This recipe is inspired by the crostata recipes from one of my favorite cookbooks, “Cucina Simpatica” by Johanne Killeen & George Germon (Chefs and owners of the fabulous Al Forno restaurant in Providence, RI.) Once you’ve mastered the dough–which is really easy–you can add just about anything to the tart. I happened to have a random assortment of stone fruits lying around–two different kinds of plums and two different kinds of nectarines–that were almost past their prime. Sometimes I divide the dough and make individual tarts instead. That works especially well for berries or cherries. I love the rustic free-form shapes that you get with this style of tart, a.k.a crostata or galette, and it’s way easier than fussing with a pie dish. Don’t even look at how much butter is in the recipe–just put it in and forget about it. It’s worth every crumbly bite.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup ice water
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons peach, apricot or plum jam (totally optional. I happened to have some peach lavender jam from the farmer’s market that I thought would be a nice touch.)
Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and stick back into the fridge to keep cold while you set up the other ingredients.
Place the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter, tossing quickly with your fingers to coat each cube with flour. Pulse 15-20 times until the butter particles are the size od small peas.
With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Process for about 10 seconds, stopping the machine before the dough becomes a solid mass.
Turn the contents of the bowl onto a sheet of foil, pressing any loose pieces together into the dough. Roughly form the dough into a 7-inch disk.
Cover the dough completely with foil and refrigerate for at least one hour. Can be refrigerated up to 2 days or in the freezer up to 2 weeks. (defrost on the counter for 45 minutes before use.)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the fruit into thin slices, leaving skin on, and place in a bowl. Toss gently with 1 tablespoon sugar and set aside.
Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to an 11-inch free-form circle. Transfer to a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.
Leaving a 1 1/2 inch border all around, cover the dough with the fruit, starting in the center and working out to arrange fruit slices into a pretty spiral (if you want to get fussy).
Raise the dough border to enclose the sides of the tart, letting it drape gently over the fruit. Gently pinch the soft pleats that form in the dough with your fingers and press the sides down onto the baking sheet slightly to flatten.
Make an egg wash by beating egg with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Brush onto the dough with a pastry brush to coat lightly.
Optional: Drizzle fruit jam over the top of fruit filling. (My jam was pretty runny. If you’re using thick jam, you could mix it with a little water to make a glaze.)
Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes, until dough is golden and fruit is gooey and bubbly. Cool for at least 10-15 minutes, and serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Side note: I’ve been really liking Laloo’s goat’s milk ice cream. It has a lot less fat than normal ice cream (which makes me feel a little less guilty about all that butter in the dough! Sorry, didn’t mean to remind you. Do forget it. ) and I really like the tangy flavor, especially paired with fruit desserts.
From the “Close Your Eyes and Pretend It’s Summer” feast.