food. family. life.

crostata di pesca: {peach crostata}

Summer is the best time to take advantage of some of the best fresh imported and local fruits at the peak of their flavors and textures. My famiglia and I really love the simplicity of summer fruit galettes and crostatas.

Galettes usually consist of one type of summer fruit or a combination while crostata is an Italian dolci that was created using only fruit jams.oregon-peaches-470

I like to use a mixture of fruit jam and the real seasonal fruits in summer for a wonderful mix of flavor and texture.

This recipe can be made early in the day and enjoyed that evening and for breakfast and snacks a few days later.

We find it most difficult to leave some for the next day, but trust me it is so worth it as the flavors meld even more when it is refrigerated and set out to enjoy at room temperature the next morning with a strong cup of espresso or a cappuccino.

This recipe is a combination of Mammina Loreta’s old recipe that I have lightened up a bit using less sugar and a bit more butter for a flakier, tender crust.

I hope you enjoy this Italian treat and use this recipe in the remaining weeks of summer to celebrate the end of the season as we ready for the coming season of fall.

crostata di pesca: {peach crostata}

INGREDIENTS

filling:

3 to 4 fresh, ripe peaches, skin on

4 to 5 tbsps. fresh good quality peach (or apricot) jam

approx. 1/3 cup water or so

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 to 2 tbsp. Limoncello (Italian lemon liquor)

crust:

about 1 1/2 cups flour (have additional flour on hand)

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsps. sugar (additional sugar for dusting)

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 organic eggs

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks

pinch of sea salt

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 9″ springform pan by buttering the bottom and sides and set aside.

In a large bowl or a food processor bowl place the flour, sugar, sea salt, baking powder, lemon zest and butter.

Using a pastry blender or a food processor, blend or pulse this mixture a bit until crumbly and clumpy.

Add one egg at time and continue to blend well, add second egg and pulse or blend until all is incorporated.

If the dough is too soft and sticky, add some additional flour by the tablespoonful and blend until the dough comes together easily (it should be just a bit sticky and smooth.)

cucinadimammina_crostata di pesca_03On a lightly floured surface, knead the finished dough with your hands (add a bit of flour if needed) and form into a smooth ball. Slice off about 1/3 of the ball of dough and set aside (for the top lattice.)

Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll out the remaining dough into an approximately 9″ or so round.

The round should be about 1/4″ or slightly thicker when done.

Place the round into the bottom of your prepared springform pan. Prick the dough with the tines of a fork and set aside.

For the filling, wash and dry the peaches and remove some of the skin (I prefer to leave some skin on for color and texture.) Slice the peaches into thin slices and set aside, covered.

cucinadimammina_crostata di pesca_04In a small saucepan place the jam, fresh lemon juice, limoncello and about 1/2 the amount of water and place on medium heat to warm the mixture.

Stir with a spoon as it comes to heat and add more water if it seems too thick. Allow this to come to full heat and bubble slightly, stirring constantly so it does not burn or stick.

Once the mixture has heated for a few minutes it should be slightly thickened and not too watery.

Remove from the heat and spoon a bit of this mixture on the round of dough and spread with a spoon to cover.

Add the sliced peaches in a uniform circle until the bottom round is completely covered with the slices.

Pour the remaining jam mixture over the top of the peach slices and allow this to rest.

If desired, sprinkle the top of the lattice with some sugar for an extra sweet crunch.

Using the remaining 1/3 of the dough, break off pieces and roll into long thin rounds and using your rolling pin, flatten them out into thin strips of dough.cucinadimammina_crostata di pesca_05

Place the thin dough strips over the peach slices in a lattice style pattern; I love to keep my lattice a bit rustic and unstructured for that “cucina rustica” look and feel.

Place the finished crostata in the preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes until the juices are slowly bubbling and the crust is a beautiful light golden brown.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Serve alone or with homemade vanilla gelato on the side.

Note: Photography by Annette Venditti

Buon Appetito!

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