A crostata is simply an Italian free-form pie or tart, typically filled with a fruit jam or fresh fruit.
I like to make them for their ease in preparation, (doesn’t even require a pie pan), as well as their rustic look.
For a quick and very easy dessert, you could even use a refrigerated pie dough.
When peaches are in season, we head to our favorite peach orchard, for a day of picking and eating before returning home to make a crostata or two.
You could also substitute nectarines, plums or any other soft stone fruit for the peaches.
Crostatas are a nice addition to breakfast, a welcome companion to your afternoon coffee or tea and especially tasty for dessert with a scoop of vanilla gelato.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4-5 tablespoons cold water
- 3 large peaches, sliced
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 egg beaten (for egg wash)
- 1 tablespoon cold butter, cut into small pieces
- extra sugar for sprinkling on dough (optional)
- To prepare the pastry: In a medium-size bowl, stir flour and salt together, cut in shortening with pastry blender (or 2 knives) until they are the size of peas.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water at a time over flour mixture, stirring with a fork until all is moistened. Form into a ball.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough, transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet (if you’re using a refrigerated pie dough, place directly on parchment-lined baking sheet.
- In another bowl, gently mix peaches, sugar (depending on the sweetness of the fruit you may wish to adjust the sugar more or less) and flour together.
Pour the fruit mixture into the center of the pastry round, leaving about 2-3 inches around the edge. Add bits of butter on top of the fruit.
Fold the dough up and over the fruit.
Brush the dough with the beaten egg, sprinkle the dough with sugar.
Bake at 400* 30 minutes or until the peaches are bubbling and the crostata is golden brown.
Makes four generous servings or 6-8 polite ones.