Citrus kind of Pie

There is a pie eating party at work on March 14, 1:59PM meaning π = 3.141592653… It’s Pi Day! This awesome nerdy holiday, a played on numbers, is simply fun and quirky. Co-workers bring their favorite pies to share and I get to sample a delicious slice of everything. Yum! How will you be celebrating Pi Day? Doing math home work? Or watch a movie/tv episode about π/pies? (I recommend a cute tv show called Pushing Daisies, about a pie maker who can bring the dead to life.)

Pies are one of my favorite desserts. However, pies can be quite labor intensive to make, especially on a weekday. If you are determine to make something special, may I suggest this simple pie-like recipe, great with season fruits and yummy enough for celebrating. A crostata is a different kind of pie, actually like a tart. It is an Italian baked dessert with a buttery pastry filled with jam, cream, or fruit. Right now, blood oranges are in season, so I found a beautiful recipe and gave it a go. This dessert has warm red colors and baked citrus flavors with sweet Italian cream cheese in a casual rustic style. Sounds interesting right?

Pinwheel Blood Orange Crostatas
Recipe adapted from theKitchn
(makes 6-8 individual tart)

Crust
1½ cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tb sugar
1 stick butter (chilled & cubed)
2 tb ice water
1 egg (beaten)
Sprinkle of raw sugar

Fruit & Filling
2 blood orange (slice into wheel shape)
1 orange (slice into wheel shape) – I used grapefruit.
8 oz. (1 tube) mascarpone cheese
2 tb sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
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Preparing Fruit & Mascarpone Creme Filling:
1. Slice citrus fruit into wheel shapes and separating segments for triangle shapes.
2. With hand mixer, combine mascarpone cheese, sugar, and vanilla.

Making crust:
3. Mix flour, salt, sugar  and combine flour mixture with butter. You may use a food processor.  I mix it with my hands, squeezing and crumbling the dough until the flour and butter are evenly distributed into each other.
4. Add ice water and mix in with dough.
5. Form dough into ball, refrigerate for 20 min.
6. Divide dough into 6-8 balls.
7. Roll dough balls ~ 1/4″ thick and ~4-6″ diameter. Don’t need to worry about perfect edges. Place discs on parchment paper.

Arrangement & Baking:
8. Spread creme filling in middle of dough disc.
9. Arrange fruits, alternating colors to create a pinwheel.
10. Fold dough edges around covering half the fruit arrangement.
11. Refrigerate crostatas for half an hour.
12. When ready to bake, brush with egg wash and sprinkle on raw sugar.
13. Bake 375 degrees about 30 min. or until golden brown. Cool and top with creme.

 

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