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At first glance, the rustic crostata looks like a buttery and flaky biscuit, but in this recipe, it is so much more! Pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac uses this classic Italian pastry as a substantial base for hiding premium Luxardo cherries in between fruity layers of fresh plums and cherry jam. A quintessential made-in-Italy delight, these classic cherries are the main ingredients in a sweet-tart fruit filling that’s to-die-for delicious.

Using the original recipe from the 19th century, Luxardo cherries are nothing like the bright colored cocktail cherries you’ve seen garnishing Manhattans or ice cream sundaes. Made with handpicked fruit and preserved in Marasca syrup, Luxardo cherries have a tender, meaty texture and the sweet, slightly tangy flavor of real fruit. At Supermarket Italy, we offer the 6-pack of these deluxe cherries, which is perfect for making crostata as gifts for friends and family.

Ingredients:

Pastry

1 stick unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup buttermilk

Filling

1 cup black plums, pitted and halved in small wedges

1/4 cherry jam

3 tablespoons of Luxardo cherries, finely chopped

3 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for dusting

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons heavy cream, for brushing

Topping

Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)

Directions:

The Pastry

1.In a large bowl or food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter. When it resembles the shape of peas, add buttermilk and blend until a dough forms. Pat into a 1-inch disk, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2.Place a piece of parchment paper on the counter and lightly dust with flour. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 14 inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Then transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

The Filling

1.In a large bowl, mix together cherries, plums, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

2.Preheat the oven to 425°. In the center of the double round, evenly spread the cherry jam, leaving about 3 inches around the edge. Top with alternating layers of Luxardo cherries and plums. Then fold over the edges of the dough to make a square, making sure to leave the center exposed. Brush the dough with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.

3.Bake for 15 minutes, then bake at 375° for another 30 minutes or until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling and slightly runny. Transfer to a cooling rack and let sit until warm.

4.Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and bon appétito!

Pro Tip: For a freshly baked dessert that’s easy as pie, make the dough ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Keep it fresh by wrapping the dough in a double layer of parchment paper and foil.

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