(Not Too Spooky)
Rose Hip Jam Crostata
We don’t really celebrate Halloween. At least, not in the proper, pumpkin-carving, costume-hunting and decorating-our-home-with-spooky-stuff kind of way. Somehow, after having our daughter, noticing the hype of importing every other American or Western world celebration for the sake of giving kids yet another reason to down enormous quantities of candy and stay up late, we gave up on Halloween. And I don’t even think that it’s such a wrong thing to do, the chowing down of candy that is, if it’s done once a year and truly enjoyed; but since there isn’t any trick or treating going on around these parts, I don’t really see the point.
I remember a couple of years ago, long before becoming parents, we had a French family with three young children living in our building. Since Halloween to us was solely a yearly excuse to wear something fun and outrageous at a party, we were otherwise completely unprepared. At around 8 PM there was a knock on our door. As we opened the door, there stood these 3 absolutely adorable figures dressed in ill-fitting white bedsheets with poorly and widely cut-out eyeholes, through which, moments later, I was to see the sheer disappointment in their eyes when we gave them, well, apples. The only kind of sweets we had around our house were these booze-filled chocolate bonbons and a half eaten 70% cocoa chocolate bar, so apples were the only solution besides nothing. Needless, to say, those kids never again knocked on our door; and no other trick-or-treating or Christmas-caroling kids for that matter.
And while I do not see the point of doing the Halloween thing when there is no proper culture or tradition behind it, so that it would be thus sustained in a community that comes together yearly to celebrate, I do however, see a point in the fact that there can never be too much crostata. So, in honor of our Halloween lost, I’ve made a jam crostata and gave it a bit of a costume. This mummy crostata is made using spelt flour, coconut sugar and rose hip jam. You can replace with any jam you like, just make sure to use a more tart jam. I like to add grated lime zest to the filling, but orange or lemon zest is just as good. If you decide to use plain flour, you will need to only use 250g/1 cup instead of the spelt. Without further ado, I give you Mummy Crostata. Needless to say, you can make a regular grid shape instead of a silly mummy; although my daughter did have fun with the ghoulish design.
Rose Hip Jam Crostata
350g/3 cups spelt flour
60g/1/3 cups coconut sugar
½ tsp sea salt
200g/1.7 stick unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
One egg and one egg yolk
1 Tblsp ice-cold water
325g/1 cup rose hip jam
1 tsp grated lime zest
½ tsp pure almond extract
To make the crust, mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and mix it in using a pastry cutter or knives until it resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining. Add the egg, egg yolk and ice-cold water and using a large wooden spoon, mix everything until dough comes together and isn’t sticky. Divide dough in half, and shape into disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Turn out 1 piece of dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to make a 27/11 in. round and fit into a 20cm/9in tart pan, preferably one with a removable bottom. Trim edges flush with rim.
To make the lattice strips, roll the second disc of dough on a floured piece of parchment paper until 3mm/1/8 in thick. With the aid of a ruler, cut 8 strips (each of about 25cm/10 in. long and 4cm/1.5 in. wide) with a fluted pastry wheel or a very sharp knife.
In a medium bowl, mix together rose hip jam, lime zest and almond extract. Pour into tart shell. Next, either play around with your lattice strips to make a mummy crostata as seen here or do it the classic way by laying 4 lattice strips across pie and folding back every other strip. Afterwards, lay another strip perpendicular in the centre of pie. Unfold the strips over the perpendicular strip. Fold back the strips that are under the perpendicular strip. Lay a second perpendicular strip next to the first. Unfold the strips over the second perpendicular strip. Repeat, weaving strips across half the pie. Trim strips flush with rim or make sure to tuck the extra dough under the rim of crust, then crimp with the back of a fork to seal.
Place the crostata in the oven and bake for about 50-55 minutes, until the crust is golden and the jam is bubbling. Start checking after the first 30 minutes of baking and if the top starts to brown, cover with aluminium foil.