A Green-White-Red Dinner 🇮🇹

The 25th of April is an important date for Italy and the Italians that still remenber the year 1945. 

Liberation Day 🇮🇹

It is the anniversary of the liberation of Italy (also called the Liberation Day) is a national holiday of the Italian Republic which occurs on April 25 of each year. This day marks the end of the fascist government of the Italian Social Republic and the Nazi occupation. 

Green-White-Red

To celebrate that “Italian” feeling what’s best than a dinner with friends in Green-White-Red. 

Decor & Menu

The table settings had patriotic colors, and the menu also favored those colors:

  • Crespelle with Green Asparagus (Crêpes)
  • Stuffed Tomatoes with White Rice
  • Quiche with Red Tomatoes
  • Strawberries Crostata 
  • Meringues with Pistachios and Strawberries Coulis. 
Recipes will follow

Strawberries Crostata

Crostata is a popular cake made with shortcrust pastry. It is then filled with fresh fruit (after the cooking), or with Jam, particularly Apricot Jam, but it is also very good with berries jam. It is easy to make, pleasing to the eye, and relatively low in calories. 

IMG_1418
Strawberry Crostata

Of course this pastry can be bought ready at any supermarket, but I noticed that the more I make my own and the more I dislike the store-ready. They always carry an after taste of preservatives. In fact;

“The real homemade puff pastry contains only flour, water, butter and salt. On the market, however, it is full of additives to allow conservation. Usually, the percentage of total fat in the packaged puff pastry varies from 20 to 25%, but the worrying figure concerns the presence of saturated fats, which also reach 14-15% .”

What fats are used?

“The vegetable oils used are mainly cheap fats like palm oil but also rapeseed or sunflower oil. Lately puff pastry is appearing in supermarkets without palm oil, thanks to the battle that has been made to combat the reckless use of this oil in food products. But always pay attention to which fat has taken its place, because it could be equally rich in saturated fats like coconut oil. Among the ingredients we find the mono and diglycerides of fatty acids (reported with the word E471) that can be of vegetable origin (such as palm oil or rapeseed oil) or animal. They are used as emulsifiers, and it is recommended to buy products that indicate the origin of these fats. Always better to choose a product as natural as possible, without this type of emulsifiers. Then alcohol and lemon juice can be present as preservatives, agents for the treatment of flour, yeast and flavorings. “

Back to the Home Made One

  • 300 grams of flour 
  • 120 grams of butter 
  • 150 grams of sugar 
  • 1 whole egg 
  • 2 egg yolk 
  • ½ glass of milk 
  • 8 grams of yeast (for sweets) 
  • 1 pinch of salt

Method

Using this method you will obtain a non-compact pastry, but a sandy one, which will be characterized by a considerably greater friability than the classic method.

Proceed by making the classic fountain on a work surface. Add the butter and begin to mix it with the flour with your fingertips, then add the sugar, the yeast, and then the eggs. Knead until it becomes a homogeneous and non-sticky mixture.

Regardless of the method used, the next step is to wrap the shortcrust pastry in a foil and leave it to rest in the refrigerator. The optimal time would be for at least 45 minutes, but if you don’t have all this time, 30 minutes will be enough.

After the rest time, resume the shortcrust pastry to rework it a few minutes with your hands or in a planetary mixer and roll it out with a rolling pin on the work surface. To facilitate this operation you can use two sheets of parchment paper that will prevent the dough from sticking to the top and the rolling pin.

Short pastry cooking

The short pastry can be cooked in two ways: dry and with filling. In this case it was dry cooking.  Bake in a preheated static oven, cover with parchment paper and bake at 180 ° for 15 minutes. Remove the dry beans or whatever you used to “weight down” the pastry during cooking, and the sheet of parchment paper and continue to cook for another 10 minutes at 170 °. Remove from the oven and let cool before proceeding with the filling. 

Fill with custard creme (creme patissiere, or vanilla pastry cream)  and the strawberries. It is a cake of great effect all the time!

IMG_1419
Crostata
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