Vino Cotto Glazed Strawberries and Almond Crostata

Vino Cotto Glazed Strawberries and Almond Crostata

A free form rustic tart with a lovely custard and frangipane filling, topped with roasted strawberries.   This desserts is loved by many in my family and the kitchen is filled with a delicate sweet aroma of roasted strawberries.  Best of all there is no need to blind bake!

This tart can be made with various fruits of your choice such as nectarines, apples, pears, fresh figs, mixed berries or rhubarb.  My favourite is strawberries.

The sweet almond pastry and the Italian custard can be made a day in advance.

Serves 8-10


Almond pasta frolla (sweet almond pastry) **Can be made a day in advance**
200gm (1 2/3 cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100gm almond meal
50gm (1/4 cup) castor sugar
75gm cold unsalted butter, chopped
1 egg, lightly whisked
eggwash or milk, for brushing

Italian Custard **Can be made a day in advance**
160ml (2/3 cup) milk
3 pieces of lemon rind
2 egg yolks
50 gm  (1/4 cup) caster sugar
1 ½ tbs plain flour

50 gm unsalted butter, softened
50 gm caster sugar
1 tsp plain flour
1 egg yolk, lightly whisked
20ml (1 tbls) dark rum or Vino Cotto
40gm almond meal

Glazed Strawberries
1/2 cup of Vino Cotto
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 punnets of strawberries, washed, hulled, halved lengthwise


Sweet Pastry **Can be made a day in advance**
Process flour, almonds and sugar in a food processor to well combined.  Add butter and process till it resembles breadcrumbs.  Transfer into a bowl, make a well in centre and add egg.  Mix to combine, turn on a floured surface and lightly knead until mixture forms a dough (add a touch of water if dough is too dry).  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours to rest.

Italian Custard **Can be made a day in advance**
In a saucepan, add milk and lemon rind and bring just to the boil over a medium heat.  Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale, then add flour and whisk to combine.  Pour milk mixture into egg mixture (this order is important), whisk to combine, then return to saucepan and whisk over a medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, approx 3-4 minutes.  Remove rind and let mixture cool.

Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.  Add yolk and beat.  Add almond meal and flour until well combined and slowly add in the rum.  Add in the cooled custard and beat until well combined.

Glazed Strawberries
Stir together strawberries and sugar in a bowl and let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Strain in a sieve set over a small saucepan, reserving berries. Add vino cotto to liquid in saucepan and simmer until reduced to about 1/4 cup or simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly. Note: Keep a close eye on the Vino Cotto as it may burn.  It will get thicker as it cools down. Transfer to a small bowl to cool slightly.
Place strawberries in a large bowl, add the cooled vino cotto syrup and toss gently to combine.


Preheat oven to 170C.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 30cm round shape.  Slide onto a lined baking tray.  Refrigerate for 30minutes (helps to prevent dough from cracking).

Strain the glazed strawberries and keep syrup.

Spread frangipane filling onto sweet pastry leaving a 4cm border.  Lay glazed strawberries on top, fold in pastry borders, pleating as you go.  Brush crostata with eggwash or milk.  Brush strawberries with reserved syrup.  Bake until light golden  (25-30 minutes). Reduce oven to 160C and bake until golden (10 minutes).   Transfer crostata to a cake rack and let cool.

Dust with icing sugar and serve with crème fraîche or vanilla ice-cream and drizzle with remaining syrup or extra Vino Cotto.

Buy the Vino Cotto you need for this recipe online. Click here.