Photo courtesy of foodloveswriting.com
Today we are featuring a treat from a fellow recipe blogger. Shannalee T’Koy is the writer behind the food blog Food Loves Writing, and focuses on recipes with whole and natural ingredients along with how those recipes relate to her life. She has graciously allowed us to share her recipe for Orange Crostatas, which includes fresh fruit and palm sugar and could make for a delicious Mother’s Day dessert.
This recipe calls for fresh blood oranges which have deep red interior flesh more similar to the color of a grapefruit than an everyday orange. Due to the dark red pigment in the fruit, blood oranges are packed with antioxidants. Like other citrus fruits, blood oranges are also full of vitamin C and dietary fiber. They tend to have a specific sweet flavor that is somewhat similar to the flavor of raspberries.
This recipe, being a sweet treat, relies on sugar for much of the flavor. T’Koy chooses to substitute regular sugar with palm sugar, a natural alternative sugar that is finding its way to mainstream grocery stores. Palm sugar is full of nutrients and vitamins including potassium, zinc and iron. It also has a low glycemic index and is generally unrefined, without as much processing as regular sugar. Palm sugar can be found at Whole Foods or at international grocery stores, where for a bit more labor (it comes in a block that you'll need to break down), you can find it for a much cheaper price.
T’koy suggests serving these crostatas à la mode and I think they could make a delicious treat to share with your mother this weekend . . . or if you are the mom, to treat yourself!
Fruit and Filling Ingredients
- 4-6 blood oranges, cut into 1/2 inch wheel-shaped slices
- 1-2 oranges, cut into 1/2 inch wheel-shaped slices
- 8 ounces (1 tub) cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup spelt flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, chilled and cubed
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup palm sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Peel and slice oranges, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla on medium speed. Taste this mixture and adjust sweetness to taste.
To prepare the crostata dough, place flour, salt and sugar into the bowl of the food processor, with the regular blade attached. Pulse about two times, for just 2 seconds each pulse. Add the chilled, cubed butter. Pulse again, about 5 or 6 times. Add the cold water all at once. Pulse another 4 or 5 times. The dough will barely look like a dough at this point. You really have to trust that it will come together.
Dump the contents of the food processor onto a large, clean surface and press the small clumps of dough together to form one ball. You may need to add a few sprinkles of water during this process. Try to form the ball of dough with as minimal amount of kneeding as possible. You just want it to barely become a disc. Refrigerate the ball for about 20 minutes.
On a floured surface, cut the ball into 6 or 8 small balls of dough. Roll out each one about 1/4" thick. The balls should end up being about 4-6 inches in diameter, roughly. Place all rolled pieces of dough onto the lined baking sheets. Spread about 1 heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto the center of each crostata dough. Arrange orange slices, about 3 per crostata (depending on size) on top of the cream mixture. You should have about an inch left of dough on all sides. Now, fold the crostata edges on top of the oranges, leaving about half of the arranged oranges exposed.
Lastly, brush the edges of the crostatas with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the palm sugar on top of the egg-washed dough (the egg wash will help the sugar stick). Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cool on a wire rack. Serve!
Special thanks to Shannalee T'Koy for sharing this recipe! You can follow her recipe blog at foodloveswriting.com.
Happy Mother's Day!