first off, i hope everyone had a wonderful and spectacular thanksgiving holiday full of family, friends and great memories... i know mine was... it truly was a wonderful weekend... there was some wonderful news for everyone, my brother and sister-in-law are expecting a baby! wahoooo!!! i cannot believe my big brother is going to be a daddy... i am beyond excited for them!! what would have been the buttercream on the cake would have been if my little sister was sitting around my parents table with us, instead of being miles and miles away in greece... but she will be home for christmas... i'm going to give a big wahoooo for that too!! :)
but now... onto the baking...
this months daring bakers challenge (i know i know, i am late in posting... please please forgive me! but i'm finally back to my normal routine)... but as i was saying, this months challenge was hosted by a talented woman named Simona from the baking blog briciole, check her out... and she chose a wonderful and very versatile crostata, or tart... and the base of this tart was a yummy sweet dough called pasta frolla... which is a crust made of flour, sugar, butter and eggs... and the possibilities for filling a crostata are endless... from fruits, custards and pastry creams, to chocolate, nuts and preserves... i could go on and on... but i won't... i'll just get down to the dessert...
i chose to fill my crostata with some yummy vanilla pastry cream, and topped it with some bananas (half caramelized, and half covered in vanilla sugar and then burnt to yummy perfection with my little blow torch)... ahh... delicious... and it was quite refreshing, and light... which was much needed after a full weekend of gluttonous feasting :)
pasta frolla (version 1)
1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar or a scant 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
1 and 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
1. put sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest in the food processor and pulse a few times to mix
2. add butter and pulse a few times, until the mixture has the consistency of coarse meal
3. empty food processor's bowl onto your work surface
4. make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use)
5. use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips
6. knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball
7. shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap.. place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours
i then rolled it out and fit it to my tart pan, cut off the excess dough, and then blind baked it for about 20 minutes or so at 350, and it was a nice golden brown... once cooled i filled the tart with vanilla pastry cream and topped with my caramelized and bruleed bananas... and with the excess tart dough, i cut out some star shapes and baked them until they were a nice golden brown...