I had a sudden need to make a crostata last night. I am pleased to say that it that worked rather well.
A crostata is an unstructured pie, usually with a sweet shortcrust pastry and a seasonal fruit filling. My main motivation in making it was to try and find a new way, in addition to the black current scones, to use my foraged berries from the weekend. I also added some ripe peaches and strawberries and raspberries that I found lurking in the fridge. You can use many types of filling which would work beautifully in a crostata, rhubarb and strawberry, plums, apples, apricots; really anything you would put in a traditional pie.
One of the things I like about this recipe is that you can really cut down on the amount of sugar you add. You only need to use a little in the pastry and only as much you want in the filling. When making a normal shortcrust pastry I use two parts flour to one part butter, I enriched this crust is by increasing the ratio to three parts flour to two parts butter and added two eggs yolks. As a result the pastry is lovely and buttery and very easy to work with. Delicious on it’s own, the crostata would be even better served with a little whipped cream or creme fraiche.
peach and summer berries crostata
mix of 3/4 peaches,sliced, handful of black currants ( blueberries would work too), some raspberries and strawberries
sugar to taste, I do not use much as fruit is sweet already
egg mixed with a little cold water for egg wash
whipped cream or creme fraiche
Preheat oven to 400f/200c
line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
Add the flour and sugar to a large bowl.
Add the butter and rub in until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the center of the flour.
Mix the egg yolk with two tablespoon of water and add to flour mixture.
Either by hand or using a kitchen aid gently mix all ingredients, slowly adding more water until dough starts to come away from the side and form a ball.
Tip dough onto a floured surface, divide into two and quickly knead into two disks.
Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes
On a floured surface roll out one of the disks into a circle, and put onto prepared baking sheet
Leaving a good one inch border, pile fruit into the center of the pastry disk.
Fold the edges up to hold the fruit in.
Brush pasty with eggwash and sprinkle fruit and pastry with sugar.
Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes until pastry is cooked and golden brown.
Serve warm or room temperature with a little whipped cream or creme fraiche