(copyright 2011 Domenica Cooks)
Just about any stone fruit or summer berry can go into this simple but luscious free-form tart---peaches, nectarines, or apricots, and blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries. Make sure they are at peak ripeness so their natural sweetness will shine through.
- For the crust:
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup ice water
- For the filling:
- 1 pound ripe peaches, nectarines, or apricots, pitted and cut into wedges
- 1 cup ripe berries (I like to use half blueberries and half blackberries)
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon cream or half-and-half
Make the crust: Combine the flour, granulated sugar, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse to mix. Scatter the butter cubes around the bowl and pulse until coarse crumbs form. With the motor running, drizzle in the ice water and process until a ball of dough begins to form. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until thoroughly chilled. Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before you plan to roll it out.
Make the tart: Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the peaches and berries in a large bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, and nutmeg, and sprinkle it over the fruit. Gently fold everything together.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 15-inch circle. Carefully roll the circle around the rolling pin and unroll it onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Pile the fruit mixture in the center of the circle, leaving a 2-inch border all around. Dot with the butter. Fold in the edges of the dough to create a pleated border that leaves some of the fruit uncovered. Brush the dough with the cream.
Bake the crostata for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the exposed fruit is tender and browned in spots. Set the baking sheet on a rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Carefully transfer the crostata to a serving platter. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or a little cold fresh cream poured over.