05 February 2011

Nutella Crumb Crostata, for any day including World Nutella Day 2011

At our house we normally don't do much to Nutella other than slather it on a slice of my home made bread. For my husband Fabrizio, Nutella, has always been part of the morning repertoire since he can remember, as we are in the heart of the homeland of Nutella. I, of course, am a relative late comer, only discovering it on a European holiday and then waiting a number of years before finding it on the shelves of our grocery stores in the high country of Colorado, with a price tag befitting the high altitude. Now I find that living where hazelnuts are king and Nutella is relatively cheap, it's fun to experiment with different ways of using it when World Nutella Day arrives. Naturally Everyone is happy to share in the tasting and our guests are happy when they find it making its way onto our breakfast table at the B&B.
To learn more about World Nutella Day and the round up of all the posts and recipes from this event head over to the World Nutella Day site. Make sure to check out the  dynamic duo who pull this event together every year, Sara Rosso and Michelle Fabio and their blogs at  Ms Adventures in Italy and Bleeding Espresso.

This crostata was inspired by a chocolate slice I had in a brand spanking new bar in Pinerolo, l'Oragiusta, that serves it up with Illy coffee for the ultimate in favorite pairings. I will be reviewing that bar shortly as it is a wonderful addition to the choices in bar hopping in Pinerolo and is right on the market square.
Anyway, they made a luscious slice that I have come pretty close to replicating with the hazelnut difference. Naturally, I learned a few things along the way, like the long pan I used was just a tad to small. Making it in two identical pans would have lost the thick crust that is almost like a soft butterscotch texture which is a delightful vessel fot the subtle Nutella filling. I think this sized pan with a small tartlet pan would have been the ideal combination, but I wanted this recipe to fit this pan. I sacrificed the edges to be on the overly brown side to insure it being done. The recipe works great, I just need to get the size of the pan in line.  I think if you use an 8" square, you would find it to work out in one go.
Fabrizio really likes that is isn't overly sweet and I think an addition of orange or hazelnut liqueur would set the filling off just right, so I am going to add it into the recipe, even though I didn't add it this time. I see a bright future for this recipe starring on our Bella Baita ever evolving repertoire. I hope it finds its way onto to your dessert or tea time table for a whisper of Italian coffee bar culture.

Nutellla Crumb Crostata
Yields one overly full 33cm x10cm 13”x4” long pan with extras
or 8” square or one long tart pan and a small tartlette pan to use up all the ingredients

Pasta Frolla Crust
300g / 2+3/8 c / 7oz,  flour, plain, all purpose (scoop and sweep for cups)
150g / 3/4c / 5.3oz, sugar, I like organic raw cane sugar, which is a kind of white brown sugar
200g / 7/8c /  7oz, butter, not too warm, but not right out of the refrigerator
1 egg
5g / 1 tsp,  vanilla extract
extra flour for rolling

Method for the crostata
Mix your flour and sugar in a medium large bowl.
Cut in the butter into small pieces into the flour sugar mixture.
I rub the mixture together  with my fingers to achieve a crumbly texture. You can use a pastry cutter or fork, but I find my fingers work the best.
Set aside 112g / 3/4c of this mixture to become the crumb topping later.
Make a well in the middle of the remaining crumbs
Add 1 egg and vanilla extract
With a fork beat your egg and extract to homogenize the egg.
Gradually pick up the crumbs until you have a dough that holds together.
You may need to dust some extra flour around the bowl to get the dough to come away from the sides of the bowl and form a solid mass.
Gently and gingerly make the dough smooth with a small amount of kneading.
I manage this in the bowl, but you might find it easier to achieve in the table if your bowl is a bit small. make sure to dust the table and your hands generously with flour to keep it all from sticking. The dough will be somewhat wet. I flatten the dough and either cover in the bowl or with some plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes or so until it is chilled and easier to roll or pat out.

Once the dough is firm roll between two sheet of plastic wrap  to get a shape to fit your pan or pans. Be generous with your flour, but work quickly so your dough doesn’t get too warm and start sticking. You don’t want or need to incorporate too much flour.
Grease and flour your pan. I like pans with removable bottoms, or I like to use parchment paper to insure it easily comes out of the pan.

While your dough is chiling finish your crumb topping and Nutella filling.

Line your pan with the dough pressing it into the corners and patting the dough evenly into place.
Dock your dough by pricking the bottom with a fork so it doesn’t rise too much while baking.
Blind bake your dough almost ¾ of the way done, by first covering the dough with a sheet of aluminum foil and weighting it down with beans or pie weights. I had some small heavy round tart pans that weighted it down nicely.
Depending on your oven bake at 190* / 350* for about 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven.  I I have a convection oven which bakes very quickly.  
Remove the foil and check the color. Bake until light golden brown, but the bottom isn’t fully cooked, about ¾ of the way cooked. It will still have some give to it.
Add your Nutella filling evenly over the center of your pan.
There should be a depression to fill. If not, press the center of the dough down.
Fill with Nutella mixture and continue to bake  until the filling begins to set.
Add your crumb topping now. You can add it at the same time as your filling also. The crumbs will stay softer and whiter if you add them part way through the cooking process.
Bake until the filling is solid and has lost its shininess. You want to cook it through, but not completely solid. It took about 45 minutes to bake the dough and filling from beginning till done.
The baking times will vary depending on the thickness of the dough and your ovens’ personality.
Cool some before removing from your pan. I think the flavors come out when it cools completely.
The crostata holds very well for a few days if well covered.

Crumb topping
Ingredients and method
112g (¾ c)  sugar, flour and butter mix
Add 2T sugar, raw cane sugar
1T flour

Combine your crumb mixture that you  set aside and add the additional sugar and flour and clump it together between your fingers to  make clumps of various sized crumbs.

Nutella Filling
Ingredients and method

200ml / 8 oz heavy cream
8g / 1T cornstarch, don’t substitute flour as it will overwhelm the delicate flavor of the Nutella
24g / 2T Sugar, raw cane sugar
1 egg
300g / 1c Nutella
30g / 2 T orange liqueur, hazelnut or chocolate to kick up the flavor

In a small heavy bottomed sauce pan being your cream just to a boil being careful not to boil it and remove from heat, but keep it warm.
Mix your cornstarch and sugar together for easier addition without lumping.
In a small bowl, whisk the one egg till smooth.
Add the sugar and corn starch and whisk till all is incorporated.
Slowly drizzle the hot cream a little at a time into the egg mixture so not to cook the egg mixture.
Once you have added all the cream to the egg, pour the mixture back into the sauce pan. Make sure the bottom of the pan is clean.
Return the mixture to low heat and whisk the mixture occasionally till the mix thickens and cooks through. Remove from heat if necessary and add the Nutella and whisk till blended and melted into a thick pudding like consistency. Return to heat if necessary to melt and thicken. It shouldn’t take but a few minutes. Add the liqueur flavoring if desired. Remove from heat but keep it warm till you have the crust ready to fill.  Refer to the directions above to finish the crostata.


Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Looks fabulous Marla! Thanks so much for participating, and Happy World Nutella Day :)

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

Mmm, I was looking at sbrisolona and wondering if I could make something for Nutella Day similar - looks like you did! I like the loaf form of the crostata for a change. Happy Nutella Day! :)

Sonia @ My Sweet Monkey said...

that looks SO good!! I'll have to try it!

Bella Baita Marla said...

My pleasure, as always, to join in the chocolate hazelnut fun. Thanks all!

Anna said...

Oh my, that looks gorgeous! Dreaming of your homemade bread now. Think I'll have to give this one a try!

Curatare Tapiterii said...

My goodness, this looks absolutely amazing and so mouth-watering. I have loved Nutella since I can remember and every time I get the chance I make pancakes with Nutella, cakes and other delicious treats with Nutella. This recipe is awesome so thank you for sharing.

Bella Baita Marla said...

Thank you Anna. I had to make bread to counter balance all the richness of this tart.
Thank you for your kind words CT.

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Bella Baita Marla said...

Not sure what you are referring to, but thank you, I think?

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