Baking| QUARK-TATA … Daring Bakers Crostata with Quark & Apples {& petit fours too}!

“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”
Oprah Winfrey

Quark & Apple Crostata

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.

Quark & Apple Crostata

A crostata is an Italian baked dessert tart, and a form of pie. It is traditionally prepared by folding the edges of the dough over the top of the jam/marmalade filling, creating a more “rough” look, rather than a uniform, circular shape. The jams that are traditionally used as a filling are cherries, peaches, apricots, berries. The crostata can also be filled with pieces of fresh fruit and pastry cream (crema pasticcera), but then it is called torta di frutta. A typical central Italian variety replaces jam with ricotta mixed with sugar, cocoa or pieces of chocolate and anisetta; this is called crostata di ricotta.

Quark & Apple Crostata I got to baking my crostata pretty early this month, and only because of the pressure of my home made quark which was nearing expiry. I didn’t think it would last another day, so I hit fast track and decided it was time for pie! I followed the pastry recipe that Simona provided, meandering from it characteristically as I was in a hurry, and used granular vanilla sugar instead of powdered sugar. Also added a scraped vanilla bean as I am wary of eggy flavours in pastry. I have a good stash of vanilla beans on hand, and love to use them where possible.

Quark & Apple CrostataFor the filling we had the option to go creative…pastry creme, baked fruit, fresh fruit, jam…whatever caught our fancy! My fancy? You guessed it … my crostrata would have quark! I had some quark that I had made yet again for a cake I wanted to try, but then along came this challenge. I decided to try my luck here. I also had on hand some apple mix left over from some Apple Walnut Cinnamon Parcels I had made a couple of days ago. The crostata was already a quark-tata, and would be a ‘fall tart’ I think I made a crostrata de quarka!

Quark & Apple Crostata The filling was to be sweet, full of fall flavour, topping the experimental quark filling. I considered adding cream to the quark, but once beaten it looked quick thick and delicious, so I skipped the cream. Added some eggs and a spoon of flour to help set it, and thought if it wouldn’t set, we would just scoop it into our mouths! By the time it was baked, and beautifully puffy, I gave it a tiny poke on top to see if it was jiggly, and I was thrilled to see it was set. I think I love experiments, especially ones that work out well…LOL!

Quark & Apple Crostata This is what I love about being a Daring Baker …the creative part. They give you a recipe, a basic which you need to follow, and then open it out for you to stamp it your own little way! This one was fun fun fun! I used a loose bottomed tart pan that my sis had got from the US, and a pastry cutter that she recently sent. I was dying to do the lattice, but figured that lattice on a hot pie might not work. I didn’t take into account the apple layer which was cold, but stuck the edges in a hurry. Next time, will try to weave a proper lattice. For this time, I was quite happy!

Petit Fours...cookies with whipped lemon curd cream I used the left over pastry to make sugar cookies as suggested by Simona, and have hung on to them for too many days. The weather being cold, they have been sitting happily in an air tight box. I found them 2 days ago, and almost gave them to the kids to chomp. Then in a burst of creativity, decided to top them with some whipped home made lemon curd cream, left over from my Mum’s birthday cake, a Lavendar Chiffon with Lemon Curd Whipped Cream, yet to be posted!

Lavender Chiffon CakeHere’s what I made last night…

Petit Fours...cookies with whipped lemon curd creamPetit fours … biscuits topped with home made lemon curd whipped cream, topped with strawberry cream, topped with fruit and biscuit bits. Ooooh this was good too, and definitely delicious!

Thank you Simona for the exciting challenge, and thank you as always Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!!

Quark & Apple Crostata Quark and Apple Crostata
Pasta Frolla {pastry/tart shell}
1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
100g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Grated zest of half a lemon (you could also use vanilla sugar as an option)
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl with 1/2 a vanilla bean, scraped

Put sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest in the food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
Add butter and pulse a few times, until the mixture has the consistency of coarse meal.
Empty food processor’s bowl onto your work surface.
Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it. 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. {I needed a tbsp of chilled water to bind my dough}. 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 refrigerate the dough overnight.
Lightly butter/grease the tart pan.
Roll out the pastry and line the pan. {I used about 2/3 pastry only}. Chill in freezer, while the oven is preheating at 190C
Bake blind for 20-25 minutes using pie weights, or as I did, a heavy metal plate {or metal bowl placed over baking paper}
Cool base in pan once done.
Pie Filling
200g quark, well drained {homemade recipe here}
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean scraped
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tbsp flour
Place all ingredients in a large bowl, and beat till smooth, 1-2 minutes. Turn into baked and cooled pie shell, and bake at 180C for 15 minutes.
While it’s baking, prepare the topping.
Quark & Apple Crostata MakingTopping:
2 apples, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1tsp flour
Apple filling:
Toss together all ingredients till apples are well coated. Take pie out after 15 minutes, and add topping, and lattice on top. Brush the lattice with egg white, and sprinkle over with vanilla sugar. Bake for another 45 minutes till nice and puffy. {Cover loosely with foil if the pastry is getting too brown.}. If you touch it gently, you will see that the filling is set and not jiggly. Allow to stand for at least an hour before slicing. Serve with unsweetened low fat cream!
Quark & Apple Crostata

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  1. Wow you really did a great job on this challenge, totally gorgeous, the photo’s are amazing too and so well styled. Love it!

  2. What a splendid tart! That combo is delightful and wonderfully seasonal.



  3. Even though I love crostate and this one in particular looks incredible, my attention was stolen by that lavender birthday cake you made for your mum! Recipe for that please? :)
    The petit fours are adorable as well Deeba!
    My Little Expat Kitchen´s last blog post ..Meat and pasta- the western Greek wayMy Profile

  4. This is a beauty Deeba. I’s say you conquered the challenge!

  5. Awesome crostata – And your pictures are great, you are so creative. I ended up doing a cranberry crostata, and loved it. I think it is my favorite crust now. Since it is not eh 27th here yet :) it is not up until tomorrow.
    Delishhh´s last blog post ..Cranberry Orange Molds Indian Trail Cranberry Orange MoldMy Profile

  6. Oh my! That looks amazing. It isn’t the 27th yet in California, so I have not posted my Daring Baker’s Challenge yet. Yours is delightfully inspiring. Thanks!
    Amanda at Enchanted Fig´s last blog post ..On a RollMy Profile

  7. Your quark-tata looks absolutely beautiful, Deeba! I was recently told about quark by a German friend’s mum, and I have it on my to-do list to bake with it. I’ll be looking at your homemade quark recipe for sure! And I was in the same boat about weaving the lattice! In my case, my dough was so fragile (very high summer temps at the moment) that I also decided to lay them flat. But oh, do I feel like sinking my teeth into your quark-tata!
    Honey @ honeyandsoy´s last blog post ..Blackberry frangipane tartMy Profile

  8. Wow Deeba! Must’ve been delicious! Love the cookies with the lemon curd cream, great idea! I love lemon desserts… one of my crostatas was lemon :o)
    Renata´s last blog post ..BOLO DE AIPIM COM COCOMy Profile

  9. This look delicious Deeba, really delicious , xxx gloria
    Gloria´s last blog post ..Ginger pumpkin merengue pieMy Profile

  10. The tart looks beautiful. My sweet teeth are aching for a piece now :)

  11. Swathi says:

    I love your version of corstata. They are beautiful and delicious.

  12. Lovely post Deeba…and nice combi too!
    Mouthwatering… 😛

  13. Your photographs are astounding stunning impressive (I’m lost for words) they all deserve to be on the cover of an Italian Cookbook. And your fillings are delicious and the sugar biscuits with whipped home made lemon curd cream are so glamorous. Superb work on this challenge you are inspiration to me and all the Daring Kitchen members. Adorable <3<3<3

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.
    Audax Artifex´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers November- 2010 challenge CrostataMy Profile

  14. Deeba, you truly are the baking queen, looks like you bake and decorate everyday and each one of your creations is so unique and different from the others. What a great repetoire of recipes and ideas and your decorating skillls are out of this world. Your lucky family gets to live in pastry shop!
    sandhya@vegetarianirvana´s last blog post ..Baked Pomegranate Infused Yogurt PuddingMy Profile

  15. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    Deeba-your crostata looks gorgeous! I love apple desserts. Beautiful photos! Xx
    Lora @cakeduchess´s last blog post ..The Daring Bakers Challenge- Crostata di NutellaMy Profile

  16. You make this sound so good! And don’t we LOVE experiments that work:-)) That one is a stunning and beautiful cake you baked for your Mom!
    suma´s last blog post ..Black Forest GateauMy Profile

  17. anglia says:

    very nice article on recipe and looking very delicious.

  18. Oh gosh, you’ve done it again Deeba, your Quark and Apple Crostata is fabulous, I’ve not seen one like this. Pics are wonderful as usual… :)

  19. Looks great Deeba! Love the lattice with the walnuts poking through.
    Emma @ Poires au Chocolat´s last blog post ..Chocolate Truffle CrostataMy Profile

  20. Beautiful tart! Would love to have a piece!
    Cherine´s last blog post ..Baked Scallops GratinMy Profile

  21. This look delicious Deeba, really delicious your photographs are amazing! impressive!
    Sabiilaa Saleem´s last blog post ..Crostata tartMy Profile

  22. Ooo la la la, it all looks so fancy Deeba! Quarktata sounds fabulous and very clever :) The those petit fours, my oh my. Just fabulous as usual.
    shaz´s last blog post ..DB Nov 2010 You say crostata- I say My Profile

  23. Your crostata looks so wholesome and beautiful, and I love the sounds of the flavours! And the sugar cookies look adorable.
    Sheena´s last blog post ..daring bakers- strawberry and rhubarb crostataMy Profile

  24. Beautiful as always! Simply the Art!
    Gretings from Zagreb,
    Tadeja´s last blog post ..– Daring Bakers Challenge – November 2010 – Crostata! –My Profile

  25. Love the pic of the hand presenting the tart… and that petit fours are simply gorgeous Deeba :)

  26. I love reading other daring bakers posts. It’s so interesting to see how someone else interpreted the challenge. I especially live it when someone says they’ve made something like quark. Of course, I have to bookmark it to try for myself so it creates more work for m’s but at the same time, I’m drooling thinking about how great such a thing must be when you make something like this for yourself!

  27. love the stunning red apples in the pic, love the filling the in crostata, how beautifully and perfectly you bring them out for presentation and lemon curd looks brilliant :)
    Ananda Rajashekar´s last blog post ..On A Date With Pear – Parmesan With Pear and WineMy Profile

  28. As always, I am completely impressed by everything about this post. Your photos are stunning, your writing is so fun to read, and your creativity is astounding. I had never even heard of quark as a cheese before, and now really want to try it!! Your crostata looks beautiful, and the cookies you made with the leftover are amazing. Excellent work.
    Shelley C´s last blog post ..November Daring Bakers Challenge – CrostataMy Profile

  29. Beautiful. I’m glad you mentioned quark again because I have to either find some or make some. But buttermilk is also not very common here; do you have any advice for me?

    I enjoyed making the crostata and I didn’t find the pastry had an eggy taste. It was delicious and my husband said the pastry was his favourite part, and that he’d like it as cookies. :)
    sarah, simply cooked´s last blog post ..citrus mascarpone crostataMy Profile

  30. I love experiments too and if they work well , Yay:-)
    AM loving ur stash of beans too:-), me too use 4 beans when 1 is called for , :-),yeah i go gaga too!
    Ha ha , am so happy to meet ur crostrata de quarka!
    ur not only creative u come up with so beautiful a bake/s!
    Yay for ur sis and the goodies , hope i had a sis there too:-)
    I love everything u baked here , the biscuits and ur moms gorgeous cake !!
    Hah super love!
    And a very pretty job everywhere! Deeba u rock babe!
    And must bookmark this too , im going to make a separate folder for u , all those gorgeous recipes u have :-)
    Does this pastry give a crispy cookie?
    happy weekend!

  31. I have been on a tart baking frenzy with that being the theme for the Bakers Challenge this month. (you can check some of the pics on my blog)
    Yours looks lovely and the cheese apple combination unusual. I did find that the pasta frolla seemed to work better with the more tangy fruits. Perhaps the cultured cheese added a bit of tang? Anywhichways, I love the idea of a creamy goey filling. Much better than a dry even though set one. I tell you I HAVE to try your quark one of these days. Will track down that unsalted buttermilk yet. And when I do, you will be the first to know.I promise!
    Reshmy Kurian´s last blog post ..Crostata and sugar in a plum Plum Plum!My Profile

  32. Delicious looking Quark and Apple Crostata, your pictures are gorgeous. Excellent job!

  33. Your pictures are excellent. I wish I was at your house last night, those petit fours look like they belong in my stomach =) Congrats on a challenge well done. I should have done lattice work on mine as well !
    theveggie´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers’ challenge- Pomegranate CrostataMy Profile

  34. You are always wonderful on the challenge Deeba. Even I too wanted to make shortbread cookies and make sandwiches since I had extra dough. Then dropped and thought of making someother day.. Seeing yours I really want to have it right away. By the way the Lavender cake looks so so delicious. Hope your mom had wonderful b’day by relishing ur lovable cake. Belated Wishes for her !!! Hope to see ur flavorful Cake post.

  35. Whenever I feel like making a tart , I resort to my true and tested and tasted pasta frolla; I have never tried your version nor the one with ricotta; love the little petit fours too! it all looks fantastic, as always in your site.
    tasteofbeirut´s last blog post ..Cranberry tarteMy Profile

  36. You are always so creative and artistic with the challenges, it’s always a joy to read your posts! I do love it when experiments work out well. The combination of apple and cheese is one of my favorite so I’d love to dive right into that crostata!
    Jeanne´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers Challenge- Cranberry Apple CrostataMy Profile

  37. Deeba, this is so beautiful. I mean, the crostata is so elegant and so creative already and then you went ahead and made those adorable petit fours. Great idea to use quark. I am off to read your post about it: it’s a cheese that i have eaten when visiting Germany, but never made at home.
    simona´s last blog post ..due crostateMy Profile

  38. As usual, beautiful photos! I may have lived a sheltered life but I had never heard of quark before. Your crostata looks delicious. Nice job on the challenge!

  39. Fabulous pictures, as always. Love the idea of quark and apples (and that birthday cake is stunning!).
    Laura´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers Crostata- Happy Birthday and Happy Thanksgiving!My Profile

  40. You are an outstanding photographer and such an inspiration. I can’t wait to try this filling recipe . love this filling idea . thanks for sharing.
    sadaf´s last blog post ..DBs Crostata di MarmellataMy Profile

  41. Can see you have a thing for quark too. :) You really went to town with this challenge, it seems. Everything looks mouthwateringly delish, Deeba!
    Like the new look here too. Am still working on mine.
    And I finally got my post done last night. 😀
    Aparna´s last blog post ..Pasta Frolla – Crostatine di Mele Apple Pie Mini Crostata and Crostate di Ricotta e Marmellata di Fragole Ricotta And Strawberry Jam Crostata- Daring Baker Challenge November- 2010My Profile

  42. This looks super! :) And I really wanna see how that lavender cake you made for your mum. Everything looks delish on your blog, as always x
    diva´s last blog post ..Irresistible Hazelnut Coffee-Spiked BrowniesMy Profile

  43. Beautiful you are always creative, and I love the cake you made yesterday too, love the design aroung that cake.
    Happy Cook´s last blog post ..Crosata filled With Pecan and Caramel – Daring bakers November 2010My Profile

  44. This looks so yummy! I recently had the pleasure of sampling delicious apple crostatas given by a friend. Simply divine :)
    Kiran´s last blog post ..Stir-fry Tilapia with AsparagusMy Profile

  45. You’re such an inspiration with your beautiful creations. I need to try those petit fours – so elegant looking.
    Denise´s last blog post ..Apple and Red Wine Crostata – Torta Di Sant AntonioMy Profile

  46. Wow, your crostatas are amazing! Your photography is amazing! Loving your creativity with the petit fours and so very interested in the chiffon cake post. Cant wait! xx

  47. Wow! gorgeous photos. You’re so talented!
    Robyn´s last blog post ..Blackberry Vanilla Crostata Gluten Free…My Profile

  48. Deeba, another gorgeous challenge . I missed this one and after seeing yours I’m so sorry I did. I love the Petit Fours too. But the crostata-it looks so delicious and elegant-you are so very talented !

  49. Your crostata looks so light! I think is the appel quark filling!
    Great job!
    manu´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers Challenge – Crostata!My Profile

  50. Wow, so many incredible pictures and so much good food here (I just found your blog and already added it to my google reader – amazing!!). I’ve never heard of quark. It sounds delicious and perfect for this pie.
    On another note, can I take some food styling and photo lessons from you? 😉

  51. Deeba, your photos get better with every post. Great job this month (and I loved your cheese post)
    sandie´s last blog post ..Ricotta Cheese CrostataMy Profile

  52. Great job! You are truly talented. Your crostata looks delicious.
    Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie)´s last blog post ..Update on the RenovationMy Profile

  53. Hi Deeba, Love all your creations as usual this is brilliant!! Haven’t caught up with you in awhile. How are you my friend? Shulie
    foodwanderings´s last blog post ..Indian Spice Rubbed Cornish Game HensMy Profile

  54. Baked to perfection, quark and apple crostata is so golden and beautiful. The lattice is neat and professionally done…. And most of all, love all the photos, as usual :-)
    bake in paris´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers CrostataMy Profile

  55. Everything you bake is so beautiful, Deeba, I can’t even pick favorites! 😀
    You’re making me crave fall with this lovely apple crostata! The cake looks amazing and the petit fours, too – so delicate!

  56. Wow! But then would I ever doubt that you would create anything but the most stunning, delicious dessert? This is fabulous, Deeba as is that WoW of a birthday cake you made your mum. Oh everything is fabulous!

  57. Samata says:

    Hi Deeba,
    Big fan here. It’s amazing how you create art in the kitchen. Everything is so colorful, vibrant and full of life . Love your blog.

  58. Deeba, am shaking my head in awe – fantastic crostata and cake… you are just so talented! And very much like me – I’d also do things early if I knew something was expiring rather than throwing it away! :)
    Trissa´s last blog post ..Dare Me! Sepia Restaurant’s Mango Weiss BarMy Profile

  59. I love your quark-tata :), Deeba. It is wonderful and so is the new blog header :-)

  60. Only a talent can do this….you make it look really easy though I know it is not.
    tigerfish´s last blog post ..Mushroom Potato Soup- Mushroom PotageMy Profile

  61. I think your crostata is beyond wonderful and the pics fantastic! I love the set up you create for you photos. But your food is brilliant too!

  62. Deeba this looks divine! Absolutely amazing. And your photography is out of this world. :)
    Ameena´s last blog post ..I Spent 6 Hours With Leo Di CaprioMy Profile

  63. Delicious creations like this make me miss the Daring bakers. Hmm it looks so delicious!
    Ben´s last blog post ..A Magical Town – Part 2My Profile

  64. Stunning crostata Deeba. But then again do you ever do anything that isn’t stunning? 😀
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella´s last blog post ..The Lake House- Daylesford- VictoriaMy Profile

  65. Helene says:

    You always do a better dessert everything I come here. I’ve never had Crostata. I should try to make one someday.
    Helene´s last blog post ..Pecan Butter Tart Bars – Barres aux pacanesMy Profile

  66. Waow, the combination of flavour sounds delicious and your quarktata (love the name!!) is fantastic!

  67. Simply beautiful! Your attention to detail is amazing. I love using tart pans for recipes like this, but mine are never as beautiful as yours. Well done!

  68. I love your crostata! It looks perfect but I might possibly like those beautifully decorated cookies even more. Perfect bitesized little beauties!
    Simone´s last blog post ..Stuffed pumpkinMy Profile

  69. Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog says:

    How incredible this crostata – I didn’t know the name but yes its flavor! I want one with a cup of coffee :)


    Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog´s last blog post ..Bloggers Vision – 4 Eye Care Tips for YouMy Profile

  70. Quark-tata, ha ha I love a good pun and sounds like a wonderful filling. This was such a versatile challenge, I think those are the best kinds.
    Sarah, Maison Cupcake´s last blog post ..Pistachio and Chocolate Macarons for MactweetsMy Profile

  71. It’s the best when you experiment and it turns out awesome. I love that feeling :) That tart looks gorgeous, and the lemon curd cream has me super intrigued!

  72. mmmmmmmmmmm, with some extra whippped cream on top it would taste even better.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  73. The photos are wonderful, the site is beautiful. Complient a job well done. Greetings from Ruth write gluten-free recipes.Un saluto dall’Italia.
    Rut´s last blog post ..Pancake con yogurt alla vaniglia senza glutineMy Profile


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