Rhubarb and Strawberry Crostata
Sweet, tart, and bursting with syrupy fruit, this Rhubarb and Strawberry Crostata is simple to make and out of this world delicious! Try making this stunning dessert for your next dinner party – I can guarantee you’ll be showered with lots of “ooohs!” and “ahhhs!” from your guests, all without ever breaking a sweat.
Even though I love to cook and bake, I’m a huge fan of foolproof recipes that look impressive but are really easy. This beautiful dessert recipe is my ideal dinner party fare – it is drop dead gorgeous and takes only 15 minutes worth of active time to make.
What is a Crostata?
Crostata is an Italian dish that is quite similar to the French galette. Both are free-form pies or tarts that can be filled with any number of fruits, nuts, or even savory fillings.
Want a rhubarb free option? Check out this rustic apple and strawberry galette recipe!
While the dough is similar to pie dough, there is no complicated fluting involved – simply roll it out on a piece of parchment, add the fillings, and roughly fold the dough around the edges to keep all the goodness inside.
About This Recipe
This recipe was inspired by a trip to California where we went to a delicious restaurant called Bestia. For dessert, they served an amazing rhubarb and frangipane crostata with a raspberry glaze. I decided to arrange fresh strawberries over the rhubarb instead of adding a raspberry glaze for a hint of texture and sweetness.
I used this rhubarb and strawberry galette filling recipe, but used my own very simple, no-fail galette dough recipe. The results were phenomenal! The filling was sweet and tart with the perfect amount of chew, the crust was perfectly flaky, and when served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it was good enough to make my desert-island food list.
This dough is seriously so easy to make — there are no fancy tools required, no fancy ingredients, and no need to refrigerate. It is literally the most basic pastry recipe I have ever found! If you’re nervous about crust-making, this is the recipe for you, my friends.
This dessert also just so happens to be vegan if you omit the egg wash and use a vegan alternative instead.
The beauty of my rhubarb strawberry crostata is how rustic it is. You don’t have to worry about rolling out a perfect circle, or transferring the rolled crust to a pie pan in a single piece, or making a top crust. There’s no crimping or fluting or other finicky decorating required. If you love pie but dread making them, this right here is the method for you.
It’s dead simple – just roll out the dough on a piece of parchment, add the fruit filling and use your hands to fold the dough over to keep the fruity syrup inside. I can guarantee the crostata will be a show-stopper no matter what – those beautiful imperfections are what make it so stunning!
How to Make a Fruit Crostata
Combine the cut rhubarb and strawberries with the sugar and vanilla. Allow to sit for 1 hour.
In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the shortening and mix with your fingers, a fork or a pastry cutter until you have the consistency of small crumbs.
Slowly drizzle in the water by the tablespoon until the dough holds together enough to form a ball. If it is too dry, add the remaining water, and mix until the dough comes together.
Place crostata dough on a lightly floured parchment sheet. Roll out the pastry to a 12 to 14-inch circle and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Decoratively arrange the rhubarb and strawberry slices on top leaving a 1-inch border. Fold the pastry edge up and over the filling.
Brush egg wash onto crust and sprinkle raw sugar over dough and filling.
Bake strawberry rhubarb crostata for 40 to 45 minutes. The pastry should be nicely browned and crisp, and all of the fruit is tender. Serve warm or at room temperature, preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Since the pastry is made with shortening, you’re basically already there. Simply omit the egg wash and swap in a vegan alternative instead. (My personal favorite is a brush of melted vegan butter.)
If rhubarb isn’t in season, check your freezer aisle. Oftentimes you can find rhubarb with the frozen fruit! If not, feel free to swap in more strawberries, or use a mix of your favorite berries or fruit instead.
While I personally prefer to eat my crostata fresh from the oven (after about 10 minutes of cooling time), you can easily make it up to three days in advance. Just note that the crust will become softer the longer it sits, meaning you’ll lose out a little on the flaky factor if you do opt to make it ahead of time.
More Sweet Treats
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Rhubarb and Strawberry Crostata
- 1 pound rhubarb, 4 stalks, cut in half vertically and then into 4” pieces
- 1 cup strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine the cut rhubarb and strawberries with the sugar and vanilla. Allow to sit for 1 hour.
- In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the shortening and combine until you have the consistency of small crumbs.
- Slowly drizzle water by the tablespoon until the dough holds together enough to form a ball. If too dry, add the remaining water, and combine until the dough comes together.
- Place dough on a lightly floured parchment sheet, roll out the pastry to a 12 to 14-inch circle and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Decoratively arrange the rhubarb and strawberry slices on top leaving a 1-inch border. Fold the pastry edge up and over the filling.
- Brush egg wash onto crust and sprinkle raw sugar over dough and filling.
- Bake crostata for 40 to 45 minutes, until the pastry is nicely browned and crisp, and all of the fruit is tender.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
- If rhubarb isn’t in season, check your freezer aisle. Oftentimes you can find rhubarb with the frozen fruit! If not, feel free to swap in more strawberries, or use a mix of your favorite berries or fruit instead.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: May 2018.