Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Blackberry Polenta Crostata with Phili style Vanilla Ice Cream

We are nearing the end of summer and I finally did it. I made a fruit crostata. Kind of waited until the last minute here, but I think I figured out why that is.
I hate to even say it.
I don't really like fruit desserts.
I mean dessert is dessert is dessert, right?
I don't know, I just have never been a fruit dessert ordering type. I tend to order Creme Brulee. Chocolate. A big fat cookie on a plate with ice cream. but, for some reason, I typically scan over the fruit option.
yet, I have made so many crostatas and tarts over the years and I love making them.

Down the street from our house in the city is a wild patch of Blackberries. The other night at dusk, after the kids were tucked in, I grabbed a pail and told my husband that I was going to pick some blackberries. For a minute I felt like I could have been anywhere else. I even pictured living on a farm and heading out into the pasture to pick fruit. There was this smell to the air too, like  warm hay. I was transported, even just for a little bit. And, after a full day with crazy kids, it was just what I needed. quiet, fresh air and doing something with the intention of baking something. Baking is something that I am having a hard time getting back into my life post kids. I keep trying, thinking that I am making strides and then I seem to go backwards.
(have you seen the date of my last post?--great example)

anyway, after I came home with a decent amount of berries, I thought of this polenta crust that I used to make. And, then I thought of Ice Cream. A fruit dessert is just a fruit dessert, but offered with a scoop of  Ice Cream, for me, is what catapults it to the next level.
Now, I might just order that.

Blackberry Crostata with Polenta Crust.
7 Tabl cornmeal (i used coarse)
1 cup flour
1/4 teas salt
1 yolk
1 1/2 Tabl cream
1/2 teas vanilla
6 Tabl butter, soft
3 T sugar
1 teas lemon zest
combine dry ingredients in bowl. in a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. using your fingers, work the butter into the dry mixture until crumbly. then, add the wet mixture and work the dough lightly, until it comes together.
divide into 2 small disks.
Chill 1 hour.
while chilling, toss the blackberries (I used about 3/4 cup for each small crostata) with a little sugar and a little orange zest.
Preheat oven to 400.
After the dough has chilled, roll it into 2 circles, or one larger if you prefer. Transfer them to a silpat on a tray.
place the berries in the center and crease the sides, folding them towards the center.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the crust is golden.

Philadelphia Style Vanilla Ice Cream
(adapted from the perfect scoop, David Lebovitz)
(ie, easy peasy.)
2 cups cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 teas vanilla extract (or a bean if you have)

Heat the milk and cream with the sugar and salt to dissolve, and if you have a bean, scrape and add that as well. bring to just under a boil and then turn off the heat and let it sit. let it cool completely and then add it to your ice cream maker. easy!