A Crostata is a rustic free form pie, usually made with fruit. This one is made with a cream cheese filling on the bottom and a cherry pie filling top. Every once in awhile I get hungry for specific flavors. This time it was cream cheese and cherries together. I wanted something to put it in, something that would remind me of a danish but not necessarily a danish …just something flaky and delicious. Then I remembered the pie crust that I make whenever I decide to make a crostata. It’s an all butter crust and it’s magnificent. It’s the flakiest most tender pie crust I’ve ever made. My idea was taking shape, it was all coming together, cream cheese filling and cherries in a rustic free form crostata. It was baked and cooling, I left the kitchen for about 20 minutes came back and there was a slice missing? Paul had gotten his taste first. How was it Paul? ” Oh my gosh”… was his reply. And it was indeed…Oh my gosh good!
The cream cheese filling, cherry pie filling and flaky pie crust came together beautifully. And it was easy…so easy to make. The cream cheese filling takes minutes to whip together, I used a canned pie filling…and by the way, you can switch the pie filling out to any flavor you want. The crust is a cinch, the directions are pretty detailed because I wanted it to be perfect for you. No reason not to make this one Kids, it’s easier than “pie”. Enjoy!
- 1 can cherry pie filling (or the flavor of your choice)
- Cream Cheese Filling
- 1 eight ounce package cream cheese
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- All Butter Pie Crust, makes one 9 inch pie crust
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter ( put the butter in the freezer long enough to get very cold, then grate it , return it to the freezer til you're ready to use it. It incorporates into the flour faster and more evenly grated)
- 1/4 cup very cold water ( you can also put this in the freezer til it has ice crystals on it)
- For The Pie Crust
- I have mixed the flour and salt in a bowl and put it in the freezer as well. Having all the ingredients very cold is the key to making this butter crust.
- In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Break the ball into 6 pieces. Place a piece of dough on a board, with the heel of your hand smear the dough out away from you slightly. This helps distribute the butter into the dough. Do this to each of the 6 pieces, stacking them on top of each other when you are done. Press the pieces together to form a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- On a piece of parchment or wax paper, with just a sprinkling of flour,roll out the dough into a circle that's larger than a nine inch pie plate, you are going to fold the crust over the filling. Place the circle of dough along with the parchment paper on a baking sheet and refrigerate until you make the cream cheese filling.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add the egg yolk and vanilla, beat until well incorporated.
- Take the pie crust out of the refrigerator,but keep it on the parchment paper and baking sheet. Spread the cream cheese filling in a circle onto the crust leaving enough crust around the edges without the filling to fold over. Spread the cherry pie filling on top of the cream cheese, fold dough edges over filling. Bake at 425 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes until crust is golden. Cool on parchment paper on wire rack.