Photos by Collin Richie.

A sweet strawberry treat is made complete with homemade whipped cream

There’s just something about a pint-sized sweet treat. In recent years, personal desserts like cake balls, cupcakes and even miniature bundt cakes have taken over the baked goods scene. Now, April Hamilton is adding a new addition to the list with her Personal Strawberry Crostatas. The pastries are perfect to savor the spring and summer seasons with friends and family, as long as there are enough for everyone. Give it something extra by adding her easy-to-make tangy whipped cream on top.

Personal Strawberry Crostatas 

Mixed in a food processor or by hand, this classic pastry comes together nicely with a strong wheat flour. I opt for the freshly milled flour available at Straw Cove Baking Company in Lafayette. Of course, fresh strawberries are the filling, serving as the star of this dessert.  These pastries are sprinkled with sugar and brushed with cream before spending just a few minutes in a hot oven. Sweet, springtime perfection.

1 stick (4 oz.) cold unsalted butter

1 cup whole wheat or unbleached flour

1 Tbsp. sugar

¼ tsp. coarse salt

2 to 3 Tbsp. ice water

Flour for rolling the pastry

Fresh strawberries

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. heavy cream

Grate cold butter with large holes of box grater onto a sheet of wax or parchment paper and chill until other ingredients are assembled. Place flour, sugar and salt in bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add cold butter across top of flour and pulse until butter is size of lentils, about 8 to 10 pulses. Add 2 Tbsp. ice water through the feed tube while the motor is running and process for a few seconds until dough starts to come together without becoming solid. If loose flour bits remain, pulse in a few sprinkles of water.

Turn dough out onto parchment-lined baking sheet, pressing in any loose particles. Divide into 6 or 8 equal pieces, pressing each into a rough disk. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and chill for one hour, or wrap well and freeze for up to a month.

Remove the dough disks from refrigerator and place on a clean work surface sprinkled with flour. Keep  parchment-lined baking sheet for baking crostatas.

Gently pat each dough disk into flour to lightly coat. Roll out each disk into a 5- to 6-inch circle and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each dough circle with 1/2 tsp. sugar. Lay sliced strawberries in center of each dough circle, leaving a 1-inch border, mounding extra fruit in center. Fold plain edge of crust up to partially enclose strawberries, leaving fruit exposed in center. Dough will drape gently over fruit, with creases or folds every few inches. Repeat until all crostatas are formed. These can be chilled for an hour before baking.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush edges of crostatas with cream and sprinkle with remaining sugar on dough and over fruit. Bake until golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet for about 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 1 large freeform crostata or 6 to 8 individuals.

Tangy Whipped Cream

Blending in Greek yogurt to this traditional recipe stretches the whipped cream and adds a little protein boost. A dollop on each serving is all you need. Whip with an electric mixer or get the kids to help whisk it by hand, which is so fun!

13 cup heavy cream

1 Tbsp. powdered sugar

½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

13 cup plain Greek yogurt

In a large, chilled bowl, whisk cream, powdered sugar and vanilla to combine. Then, whisk briskly until cream thickens and begins to form peaks. Continue to whisk until almost whipped-cream consistency and holds firm peaks (be careful not to overbeat or you will make butter). Fold in the yogurt and serve. Can be made two days ahead, re-whisk if the mixture has separated.

Makes enough for topping 6 to 8 crostatas.

Find more fruit-forward recipes from Hamilton in this story