Seriously simple: Peach Crostata is easy as pie
When I am in a pinch for time but want something special for dessert, I often fall back on preparing a crostata. Sometimes called a galette in French cooking, this free-form tart has endless variations.
I have seen versions that feature thick raspberry jam, fresh pitted cherries, apricots and nectarines, blueberries and raspberries to name a few.
Make sure to roll out the pastry dough to a large 13-inch circle. This dough uses white pastry flour that has a lower gluten content and does not need to rest. If you are using all-purpose flour, you can chill it for a half hour before rolling out.
I like to serve this warm, so I will bake it an hour or two before serving. Don’t forget a scoop of French vanilla ice cream.
Diane Rossen Worthington is the author of 20 cookbooks. Contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.
For the crust:
1 1⁄4 cups white unbleached pastry flour or all-purpose flour
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) frozen unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
1⁄4 cup ice water, or less
For the filling:
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
6 medium or 4 large peaches, pitted and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
1 pint French vanilla or berry ice cream (optional)
To prepare the pastry: Place the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process for about 5 seconds. Add the butter and a few tablespoons of water and process until you have a crumb-like texture, for 5-10 seconds. Pat the dough into a round form for easy rolling. If using pastry, flour continue immediately. If using all-purpose flour, refrigerate, covered for half hour.
Place a 10-inch diameter removable bottom disc of a springform or removable tart pan on a heavy baking sheet with a rim that is lined with parchment paper.
On a floured surface roll out the pastry into a round 13 inches in diameter. Roll the pastry back onto the rolling pin and transfer it to the tart bottom round, laying the dough flat to cover the round with a 3-inch border overlap all around on the baking sheet. Refrigerate while making the filling.
To prepare the filling: Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and the peaches. Remove the tart from the refrigerator and sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon flour evenly over the center of the crust. Arrange the fruit mixture in the center of the pastry and then fold about 3 inches of the pastry edges up around the fruit, making pleats, to look like a free-form tart. Use your thumb and forefinger to make the pleat.
Brush the pastry with water and evenly sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the pastry and fruit.
Bake the tart for 40-45 minutes or until the fruit filling is bubbling and the crust is caramelized. Let cool for at least 20 minutes on a wire rack.
Advance preparation: Can be made up to 8 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Serve at room temperature or reheat in the a 325 degrees oven for 10 to 15 minutes.