I went into Pigment a few weeks ago and someone told me about this Lemon Bird’s Tomato Vanilla Jam… I was skeptical at first (tomatoes as a jam?), but now it’s my favorite thing ON EARTH. I’m completely obsessed with all things Lemon Bird Jams. I wanted to do more than eat it on a cracker, so I decided to make a simple crostata with fresh, homemade cheese!
A few notes:
You can skip the pastry step and use store-bought pastry (all-butter pastry preferred), but don’t skip the milkwash + raw sugar on the crust. That *makes* the crust. For step by step crostata instruction, see this recipe for Asian Pear and Lemongrass Custard Crostata I made a while back.
The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity, and simplicity means using the best, freshest ingredients you can find. You can use store bought goat cheese and ricotta for this, but I encourage you to make the cheese yourself! It’s a world of difference, and ridiculously easy, especially with the Urban Cheesecraft Kits from Pigment.
Let’s start with the goat cheese.
Now the fresh ricotta – I didn’t use the cheese kit for this, just good ol’ fashioned white wine vinegar.
Fresh Goat Cheese and Ricotta Crostata with Vanilla Tomato Jam
makes two 9″ crostatas, or 8 mini crostatas
for the filling
8 oz fresh goat cheese (try this DIY Goat Cheese kit)
1 cup fresh ricotta (try this DIY Ricotta Cheese kit or the recipe below)
2 rounds pastry dough (recipe below)
Lemon Bird’s Tomato Vanilla Jam
for the ricotta (if not using the Ricotta Cheese Kit)
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons good white wine vinegar
for the pastry dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) of very cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 – 1/2 cup ice water raw sugar for sprinkling
for the goat cheese
Follow the instructions for the Urban Cheesecraft Kit.
for the ricotta
Follow the instructions for the Urban Cheesecraft Ricotta Kit, or follow the steps below for ricotta without the kit.
Pour the milk and cream into a non-reactive pot (use a stainless steel or enameled pot). Stir in the salt and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally so the milk doesn’t stick/burn on the bottom of the pan.Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles and separates into curds and whey.
Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined strainer and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The ricotta will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.
for the pastry
Combine flour, salt and sugar in a bowl and whisk combine. Add in cubed butter and use a pastry cutter (or your fingers, but work quickly so the butter doesn’t melt) to incorporate until mixture resembles a coarse meal. You should still be able to see pea-sized chunks of butter throughout the flour.
Gradually add in ice cold water with a wooden spoon, until just combined. You’ll have to adjust how much water you add based on how the dough feels. If the dough is too crumbly and doesn’t hold together when you squish it together, add more ice water, 1 tbsp at a time. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into two flat discs. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
for the filling
Combine both cheese and set aside.
for the assembly
Roll out dough, one disc at a time, on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8″ thick and 12 inches in diameter. For mini crostatas, divide the rolled out dough into 4 equal parts.
Spread half of the ricotta and cheese mixture over top of the dough, leaving a 2″ border. For mini crostatas, spread about 2 tbsp of cheese on each section. Gently fold up the borders of the dough over top of the cheese, pleating as you go. This doesn’t have to be perfect – in fact it should be imperfect and rustic looking.
Brush crust with milk and sprinkle with raw sugar. Don’t skip this– it’s what makes the crust look and taste professional lol. Repeat the above 4 steps with the second disc of dough.
Refrigerate your assembled crostata while working on the second one. Place the crostata in the freezer while the oven preheats to 375 degrees F, about 10 minutes.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and slide the crostata off the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. Let it cool as long as you can stand it. I made it 22 minutes.
Top with Tomato Vanilla Jam and devour.