Filled with strawberries with a hint of balsamic, this Balsamic Strawberry Crostata is a fresh, simple summer pastry.
I look forward to strawberry season all year. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved heading to the strawberry patch with my mom to fill up mixing bowls with fresh berries. Filling a bowl was a big task, since I ate as many berries as I added to my bowl, obviously.
This year I was even more excited to get out berry picking, since I was able to share the tradition with Annie. Granted, she’s a little young to really appreciate the experience, but I have photo evidence that she was there!
Taking a newborn into a field to pick strawberries might not have been my best idea, but Annie made it easy on me and slept the entire time. I just plopped her carseat in the row and moved it along as I picked. I have a feeling that next year might be a little more difficult. 😉 This year, however, I was able to pick several pounds of strawberries in under an hour, filling up a large roasting pan.
Of course when you go strawberry picking, the first thing you have to do is make shortcake. I wish I had some great homemade recipe to share for strawberry shortcake, but I really don’t know how you can beat good old Bisquick, so that’s what we use.
After devouring our shortcakes, I made two batches of freezer jelly, used fresh berries on my breakfast yogurt every morning for a week, grabbed handfuls for snacks here and there, and we still had lots of berries left. The bummer about picking lots of strawberries is that eventually they are going to go bad, so you have to use them fast!
To use up the last of the stash, I considered making a strawberry pie, but the thought of pie making is enough to bring on a small anxiety attack. Yes, I’ve literally been brought to tears by a pie crust. No matter what recipe or technique I use, I’m never able to get the crust into a pie plate intact.
Enter the strawberry crostata! Basically a rustic version of a pie, the beauty of a crostata is that you simply roll out the crust, plop in the filling and fold over the edges. No transferring to a plate, no crimping the edge, no tears.
The filling is equally simple; fresh berries, a little balsamic to up the flavor, cornstarch to thicken. Easier than pie!
Note that this recipe is technically enough for 4-6 people, but we found that two people can easily polish it off in one night. A little scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side doesn’t hurt, either. 😉