California Central Coast Recipes
Peach or Nectarine Crostata Romantic Table Style
This past summer has been a fantastic season for stone-fruit! It was practically impossible to buy a lousy peach, nectarine, cherry or apricot. And boy! Did we ever let our taste-buds cravings dictate the recipes!
With all the good fruit sitting around, of course the first thing to come to mind was a fruit-filled pie of some kind. As you know, I prefer quick and easy, so we tried a Cherry Crostata, a Peach Crostata, and even a Nectarine Crostata! ( A Crostata is Italian for pie) Boy! Were they ever good-and pretty easy to make.-Delicious as a light breakfast with a protein-filled Greek Yogurt "chaser" or of course for dessert-with-or without a little vanilla ice cream on the side.
* Note- The 'trick' to getting good results is you MUST have the dough really cold prior to forming the crust in the pan.-It's a very delicate dough, so do not rush the chilling process or it will be hard to work with.
Preparation time: 20 minutesCooking time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
For the dough:
2-1/2 cups Cake flour , PLUS extra for dusting
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 to 1/2 Salt
1 Cup very COLD unsalted butter , cut into very small pieces
1/4 cup Ice-water
For the filling
5 to 6 Large peaches or nectarines ,pitted and cut into 15-20 small slices each. (~ 4 HEAPING cups + of fruit)
3/4 Cup Bakers sugar
2-1/3 Tablespoons Instant Tapioca
For the Dough
1 Combine the Flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse quickly several times until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
2 Slowly add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough just barely forms a ball without being too sticky or wet.
3 Remove the dough ball from the processor and pat into a disk about 2 inches thick. Wrap it in plastic-wrap and refrigerate it at least 1 hour-or even overnight.
For the filling
4 Combine the sliced fruit, sugar and Instant Tapioca in a large mixing bowl. Stir gently but not too heavy-handed or you'll damage the fruit. Let sit for about 15 minutes to absorb the tapioca.
Getting ready to bake.
5 Preheat the oven to 365 degrees
6 Sprinkle your work-area or counter-top with the extra cake flour.
7 Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 16-inch round of dough that is 1/4 inch thick. If the dough tears, press the edges back together again. Transfer the dough to a 12 inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, allowing the excess dough to hang over the edges.
8 Spoon the fruit into the dough, spreading it out in all directions.Be sure to scrap all the juice from the bowl into the pie. Fold the overhanging dough edges over the top of the crostata. -The dough will not totally cover. - That's what makes this pie so tempting! Press the crust into the rim of the tart pan's edge to form a crust.
9 Place the tart pan on a baking sheet or pizza pan and bake for 70 minutes-until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. If during the baking process, the crust starts to get too brown, cover the top lightly with a thin sheet of aluminum foil.
10 Remove the crostata from the oven and let cool. Then serve with or without ice cream to your guests.-They're sure to give you kudos!
Serve decadently warm with some vanilla ice cream. Or chilled for a refreshing mouth-watering dessert experience. Also good for a light breakfast with a good cup of coffee!