Enjoy the best tastes of Santa Monica with local Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe’s deliciously fresh and in-season Strawberry and Rhubarb Crostata recipe.
Hi Bold Bakers!
Small businesses are the heart of community and thanks to Google, I was fortunate enough to take a step in the kitchen of one of my favorite small businesses. Here in Santa Monica, California, resides warm and welcoming Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe. Partners, and husband-and-wife team, Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan opened Huckleberry in February 2009 as a natural extension to their existing Rustic Canyon restaurant, with an added emphasis on exceptional daytime options for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Having won widespread acclaim for her pastries, desserts and breads as the former pastry chef at Rustic Canyon, Zoe envisions Huckleberry as a local destination for outstanding, seasonal cuisine in a casual and community-centric environment.
Huckleberry solely uses freshly grown and in-season produce from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market and from other nearby producers; local and environmental support being a value core to their identity. I was fortunate to stand alongside Head of Bakery Operations, Laurel Almerinda as she worked fresh, handmade dough into a beautiful Strawberry and Rhubarb Crostata.
Rich golden butter peeks through the handcrafted dough – Laurel’s (and my) ideology being that underworked dough makes for the best pastry. The mixture is gorgeous – the hues of red and purple are striking from the fresh produce. Vibrant house made jam melds the fruit and vegetable together and salt well-seasons this pastry. Laurel, and Huckleberry, are clearly passionate about what they’re doing and, with a heavenly bite, it’s clear to me why I’ve always come back to Huckleberry.
Fortunately, you don’t need to worry if you can’t make it to Santa Monica to delve into this sweet perfection. Laurel and Huckleberry were kind enough to offer the recipe to you Bold Bakers. Enjoy!
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crostata
- Sliced Strawberries , 4 Baskets
- Poached Rhubarb , 2 cups
- Strawberry Jam , 1/4 cup
- Cornstarch , 3 Tablespoons
- Organic Sugar , 6 Tablespoons
- Brown Sugar , 2/3 cups
- Kosher Salt , 1 1/2 Tsp
- Unsalted Butter , melted 2 oz
- Egg Wash , for sealing
- Sugar , for sealing
Flaky Pie Dough
- All Purpose Flour , 2 Cups
- Organic Sugar , 1/4 Cups
- Kosher Salt , 3/4 teaspoons
- Baking Powder , 3/4 teaspoons
- Unsalted Butter , 8 oz
- Ice Water , 1/4 Cups
- Flaky Pie Dough Method
- If using a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt once to blend. Place the butter into the work bowl and pulse about three times until pea-sized. Pour the water over the flour mixture and pulse another three times until the dough is only just starting to come together.
- If mixing by hand, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a very large bowl. Stir to blend. Toss the cold butter with the dries. Work the butter between your fingertips until the pieces are pea and lima bean-sized. Add the water. Lightly toss to distribute.
- After combining everything either with a food processor or by hand, your mixture should be shaggy, dry and clumpy. Dump it out onto a clean work surface in order to bring the dough together by hand. (Do not flour the counter, as you do not want to add any more flour to the dough).
- Begin by firmly pressing the entire surface of the dough with the heel of your palm. Toss and squeeze the dough to redistribute the wet and dry patches.
- Repeat, pressing thoroughly again with the heel of your palm and continue pressing, tossing and squeezing until it begins to hold together. But, be sure not to overwork the dough! It should stay together but you should still see pea-sized bits of butter running through.
- Press the dough into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or freeze for up to 1 month.
- If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.
- If refrigerated for longer than 1 hour, allow dough to warm up at room temperature for a few minutes before shaping. It should feel cold to the touch, but malleable. Never allow the dough to become soft or warm. Chill as needed while working.
- Allow the flakey dough to soften at room temperature for about 10 minutes before rolling, depending on the temperature of your house. It should be cold but malleable.
- Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 14 inches round, and about an even 1/8-inch thick. Transfer onto greased round of parchment and onto the base of a spring form pan.
- Toss all the filling components together and pile it into the center of the dough. Lightly brush the dough border with egg wash and fold over the filling.
- Place the ring onto the spring form and freeze for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 month wrapped tightly.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- When ready to bake, brush the crust with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and bake from semi-frozen until DEEP golden brown, about 45 minutes to one hour.
- When done, allow to set up before serving for at least 20 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar if you’re so moved.
- Best the day they’re made, but keeps up to 2 days, wrapped well at room temperature.
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