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Friday, August 15, 2008

A cake for the weekend: Crostata with Summer Fruit

Summer fruit are so wonderful. They taste so good that I usually don’t like to do anything to them, just eat them fresh as they are. Or, the worst thing I’ll do to them is make a fruit salad. This crostata is an exception. The buttery and flaky dough makes it so much fun to eat. And it is a lot of fun to make too.
Be warned: On a hot day, like today (91 F degrees), it might be a bit tricky to work with the dough since the butter warms up quickly and makes it difficult to roll the dough and transfer it to the baking sheet without tearing. I made it the morning, still in my PJ and drinking my coffee. Try a less hot day, or make it in the evening when the temperatures go down.

Makes 6-8 servings

For the dough (for 2 crostatas):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
6 tablespoons ice water

For the filling (for 1 crostata):
2 peaches/nectarines
2 plums
1/4 pint blueberries/raspberries
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest, optional

For the pastry:
Put flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor with a steel blade. Pulse a few times. Add butter and pulse a few times until the butter is the size of peas. With motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep pulsing just until the dough starts to form into a ball. Divide dough in half and turn out onto 2 pieces of plastic sheets and form 2 flat disks. Wrap disks in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
(If you want to make only 1 crostata, freeze the other disk of dough).
Preheat the oven to 450 F degrees.
Line a 1-2 baking sheet/s with parchment paper.
Roll the dough into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Roll around the rolling pin and transfer it to the baking sheet.

Make the filling:
Cut the peaches and plums in wedges and put in a bowl with the blueberries. Squeeze lemon juice.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar, orange zest, and lemon juice. Toss the fruits gently with the flour mixture. Place the fruits on the dough circle, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the border of the pastry over the fruit, pleating it to make an edge.

Bake the crostata/s for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden at the edges.
Slide the crostata off the baking sheet onto a plate, or leave it on the parchment paper and slide on the countertop to cool for 5 minutes.


More cakes:
Orange Hazelnut Honey Cake
Black Forest Chocolate Roulade
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Blueberry crumb cake

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