The history behind the Crostata is unclear with some saying it was a gift from grateful habitants of Napoli to a pagan goddess of the sea in pre-Christian times, created from ingredients that symbolised strength and richness (flour), rejuvenation of life (eggs) and the sweetness of the siren’s song (sugar). Other legends place the Crostata as an Easter tradition; the cake that finally brought a smile to the face of the Queen of Austria when Ferdinando II di Borboni was king – he declared it as an Easter dessert to guarantee his wife’s smile at least once a year; or a symbol of the resurrection of Christ created in the ancient convent of San Gregorio Armeno.
In any case it became a popular dessert to exchange among friends at Easter and as such over time different versions were created as each person wanted to make their gift slightly different. Now you will often see it on menus all year round and especially at events such as harvest festivals and Easter of course.
350/4oog Plain Flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
One small cup Vermouth
- Beat/whisk the eggs with the sugar. Add the butter and mix well into a creamy consistency. Add the flour and the baking powder a little at time, mixing well. Add the lemon rind and vermouth.
- Once you have a smooth dough set aside a quarter of it then roll the remainder to form the base of the Crostata. Put into a baking tin/flan case – round or square as you please.
- Spread a generous amount of marmalade across the whole of the dough base.
- With the set aside dough roll then flatten strips and place across the top of the marmalade to make a lattice pattern.
- Cook at 180°C/350°F for 20/25minutes until the lattice is golden brown.
- Serve warm or cold as preferred with cream or ice cream.
Serves: 4 – 6