Let me tell you the story behind this vegan crostata.
One day, my brother showed to my mum a video which was about intensive livestock farming. Let’s also say my mummy is an huge animals lover and, as soon as she finished watching that documentary, she decided to stop eating meat, milk and any animal product if possible. But my mum is anemic and that basically means she absolutely cannot live without eating meat. However, she started out buying soy and almond milk, vegan burgers and all this kind of stuff.
Everything was vegan, except my cakes. So, I thought: ‘since she doesn’t want to eat meat and that makes her so weak because of her anemia, she absolutely needs something else to deal with her hard working day: so, how about her favorite dessert, but in a vegan version?’
So guys, here it is: vegan crostata.
The whole what flour and the brown sugar make this crostata extra flaky, crunchy and rustic and the jam makes it perfect for breakfast or for a healthier afternoon snack. You won’t tell it’s vegan, I promise you.
Anyway, my brother, who’s studying medicine, told my mum she had two options: the first one was her to become vegan, but that involves her blood to get more like water than blood and actually my brother doesn’t want my mum to become his first patient; and the second option was her to still eat meat and animal products, even if in a reduced amount. And guys, I’m glad to tell you my mum chose the second option jajaja.
- 3 1/2 cups (500 grams) whole wheat flour
- 1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar
- 2/3 cup (130 ml) oil (like canola oil or sunflower oil, any flavorless oil will do the job in this recipe)
- about 1/2 cup (110/130 ml) water (it really depends on your flour, you may need to add a little more than 1/2 cup or 110 ml)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- about 1 1/4 cups (about 300/370 grams) jam of your choice
- extra oil for brushing the tart pan
- about 2 tbsp of turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- in a large mixing bowl add flour, salt, sugar and baking soda and stir until well combined. Then mix in your wet ingredients, starting by adding the oil and vanilla extract. Stir until the oil has been fully incorporated into the flour. The technique is to rub the oil into the flour until a coarse mixture forms. At this point, add water, a little at a time. Use your fingertips to rub all the ingredients together and mix until a compact dough forms. The trick here is to press the dough in between your fingers, so that the wet ingredients can be fully incorporated into the flour. You might need a little more water than just 1/2 cup or 110 ml, so simply go ahead and add enough water to reach the right consistency. As soon as you get a dough, flatten it into a disc, wrap the dough in parchment paper and put it into the freezer for 30 minutes. Have ready an 8 – 9 inch (20 – 23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom. Brush the tart pan with a little bit of oil and set that aside. At this point, preheat your oven at 375°F (190°C).
- after 30 minutes, take the crust out of the freezer, place it between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll it out. When you reach a thickness of about 1/8 inch (4 mm), peel back one of the layers of parchment paper and then flip the crust over onto your tart pan and peel off the back sheet of paper. Gently press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Roll your rolling pin over the top of the pan to get rid of excess pastry. Prick the bottom of the pastry with the tines of a fork (this will prevent the pastry from puffing up as it bakes). If the crust breaks when you flip it over onto the pan, simply rearrange it with the excess dough. Freeze again for about 10 minutes.
- spread over the frozen crust your favorite jam (I’ve used strawberry jam). Use just enough jam to reach a thickness of abut 1/2 inch (1 cm). Form a dough with the excess pastry, roll it out again and use it to decorate your crostata: you can use some biscuit cutters or you can make the classic lattice pattern, that’s absolutely up to you. Sprinkle some turbinado sugar over the top of your decorations and bake it for about 35-40 minutes. When baked, take the crostata out of the oven and let it cool completely. When cooled, unmold the tart from the pan and you’re ready to serve.
Guys, invite all your vegan (and non-vegan) friends and share this amazing, rustic and absolutely delicious vegan crostata with all of them. Give it a try, I’m waiting for your version.
XOXO Cooker Girl.