Individual Strawberry, Basil, And Black Pepper Crostatas With A Cornmeal Crust

A pie recipe made in desperation, pulled from the cull of garden, fridge, and pantry. Cornmeal, strawberries, and basil: Together, they combine for no-fork-needed individual desserts that can be cut in quarters and served up pizza-style as a sweet appetizer, too. Serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and a few torn basil leaves for garnish.

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Servings: 4

Prep Time: 01:00

Cook Time: 01:00

Main Ingredients

for the crust

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup shortening

1/3 cup cold water, plus extra if needed

for the filling

3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, plus extra for garnish

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons minute tapioca

3 tablespoons torn or chopped fresh basil leaves

1 egg blended with 1 teaspoon water


1For the crust

2Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, kosher salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and shortening and cut them into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembled peas and sand. (Some large pieces, some smaller, sandy pieces.) Add the water and combine until moistened and when the dough is squeezed into a ball, it holds its shape. Add more water if needed 1 tablespoon at a time. Cut the dough into 4 equal portions and wrap each in plastic wrap. Flatten slightly into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

3For the filling

4Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, kosher salt, lemon juice, minute tapioca, and basil leaves. Set aside.

5Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. On a well-floured surface, roll each portion of the pie dough into an 8-inch circle individually. Working 1 at a time, transfer a pie dough circle to the baking sheet. Brush some of the egg and water mixture onto the dough circle, then place 1/4 of the strawberry filling in the center of the circle, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the border over the filling, towards the center, pleating and overlapping the dough as needed. Brush the exposed crust with more egg wash, then sprinkle with a bit of cracked pepper and 1/2 tablespoon of white sugar. Repeat the process with the remaining 3 dough circles.

6Bake the crostatas for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for an additional 20 minutes. The crostatas are done when the crust is golden and the juices are bubbly.

7Transfer pie to a wire rack and serve warm, or at room temperature. Can be kept at room temperature for up to three days.

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