Remember how George Peppard's character Hannibal used to say "I love it when a plan comes together?" And then there'd be driving in the Rad Van and awesome A-Team music? Well, that's how I felt when I made an experimental Biscoff crostata yesterday.
Play the video so you can feel that way too.
You may or may not have gotten the news that I was Not a fan of the Biscoff spread when I tried it straight up on a spoon. I thought it was oddly oil-ish and had a Totally Awful Aftertaste. And then someone told me that it is better used in things, not just on a finger or something.
I began Pondering my Options, and then I remembered that I had purchased some sour cherry preserves when I hung out with The Beloved's boss a couple of weeks ago. And so I think: Biscoff and sour cherry preserves. Since Biscoff sells itself, at least in part as a peanut butter substitute, I figured it'd be a Clever play on a peanut butter and jelly sammich. Plus, I had some pate brisee leftover from the pie crust video extravaganza, and I was Ready To Go.
Since I didn't love the straight Biscoff, I decided I'd better doctor it up a bit, so I came up with a frangipane-ish filling by mixing in an egg yolk, salt, vanilla and a smidge of cream cheese that was lying forlornly in the fridge. And since Biscoff is 57% pureed cookie, it already contained the flour, pre-baked as it was. The resulting filling baked up and puffed around the fruit in a very satisfyingly frangipane-ish manner. Plus, it no longer contained that weird raw cookie oily factor--it caramelized beautifully in the oven and baked up a bit crumbly and nutty with wonderful caramel and, to a lesser extent, spice notes.
If you've been on the fence or decidedly on the Anti-Biscoff spread side, try baking with it. I think you will be Very Pleasantly surprised. I certainly was. Yay! And if you're on the fence or decidedly on the Yay-Biscoff spread side, you may just be Transported to the Land of Duckies and Bunnies by this crostata.
First, you'll need some dough. Use store-bought if you want, or puff pastry rolled fairly thin (either store-bought or homemade) or make some of your own pie dough. I used the leftover pâte brisée from the pie crust video extravaganza last week.
Once you have that, here's what you do:
- ½ cup Biscoff spread
- 1 oz softened cream cheese
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- about ⅓-1/2 cup Preserves of Choice (I used sour cherry. You want something chunky with large pieces of fruit. Jam won't work here; it'll melt and leak all over)
- 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
- Sugar in the Raw or other sugar with large crystals, for sprinkling
- A bit of flake salt for sprinkling (I used Fleur de Sel)
- Set an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Build your crostata in place on the parchment.
- Stir together the Biscoff spread, cream cheese, egg yolk, salt and vanilla until smooth.
- Spread the filling in the center of your round of dough. You want about a ½" layer of filling. Keep about 2" away from the edge of your dough all the way around.
- Top with your preserves. Be generous but not ridiculous.
- Carefully fold up edges of dough over the filling all the way around, pleating when necessary.
- Brush the dough with the egg wash.
- Liberally sprinkle the sugar all over the dough and filling.
- Give a light sprinkling of flake salt over the filling.
- Bake in the center of the oven until the filling is puffed and both the filling and crust are a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes.
- Remove to a rack and let cool to warm.
Truth be told, I really wasn't sure how this was going to turn out. It sounded good in my head, but we all know that sometimes that just doesn't work out very well.
This time though, what sounded good in my head was even better In Real Life. You see, I had Allowed for some Biscoff-weirdness to still be present. I'd expected it, and was just hoping that the sour cherries and sweet crust would offset it, but the Biscoff-based filling bore little resemblance to the raw stuff in the jar. Okay, it bore no resemblance to the weird stuff in the jar.
Make this, y'all. Or make something similar. I think you'll dig it. We certainly did!
So, did you ever expect to be a fan of an It ingredient only to have it Fall Short? Tell me I'm not alone.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a lovely day.