1½ cups (225g) plain flour
¼ teaspoon salt
125g unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces, chilled
4 large amaretti biscuits (or Dutch speculaas biscuits)
20g plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup (55g) caster sugar
300g blueberries
300g blackberries
2 teaspoons white sugar, for sprinkling
blueberry or mixed berry jam, warmed (so it’s a little runny)
double cream or vanilla ice-cream, to serve

I have to confess, I’ve nearly eaten my body weight in blueberries these past few weeks as our local blueberry season is in full swing. We’re able to buy seconds by the bucket from the farmers’ market and, needless to say, I’m using them every which way at present. Apart from scooping handfuls from the bucket and eating them as is, they’ve found their way into all sorts of puddings, cakes and pies. I also made this simple blueberry and blackberry crostata for lunch with friends during the week. As I made it, I was thinking how crostatas really are my favourite dessert of all, they tick every box: short, buttery pastry; versatile, as they can be made with whatever fruit is in season; not too rich or sweet; easy to make and bake; utterly delicious!

If you’ve not made one before, do give this recipe a try as it really is very simple and you can use it as a template to mix and match fruit according to the season. In winter, a barely warm spicy apple or pear crostata is a joy, while in summer, peaches, plums and apricots come into their own. I hope you like it!

Although you could use other biscuits in the filling (I’ve used both almond macaroons and digestives if I’ve been stuck), I find that the slightly bitter almond flavour of amaretti biscuits or the spicy goodness of Dutch speculaas biscuits are spot-on with stone fruits in particular. On that note, if you can, try to use fruit that is just-ripe and sweet, but not too soft or it may collapse a bit too much as it cooks (it will still taste wonderful, though). I’ve used both blueberries and blackberries in equal quantities here, but you can also just use blueberries, if you prefer.

View the recipe collection here


1.For the pastry, put the flour and salt into a food processor fitted with the steel blade and whizz them together.
2.Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
3.With the motor running, steadily pour ¼ cup (60ml) iced water into the flour mixture.
4.Continue to whizz until the dough forms a ball around the blade.
5.Take it out, knead it gently just to bring it together and flatten into a disc.
6.Wrap it tightly in cling film and chill for about 40 minutes or until it’s firm but supple enough to roll.
7.(If you’ve made the pastry 1–2 days ahead of time and kept it in the fridge, just remember that you need to let it soften a bit at room temperature, so it’s supple enough to roll easily.)
8.Preheat your oven to 205°C.
9.Line the base of a large, roughly 30cm-round pizza pan (or you can use a baking tray) with a sheet of baking paper and set it aside.
10.For the filling, put the biscuits in a Ziplock bag and finely crush them with a rolling pin.
11.Mix them with the flour, cinnamon and about 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar (or whizz them all together in the food processor). Set this aside.
12.When the pastry is ready, roll it out to a thin round a bit larger than the prepared pizza tin.
13.You need the pastry to be bigger than the tin, as this excess pastry eventually forms a border for the crostata.
14.Drape the pastry over the tin, leaving an overhang all around and press it very gently into the sides.
15.Spread the amaretti mixture evenly over the base, then sit the berries on top in a tightly packed layer.
16.Sprinkle the berries with the remaining caster sugar.
17.Gently fold the pastry border over the fruit, pleating and pressing it gently to form a border of pastry.
18.Sprinkle the white sugar over the pastry.
19.However, if you’re making the crostata on a baking tray, once the pastry is rolled, centre it on the baking paper.
20.Sprinkle the amaretti mixture evenly over the pastry leaving a 5–6cm border all around, so you can flip this over to form the rim of the crostata, then just continue with the recipe.
21.Bake the crostata for 35–40 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and deep golden brown.
22.Remove it from the oven to a wire rack and leave it to cool in the tin for at least 40 minutes for the filling to firm up.
23.After the crostata has cooled for 5 minutes, gently brush the warm jam over the berries, then continue to cool for the remaining 35 minutes.
24.I can’t tell you just how wonderful the crostata smells at this stage, but it’s worth hanging on to eat it as its flavour really is best at room temperature when the juices have had a chance to meld with the biscuits.
25.With the help of the baking paper underneath, gently slide the crostata out of the pan and onto a large, flat serving plate.
26.Serve with double cream or vanilla ice-cream.

Recipes extracted
from A Year of Sundays
by Belinda Jeffery,
published by Simon
& Schuster, RRP
$50. Photographer
Rodney Weidland.


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