Orange Pomegranate Crostata November DB Challenge

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

I am late with my Daring Bakers Challenge post this month; throwing a birthday party and Thanksgiving cooking left me with little time to post on the 27th.  I finally had time to finish it though, and the challenge this month was another opportunity for to me to try something new and fun.  Crostata (tart) is an Italian dessert, with a base of pasta frolla (sweet short crust pastry) and can be filled with whatever you please.  Since Thanksgiving was just around the corner, I thought to do a pumpkin filled tart, but I had some pomegranates sitting in my refrigerator and decided to whip up this Orange Pomegranate Tart.  I love pomegranates and it's definitely a bonus that they are so good for you!
I have never made pastry cream before, so this was an opportunity for me to gain some experience in something new, and while the pastry cream was good, I think next time I would try an orange curd. I did not have a large tart pan, so I made little tartlets, then filled them with the orange pastry cream and sprinkled with pomegranate arils.  I always like to make mini sized desserts, it tricks my brain into thinking that I'm eating an acceptable amount of calories...never mind that I usually eat two of them:)
Orange Pomegranate Tart
Printable Recipes

Orange Pastry Cream
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
finely grated peel from one orange
1/8 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and the flour until well incorporated. Set aside. In a small, heavy-bottomed pan, place the milk, orange zest, and the other 2 tablespoons of sugar, and heat until barely boiling. Remove from heat and pour half of the milk mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking until combined. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and put on medium-low heat, whisking constantly until mixture is thick (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and add the butter, stirring until melted. If desired, press the pastry cream through a sieve over a bowl. Store in the refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed on the surface for up to 3 days.

Pasta Frolla (sweet short crust)
1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar, or a scant 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
1 and 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour and salt. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or a fork.
Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it.  Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can also refrigerate the dough overnight.

Heat the oven to 350F. Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it, but keep the dough loosely covered.  Roll the crostata dough out between the plastic wrap, this prevents the dough from sticking to your surface without using flour, and makes it easier to transfer to your tart pan. 

If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.  Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch thick. Now flip the dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap. Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around.

Cut a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil large enough to cover the bottom of the crust and extend out a bit over the edges of the pan. You can use pie weights or dry beans to blind bake. Place whatever weight you’re using directly on the parchment paper or aluminum foil in an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and foil and continue baking the crostata shell until the border is light golden, about 5 minutes (watch carefully to avoid over-baking, which results in a hard shell). If you don't use a baking weight, the crust may rise in the middle: if that occurs, gently push it back down with the back of a spoon. Remove from the oven and let the crostata shell cool completely before proceeding.

Remove the crostata shell from the tart pan, and place on a serving plate.  Fill the cooled shell with the prepared pastry cream, then sprinkle the pomegranate arils over the top.  Enjoy!



Chef Dennis Littley said...


those perfect little tarts look positively delicious!! what a great idea using the pomegranate, I have to struggle to find ways to use mine.,,,orange pastry cream must have gone so well with the pomegranates and your short crust pasty came out beautifully!! Great job with this DB challenge

Cookinva said...

Wow, your mini crostatas look so amazing and professional! I bet the orange and pomegranate combination was amazing.

Belinda @zomppa said...

Great combination!! Looks beautiful.

Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels said...

What gorgeous tarts. Not only are they beautiful but they look so delicious as well! :) You did an incredible job with this challenge!! said...

they looks perfect and the presentation is so cute! :D

Karen said...

Gorgeous crostatas! They look so perfect...and sound like they taste amazing too. Yummy combo with the orange and pom.

Anonymous said...

Very lovely little tarts. The flavor combo must have tasted delicous. Well done

Anonymous said...

Looks awesome- I am a fan of anything with poms!

Flour Child said...

Those tarts look amazing. I am, as always, terrified of making a pie crust.
What was the orange pomegranate combination like? I've never tried that before.

Becky said...

Your tarts turned out so well and look divine. Orange and pom is a very flavorful combination.

I’ve an award for you (The Versatile Blogger Award), please come and pick it up when you’re free.


Audax said...

Those mini crostatine are adorable I love pomegranates and the idea of orange crema sounds delightful yes I agree orange curd would be better.

The pastry looks perfect you did a wonderful job on this challenge.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

sara @ CaffeIna said...

Amber, I'm so glad you did post them! Your crostate look fabulous and the orange pomegranate combination is fantastic! Great job on this challenge!

Unknown said...

Your tartlets look and sound soooo amazing! Orange and pomegranate is such an interesting combination - not one you hear of that often, but I bet its delicious. The colour of the pomegranate on top is beautiful!

scrambledhenfruit said...

I love your miniature desserts! The pomegranate is absolutely gorgeous- love the combination of flavors!

Elisabeth said...

What beautiful perfect little crostatas. The filling looks absolutely divine, with the pomegranate.
Such a great DB challenge. Each and every challenger has a different way of making theirs, and yours is very unique and beautiful, as well!

Vicki Wilde said...

Wow, your little crostatas look so cute, and delicious! Nice job on this months challenge!

Anonymous said...

the pom looks so beautiful!! i would never have thought to put them on tarts! These are very very gorgeous. Great job!

Carolyn said...

I love this take on the challenge! It looks delicious with all of those seeds. Great job!

becky said...

this looks stunningly perfect!! beautiful job on this months challenge :)

Susi's Kochen und Backen said...

Your pomegranate crostatas are simply stunning. The color just pops off my screen. Beautiful!

Monet said...

Amber, These are beautiful! I can't imagine a more gorgeous way to showcase some of the fruit of the season. What a great challenge. I can only imagine how great the pomegranate must taste with that orange pastry cream. Thanks for sharing, my sweet friend! Have a great Tuesday.

Sandy - Everyday Southwest said...

Your mini crostatas are beautiful! Congrats on making the top nine. I hope you don't mind if I make these for Christmas tea with the nieces... they will love the little jewels, I mean pomegranates.

We still have three days to enter our site's birthday give away for a KitchenAid mixer. Come on over to and join the party!

Anonymous said...

these are great. i like the combo of orange and pomegranate

Anonymous said...

I'll just take a bite off that fork please :)

Becky said...

Congratulations on the Top 9 today!

Kita said...

That crust looks beautiful. Thick and tasty. Not to mention the pomegranate looks good as well - but with all things start with a good crust is what I love most about them.

Terra said...

Congrats on making the Top 9 on FoodBuzz:) This Crostata looks so amazing!!! I look forward to following your blog, and reading about your wonderful recipes:)

Take care,

Kim - Liv Life said...

Amber, your tarts are just gorgeous! The photos beautifully capture the colors. I've never actually made a pastry cream either, but it doen't look so bad. I'm fairly new to pomegranate as well and am fully enjoying them this season! Lovely job!
On another note, Liv and I have passed you the Stylish Blogger Award on our Puffed Apple post. Your blog is so lovely, the epitome of style if you ask me. Thanks for giving us all such a wonderful place to visit! I don't think I would have that the time or energy when my son was 4...

Claire Gallam said...

These are gorgeous and look really tasty!

Vanilla and Thyme said...

These look absolutely perfect, as well as healthy! Will definitely be trying them soon-

Cristina - TeenieCakes said...

OMGosh! Your orange pomegranate crostata turned out so beautiful. Just lovely - congrats on a very successful Daring Baker's Challenge!

Seasoned & Stirred said...

Can you believe I've never eaten a fresh pomegranate? Your recipe looks amazing--maybe I'll give it a shot. Thanks for sharing your recipe and congrats on making the Top 9! :>)

Sandra said...

This look so beautiful! What to say that wasn't already said before me:))
Fabulous taste, all in one little tart!!!

Scarletta @ Scarletta Bakes said...

These look absolutely gorgeous and exotically delicious!

I agree that this is a perfect showcase for pomegranate.

Thanks for sharing (and daring!)!

Eileen said...

Such pretty little tarts. They look so appetizing, as do all your baked goods!

Evan @swEEts said...

Your crostatas are gorgeous! I love the flavor combo as well.. surprisingly I've never backing with pomegranates but I can only imagine how good this tastes! Oh, and birthday parties/thanksgiving are totally good excuses for posting late! :)

Jane said...

These are bright and beautiful. Your photos are stunning!

Simona Carini said...

Your crostatine look very elegant, with the pomegranate arils on top, very festive. I have never tried to make pastry cream with orange peel instead of lemon.

Miss Candiquik said...

wow, seriously. These look to die for. I can't really think of anything that I want more than one of these right now. Too bad their not ready for me right now. Soon though! I will be trying these. Thanks for the convincing (it didn't take much!)

Sarah at

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

I made these today and posted about them on my blog for Weekend Blog Showcase. I loved the pastry cream and the contrast of the pomegranate arils with the orange-y cream. Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe!

BTW, I love your blog. Your photos are amazing!

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