Step aside quiche, the crostata is in town. Kiri Cream Cheese shows its versatility in this pretty open-faced savoury veggie tart with a custardy base which keeps the tomato juices from turning the flaky crust soggy. The recipe was deveveloped by Errieda du Toit (the creative mastermind behind Kokkedoor and Koekedoor cooking programmes) for Kiri to celebrate that Kiri is now being made in SA.
I had a friend coming for Sunday lunch who is vegetarian and I had a tub of Kiri cream cheese care of Errieda, so I decided to try her recipe. Now crostatas are one of my favourite pies because it’s just a flat circle of dough with filling dumped in the middle. Fold the edges over and you’re done.
Errieda’s dough recipe includes a LOT of butter, probably more than I’ve ever used making a crostata and I was not sure how it would turn out. I needn’t have feared because it was delicious, the texture buttery flaky with almost a bit of a rough puff pastry vibe going on. I highly recommend you make this one. It’s rich, so it will serve two adults very, very generously, four if you’re cutting more elegant Parisian-lady sized slices. Serve this crostata warm or at room temperature with a simple salad and a glass of Chenin. See my wine choice for this crostata delight lower down. Thank you for sharing this recipe and lovely pic with us Errieda!
All you need is…
250 ml cake flour
250 ml whole wheat flour
grated zest of 1 lemon
5 ml sugar
pinch of salt
generous pinch ground cloves (the cloves really add magic to this crostata)
170 g (180 ml) cold butter
110 ml ice water + 15 ml cider vinegar
Egg wash: 1 egg whisked with 10 ml water
Black mustard seeds, or nigella seeds or black sesame seeds, for sprinkling
Cream cheese base layer:
1 x 200 g tub Kiri Cream Cheese, room temperature
Handful fresh herbs, chopped
1 fat clove garlic, grated
1 egg yolk
5 ml lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
250 g tomatoes in various colours and sizes; some halved and others thickly sliced
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
30 g parmesan shavings
60 ml chunky basil pesto to drizzle (shop-bought is fine)
Garnishing: baby basil leaves, optional toasted almond flakes or pine kernels (small caperberries go well with very ripe tomato)
Make the crust: Place flours, sugar, lemon zest, pinch ground cloves and salt in the food processor, using the steel blade pulse 3 times to blend. Add cold butter and pulse around 10 times until the butter its pea-sized. Add ice water and cider vinegar, pulse just enough till it starts forming a ball and the dough smooths out. Turn out on a surface and form a flat circle. Wrap in clingwrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough in a 30 cm circle. Place on the baking paper. (My top tip? Roll it out on the baking paper – then there’s no sticking to the table and it’s super easy to pick up!)
For the cream cheese base, blend the Kiri cream cheese, egg yolk, garlic, herbs, lemon juice and seasoning together in a bowl until well mixed. Spoon cream cheese mixture in the centre of the dough circle, spread out leaving a 5 cm border clear. Place the tomatoes cut side up on the cream cheese, season liberally with salt and pepper. Turn the dough edge over, making folds as you go. Brush the turned-over edge with the egg wash and sprinkle sparingly with black seeds.
Bake till the crust is a deep golden brown and cooked through, about 40 minutes, taking care that the tomato filling doesn’t burn. Drizzle with pesto and finish off with parmesan shavings and some basil leaves. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.