Strawberry Dark Cocoa Crostata with Basil Whipped Cream

It’s strawberry season! We’ve already polished off the first of many overflowing buckets of berries.

They’re juicy, as sweet as sugar, and perfect enough to eat on their own.

But, it’s so much fun to transform them.

Strawberries and chocolate are a phenomenal pair.

Strawberries and basil are the Laverne and Shirley of the culinary world.

Put the trio together and you’ve got a threesome that’s so naughty it could easily violate indecency laws.I think I could charge $9.99 a minute to let you look at this recipe.

Here’s what you need:

For the crust:

  • 1 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. dark cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick very cold, unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbsp. cold coffee (optional)

For the filling:

  • 3 cups of quartered or halved (depending on berry size) strawberries
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

For the egg wash (optional):

  • 1 large egg
  • Splash of water

Here’s how you do it:

First, start the whipped cream.In a small pan, combine the cream and basil. Smash the basil with a muddler or a spoon. This will release the basil flavor.

Bring the cream to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as it bubbles, take it off the heat. Smash the leaves again.

Pour the cream and basil into a small bowl and let it come to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least 4 hours.

When you’re ready to make the dessert, begin with the dough.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder in a food processor. Pulse to combine.  I used cold coffee in this recipe. It was just leftover from the morning. If you don’t have coffe, you can use ice water. Coffee doesn’t alter the flavor of the dough, it just enhances the depth of the dark cocoa.Cut the cold butter into tablespoons, and add them to the flour mixture. Pulse until the mixture looks like pebbles.

Dump the mixture into a bowl, add 3 Tbsp. of coffee or ice water, and work the dough with your hands until it turns into a ball. If it’s still dry, add another Tbsp. of liquid.Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 400.

Put a metal bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer. This is for the whipped cream.

Now make the filling.

In a bowl, combine the filling ingredients, and mix until combined.Flour the counter and a rolling pin. Roll out the dough until it’s pretty thin. Maybe a 1/4 of an inch? There’s no exact science here. That’s why I love a crostata.

Transfer the rolled out dough to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.Dump the berry mixture into the center of the dough.

Fold the dough up around the berries.

Use a fork or a whisk to combine the egg and the splash of water.

Brush the egg wash onto the dough. This is optional.If using the egg wash, sprinkle the coated dough with sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust starts to turn a bit golden in places and strawberry syrup is starting to leak from the crostata.

Remove the baked crostata from the oven and let it cool.

Remove the whipped cream bowl and whisk attachment from the freezer. Strain the basil cream into the mixing bowl. Squeeze out any extra cream from the leaves and throw them away.

Add the powdered sugar to the infused cream, and whip to stiff peaks.

Serve the crostata warm or cold with the basil whipped cream.The crust is crisp, flaky, and rich. It has a deep cocoa flavor, but it’s not chocolatey. The berries are sweet and soft. The whipped cream is creamy, with a pop of that fresh basil.

Crostatas take the work and stress out of making a perfect pie crust. No blind baking. No crimping. No risk of shrinkage.Buy some berries and get baking!

Tip: Don’t be afraid to infuse your pie dough. Add spices. If you want to make s crostata in the easiest way possible, buy the refrigerated pie dough that’s in a roll. 


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Annette Haynie says:

    Looks yummy!

  2. Denise says:

    Looks absolutely awesome…when are you going to bake one for me?

    1. Would love to make you one!

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