Monday, August 10, 2009

Fresh Peach Crostata

Along with her lovely garden-fresh produce, my mother-in-law sent a bunch of fresh peaches home with us over the weekend. She said they were getting pretty ripe, so I should use them immediately.

This is where I admit that I've never baked anything with peaches. Or even tasted anything baked with peaches. In fact, I never tasted a peach, canned or otherwise, until I was 18.

I was on tour with a band in Europe at the time.

(Warning: I sound much less cool as this story goes on. How is that possible, you ask? Oh, you'll see.)

Anyway, we were staying in Lugano, Switzerland, and our tour bus was leaving mid-morning with no meal stops until supper. So we got up early and hit a local farmer's market, which was breathtaking. I grabbed bread, and cheese, plenty of chocolate, and then some fresh grapes and peaches. I figured that would tide me over until at least mid-morning.

I bought the peaches because my bandmates were shocked when I held up a peach and said, "Is this a peach? Huh. I've never tried one." My bandmates made me buy peaches. And I loved them. I munched on peaches all the way to France.

And then we all got off the bus, got set up in Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, and put on a free wind band concert for the public. I was the second-chair clarinet. (Whoop, there it is!)

Moral of the story: I'm a former band geek who knows nothing about peaches, except how to pack them in a lunchbox.

So anyway, I've got this box of peaches. I debated whether to make a pie or a crisp. But then settled on a crostata. Because I'm new to peaches and wasn't sure how to bake them, and crostatas are more free-form. So if I did something wrong and it came out a mess, I could just call it rustic.

You can use any pie crust recipe; I'm using Barefoot Contessa's pastry recipe, because I've used it with crostata before, and it's very buttery and flavorful. And I added a streusel, because I like streusel, and this is my crostata. And you know what? The crostata turned out WONDERFUL. I could probably eat the whole thing in one sitting. And I just might.

Fresh Peach Crostata
Serves 8

Crust (makes 2 pastry crusts)
2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
8 oz. very cold butter, diced
1/4 c. ice water

Filling
4 peaches, thinly sliced
1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. flour

Streusel
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. cold butter, diced
Sprinkle of cinnamon

1. Put flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine ingredients. Add butter, and then pulse about 15 times. Turn food processor on low and pour in ice water. Turn food processor back off and pulse until the dough just starts to come together.

2. On a lightly floured surface, pour out dough, and then pull dough together. Cut in half and form two disks.

3. Wrap one in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 1 hour. (Put the other in a freezer bag and store for future use.)

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (You should probably use a baking sheet with a lip, in case your crostata filling leaks. I know this from experience. My oven fan is still running.)

5. On a well-floured surface, roll the pastry out in a round circle, about 12 to 14 inches. Place on baking sheet.

6. Combine peaches with flour and sugar.

Sigh. I love the colors.

7. Spoon into center of crust.

8. In a food processor, combine the streusel ingredients. Remove from food processor and press together with your fingers to form bigger crumbles.

9. Pour streusel over filling. Fold up sides of crostata, pleating the sides to make a circle.

10. Bake about 50-55 minutes, or until crust golden and flaky. Let cool a bit before serving.

4 comments:

Sophie said...

MMMMMMMMM,...your fresh peach crostata looks wonderful & so tasty!!!

I would like to take a few bites ,...Yummie!

girlichef said...

I swear, you make me laugh every time!! Your crostata sounds amazing...and hooray for being a featured publisher!! :P

Laura said...

Oh that looks so good! Never had peaches? Cripe I grew up in Alaska and WE had peaches.

Cody said...

Just made this and boy is it delicious!!! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!