CROSTATA! - Daring Baker's Challenge - Nov 2010


The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

This month we were challenged to make "Pasta Frolla" which is very, very similar to the pastry dough I use for the very popular Brazilian "empadas". Therefore, I was quite comfortable working with it. 

Simona wanted us to make a sweet Crostata with any filling we wanted. So, I chose a very easy lime filling that doesn't require cooking or baking and is getting more and more popular in Brazil. I used the pastry recipe provided for the challenge but had to add a little bit of flour, I don't know exactly if it was due to the different flour in Brazil or to the hot day I chose to make it. But in the end it worked out fine and it was delicious. 

I also made a savory version omitting the sugar and lemon zest from the dough. This time I didn't have to add  flour. It came together beautifully. I wanted to make an eggplant filling and googled for eggplant crostata... believe  it or not, I found one!! By the way, an EXCELLENT one! Thanks, Chef Dennis, for sharing! I followed the filling recipe almost to a T, but used the challenge Pasta Frolla provided by Simona. I also made a free form crostata for the first time and I loved this variation.

Pasta Frolla

100g (1/2 cup) superfine sugar
235g (1 3/4 cups) all purpose flour (I used 2 cups)
a pinch of salt
115g cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon (I used lime)
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten

Whisk together sugar, flour, lemon zest and salt.
Rub butter into the flour until crumbly. You can use a food processor for this task.
Add egg mixture (great tip: you may want to save a little bit of this mixture for brushing the dough later)
Work with your fingers until the dough comes together into a ball.Shape the dough into a flat disc and refrigerate, wrapped in plastic, for at least 2 hours or overnight.

For savory Pasta Frolla, I omitted the sugar and lemon zest, and didn't have to add extra flour.


Lime Crostata

For this tiny flower shaped lime crostata, I used a homemade cookie cutter 

I rolled the dough as for cookies, cut out the flower shapes and laid them over upside down metal cups that had been previously greased (only where the dough reached). I pricked the dough with a fork. You don't have to force the sides down, this will happen naturally with the heat of the oven. I learned this clever technique HERE.

I baked them in a preheated oven at 180°C for approximately 20 minutes. I removed when they just started to get golden. They popped out of the cup easily and this is how they looked:

I loved this technique because it's a blind baking that doesn't require lining with parchment and filling with pie weights. And the result was even better than I thought it would be. 


1 can (395g) sweetened condensed milk
200g heavy cream (can be UHT)
3 medium limes 
zest of one lime (optional if you want to intensify the flavor)

Combine all the ingredients using a whisk, but you don't have to beat it. Set aside for about 30 minutes. You will notice that it will thicken. Fill the cooled shells. Refrigerate until ready to serve. EASY AS THAT!



Eggplant Crostata

Pasta Frolla (above) from which I omitted sugar and lemon zest

4 cups of raw Eggplant cut into cubes 
3 cloves of garlic sliced
4 stems of fresh oregano
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Brazilian fresh white cheese (Queijo Minas)
1 Large Tomato sliced 
1 Tablespoon Chopped Basil
1 oz shredded Mozzarella
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Add Eggplant and sliced Garlic into a large bowl and lightly coat with extra virgin Olive Oil. You need the oil to properly cook the eggplant but you do not want it to be greasy! 

Fresh oregano:

Place your eggplant into a baking dish, season with sea salt, black pepper and the fresh oregano, place in a 180°C (350°F) oven for about 20 minutes, until eggplant is tender. Set aside to cool.

After eggplant has cooled, add in the fresh white cheese.

Roll out the Pasta Frolla into a circle between two sheets of parchment paper.

 Peel the upper paper off and place the roasted eggplant mixture and top with  fresh chopped basil.

Add tomato slices and fold dough over.

Brush with that little bit of egg mixture you saved from the dough (the great tip!)

Drizzle tomatoes with a little extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 180°C (350°F), or until your dough has a nice color to it. When your Crostata's are about 5 minutes from being done, top each tomato slice with some shredded mozzarella cheese.

When the cheese is nicely melted remove from the oven, and sprinkle a little chopped basil on top of the cheese. Serve immediately !

You have absolutely NO IDEA how good this eggplant Crostata is. If you like eggplant, you should definitely give it a try! Congratulations Chef Denis for this WONDERFUL recipe, and thanks a lot for sharing!!

Thanks to Simona of briciole for this fantastic challenge!!

If you want to see the many wonderful creations the Daring Bakers have come up with, please visit THE DARING KITCHEN. This challenge has produced countless Crostatas of all shapes and flavors, worth a visit! There, you can also find the original recipes for this challenge.


  1. What beautiful crostata you created for this challenge. I completely applaud your creativity with how you crafted the shells for the sweet crostata, and am inspired by your savory version. As always, beautiful photos of some truly inspiring work.

  2. I love your sweet and savory crostatas! You did a beautiful job!

  3. I love love love your sweet version.. the lime custard filling you made looked so delectable, and the way you designed and baked your crust is simply adorable; it made your crostata look so dainty!♥ and for the savoury, perfect choice of filling.. i love the combination of flavour, something i would love to eat.

  4. Oh yum! The sweet version looks sweet and refreshing, I would love to try the filling. And the eggplant crostata is making me drool...excellent job!

  5. They both look wonderful but I think it's the savoury one I really wish I could taste! What a delicious idea for the filling and I love the freeform style. Yum!

  6. Both of them look fabulous and the step by step photos are a joy. The eggplant one is calling my name and the photos are stunning well done on this challenge. Your posting of the free form crostata really helped the forum members a lot I might add. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  7. I love your little mini lime tarts they look beautiful and even though I don't normally care for eggplant I think your savory version might be able to tempt me.

    Loving your homemade cookie cutters, so so smart.

  8. I love your sweet and savory crostatas! You did a wonderful job! love the sweet version i want some yumm!

  9. Absolutely stunning...hung to every word you wrote Renata. I think the flower cups idea is BRILLIANT! Thank you for sharing it, and the savoury one too. I love both , and now wanna bake again!

  10. My mouth is watering just looking at your freeform aubergine crostata. Absolutely stunning! Your little lime tarts are so beautiful as well. I can't get over how perfect the little flower pastry shells look. Fabulous job on this challenge, Renata!

  11. Great job on both your crostate, Renata! I especially love the lime one--that is a favourite filling of mine, as it works with passion fruit too. The flower tarts are gorgeous!

  12. The lime crostata sounds divine! And that cookie cutter tip is pure genius :)

  13. The little flowers are so beautiful and I love that blind baking trick. The lime filling sounds divine! Excellent work, as usual!

  14. I had read that a crostata is usually made free form and your eggplant crostata looks delicious. So rustic and inviting. And those little flowers are just sooooo cute!

  15. You lime crostata looks really delightful and the aubergine delicious! You bake with beautiful artistry. Excellent work!

  16. Luscious looking! That savory crostata looks so delicious, and the little flowers are adorable. What a clever technique! Thanks for sharing it.

  17. I feel in love with your little flower crostatine when I saw them at the forum. :) You have done a great job with challenge too, as always, Renata.

  18. I am so hungry for the eggplant crostata...wow! The little lime ones are so lovely!

  19. I love the look of both your savoury and swwet versions and adore the lovely flower-shaped tart shells that you made for your sweet version. Perfect!

  20. Great crostate! I love the little ones with lime :-)

  21. Both your crostate look so yummy! I particularly love the savory one! Great work, as usual :-)!

  22. Those look delicious! I love your technique for the sweet tarts and your savory one looks so good that I think I'm ready for lunch. Nice job on the challenge!

  23. Such a beautifully done challenge! I LOVE the idea you had to make your mini crostatas with the flower cookie cutter! So cute! Both versions sound absolutely declicious. My mouth is watering looking at the photos!

  24. I just love how pretty the little flowers look, and how easy they are to make (if you have the right implements, of course :-) ). You did a wonderful job, both the sweet and savory versions sound equally delish. Can't wait to see what you'll bake next!

  25. Thank you for stopping by my blog and giving me the chance to discover yours. What a lovely blog and this month's crostata - OH, your lime crostata look amazing. Your pics are gorgeous. Brava!

  26. Renata, the small line crostata are beautiful--thanks for the clever idea about baking them upside down. And a no bake filling is a real plus, too. I suppose you could do the same filling with orange or lemon instead.

  27. What a clever idea using the cookie cutters and cups to make the small crostata crusts! Both the sweet and the savoury look delicious, well done :)

  28. I love the flower-shape mini crostatas! They're so cute :) I've never tried a lime filling before and your looks delicious - gotta try it one day :)

  29. My mouth is watering, Renata! And just today I decided I must diet! Oh, well, try again another day! I have eggplants growing so that will be the next crostata I will make. We make that sweet filling also but it is old Australian style cooking and now fancier cheesecake have taken their place. Thanks for reminding me - I do really love that filling and with lime rather than lemon it must be so good. Oh, and I have more to say... the idea of making the flower cups is Brilliant!!! Great post!

  30. Gorgeous work renata! I love, love, love that little upside down baking tip. Imagine, i could do it on a muffin pan and get 6 (or 12) in one go! I am definitely trying that out soon.

  31. What beautiful baking. I'm especially impressed by your savory crostatas -- they look delicious!

  32. Although they both look wonderful I have to go with your sweet version....sooo cute! Thank you for commenting on mine. I'm sorry I could not get to yours sooner.

  33. The lime crostata looks so lovely! The eggplant crostata sounds delicious--like ratatouille in a tart. I'm going to try your recipe as soon as my garden is warm enough to grow eggplant and tomatoes again. =)

  34. Renata, I could eat that gorgeous eggplant crostata all by myself. However, I wouldn't because I would need room for a few of those adorable lime crostatas. I LOVE that you make your own cookie cutters (I paid 6 bucks for a flower cutter just like that!). Beautiful, beautiful job!!

  35. I like what you made, especially those lovely flower-shaped crostatine.


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