries. A rustic crostata was the answer. I love rustic desserts - the beauty is in the imperfection. And since I just can't get enough of balsamic vinegar with sweet strawberries, we doused our berries in it. B sliced the strawberries, mixed in the balsamic, and arranged the berries on the pastry. The mascarpone cream and pistachios take just an extra minute and are definitely necessary.
Make this recipe when strawberries are very ripe and sweet.  Like now.
 This is the perfect effortless Mother's Day dessert. If you still haven't gotten the mummy in your life a gift, just use this recipe and you'll be good to go. 

Happy Mother's Day to all my sweet mommy friends. I hope you get spoiled rotten this Sunday. Or at least get a few minutes of relaxation. Those two are pretty much the same thing anyway, right?

Oh, and guess what! We were nominated for the top 25 Foodie Moms of 2012 by Circle of Moms! 
Please click the badge above or click here and vote for Yummy Mummy! You can vote once a day. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 


Balsamic Strawberry Crostata 
Serves 4 

1 prepared pie crust (I cheated and used Trader Joe's, but my favorite is Martha's pate brisee
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar 

1 egg 
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

1 cup whipping cream 
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese 
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons chopped roasted pistachios

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
Gently toss strawberries with balsamic in a medium bowl. 
Roll dough on a piece of parchment paper into a roughly 12-inch disk. Place strawberries in the center of dough, leaving about 3" boarder. Fold dough boarder over edge of strawberries. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush egg wash over folded-over dough. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over top of dough and berries. Slide parchment and crostata onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until crust is golden brown. Cool slightly or to room temperature. 

In the bowl of a mixer, beat whipping cream, mascarpone, and confectioners sugar until mixture holds stiff peaks like whipped cream.

Cut crostata into wedges and top with a dollop of cream and a sprinkle of pistachios.

Linking to At the Picket Fence
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