Tuesday, September 2, 2014

{Savor the Season}: Summer Fruit Crostata

Summer Fruit Crostata
Now that Labor Day has passed, the official wind-down of Summer has begun.  But before bidding it a formal farewell, I plan to savor it a bit longer.  After all, the tastes of Summer are some of the brightest and most refreshing--and deserve to linger for as long as absolutely possible.

Stone fruits and berries happen to be some of my favorite summer indulgences.  Known to frequently devour them on their very own, I had no qualms recently in taking things up a notch by bringing them together with homemade, buttery pastry to yield one scrumptious dessert (and next day breakfast).  Summer Fruit Crostata, to be exact.

Perfectly ripened and sweet peaches and plums, along with sweet-tart blackberries, were my fruits of choice for this scrumptious, yet amazingly simple and rustic, treat.  I love crostatas and this time around decided to substitute my go-to apple version with what's freshest and in season now.  Summer. Fruit. Pastry.  Three little words that yielded delight with each bite--and made this Summer one that I'll always savor.

Happy Eating!

Summer Fruit Crostata

For the pastry (makes 2 crostatas):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) ice water
For the filling (makes 1 crostata):
1 pound firm ripe peaches, peeled
1/2 pound firm ripe black plums, unpeeled
1/2 pint fresh blackberries
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

For the pastry:

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and toss quickly (and carefully!) with your fingers to coat each cube of butter with the flour. Pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board, roll it into a ball, cut in half, and form into 2 flat disks. Wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If you only need 1 disk of dough, the other disk of dough can be frozen.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to the baking sheet.
For the filling:

Cut the peaches and plums in wedges and place them in a bowl with the blackberries. Toss them with the tablespoon of flour, tablespoon of sugar, the orange zest, and the orange juice. Place the mixed fruit on the dough circle, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.  Gently fold the border of the pastry over the fruit, pleating it to make an edge.

Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the fruit is tender. Let the crostata cool for 5 minutes, then use 2 large spatulas to transfer it to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. 
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

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