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An apple crostata with slivered almonds

A Crostata is an Italian baked dessert tart, a sheet of shortbread cookie with a filling. The jams that are traditionally used as a filling are cherries, peaches, apricots, berries. The crostata can also be blind-baked and then filled with pastry cream (crema pasticcera) topped with pieces of fresh fruit; this is called crostata di frutta. A typical central Italian variety replaces jam with ricotta mixed with sugar, cocoa or pieces of chocolate and anisetta; this is called crostata di ricotta.

When it comes to a delicious mixture of cream or fruit filling wrapped in a crusty dough, this pastry is definitely a success. As a form of tart that comes from Italy, the dessert can be prepared with diverse fruit fillings and in any size or form that the cook wants. This means that the crostata can be eaten as a small sized complement to a freshly prepared sorbet or as an Italian dessert decorated with a glaze.

Crostatas are considered to be one of the first Italian tarts. Because the pastry can be prepared with almost any type of fruit filling, crostata can be made with fresh fruits, as well as of home conserves and even with canned fruits and jams that are bought in the market. The fact that it may be made as an open faced pastry or be covered with an outer layer permit the dessert to easily adapt to all kind of special events.

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