Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Peach Crostata

In Italy, it’s a crostata. In France, they call it a galette. Both are “freeform,” rustic tarts that can be either sweet or savory. In Italy, crostata recipes can be found dating from the 15th century. In France, the galette reaches its height with the stylized Galette des Rois, the traditional dessert pastry eaten on Epiphany (“J’aime la galette…*”).
Interestingly, while the word crostata is derived from the Latin crustare, "to encrust," galette is from the Old French galet, or "pebble." Mmmm...pebble..
Well, this is no pebble.
A crostata is easier to make than a pie. You roll the crust, add a filling to the center and bring the dough up around the sides of the filling, leaving the center exposed. Any fruit can be used of course but since freestone peaches are abundant, this week it’s a peach crostata.

Peach Crostata
For one crostata, approximately 9” to 10” round
Needed: pie crust dough for one 9” pie

4 cups peeled, sliced peaches (5 peaches, a little less than 2 pounds)
6 Tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg, beaten
sugar or cinnamon-sugar mix, to decorate the crust

1. Place the peaches into a bowl. Add the sugar and cinnamon and mix together; let stand for 20 to 30
2. When you are ready to assemble the crostada, heat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out the crust into a circular shape, about 14” around. Place the dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray.
3. Add the cornstarch to the peaches and stir until dissolved. Using a slotted spoon, place the peaches onto the crust, leaving a 2” border around the fruit. Fold the edges of the dough up and onto the peaches. Brush the underside of the folded edges with beaten egg to seal and brush the sides of the crust with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the outside of the crostata with sugar or a mixture of cinnamon & sugar. Pour about half of the remaining peach juices into the crostada. Place the crostata into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and has thickened. Remove from the oven and let cool.
And yes, some fine vanilla ice cream would be great on the side.

                                                *“J’aime la galette,
                                                Savez-vous comment?
                                               Quand elle est bien faite
                                               Avec du beurre desans.”  (from a French children’s song)
                                    (Mais s’il vous plait, n’oubliez pas les peches!)

                                                                 --C’est juste pour vous, ma plus juene fille. oxox

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