May 19, 2009

Pear and Prosciutto Crostata

Pear Prosciutto Crostata

Last week I participated in a small business open house doing live cooking demonstrations. This was one of the demos, and everyone who tasted it wanted more. A savoury crostata, accompanied by a salad of microgreens and a glass of reisling, makes a delightful and easy brunch entrée.

Giada de Laurentiis published an absolutely wonderful crostata dough recipe. I couldn't improve it if I tried, so I'm not going to try.

Crostata Dough
from Giada's Kitchen
1½ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt (I used fleur de sel)
3 tablespoons cold butter cut into small cubes
½ cup mascarpone
1½ teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons ice water

Put the flour and salt into the work bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is approximately pea-sized. Add the mascarpone and lemon juice and pulse twice to mix. Add the ice water and run the processor until just before a ball forms. Remove the dough and press into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.

PearWhile the pastry chills, you'll need to poach a pear. The pear should be cored from the bottom using a small melon baller, and peeled. Put it into a small sauce pan with a cinnamon stick and a small amount of lemon zest. Add water until the pear is about two-thirds submerged, then add riesling to cover. Bring to a simmer and poach until the pear is just tender, 5-15 minutes depending on ripeness. Let it cool, then slice it.

Pear and Prosciutto Crostata WholeRoll out the dough to about ½" thickness, or as thin as ¼" if you prefer, and place it on a baking sheet. Mix sweet onion marmalade with ricotta and spread on the center of the crust leaving about 2-3" uncovered all the way around. Top the mixture with the sliced pear and prosciutto.

Gently fold the edge of the crust over the filling, leaving the center of the filling exposed. Bake at 350° until done, about 30 minutes (less for thinner crust).


  1. Those look so yummy! I always have pears and will have to try this...

  2. The mild sweetness of the pear and the saltiness of the prosciutto go very well together. It should also work well with peaches.

  3. So, can I have one like right now? :D Italian comfort food at it's best!

  4. Sounds delicious. I love the mixture of pear and prosciutto. Will have to make a crostata one of these days. :)

  5. You'll be glad you did. Serve it with a nice salad and a perfectly chilled riesling for a special brunch.

  6. Wow! I was the lucky recipient of this wonderful crostata at my recent Client Appreciation Open House. It was a tremendous hit with all attendees. It was absolutely fabulous!! None of us could stop eating it. You WILL want to make this crostata if you want to wow your friends and family.

    Further, that onion marmalade is to die for! It is so versatile and punches up so many entrees. I've now experienced it in a number of dishes and it has contributed so much to each one.

    You absolutely can't go wrong making and keeping a stash of Gareth's onion marmalade and garlic confit as staples in your fridge--it will be the best thing you ever did for your culinary endeavors.

  7. Thank you so much for inviting me to cook at your Open House. It was a delightful experience.