Recipe of the Week: Peach and Almond Crostata
Crostata is an open face free-form tart from Italy. It can be made in many different shapes or sizes. It can also be made in a specially designed pan with fluted sides and removable bottoms. You can make it with your favorite seasonal fruit combinations: apricots, apples, pears peaches, or plums. It can be made ahead and placed in the freezer for up to two weeks. The slightly sweet pastry dough is always made with butter. Serves eight. (Chef tip: Always bake the crostata in the center of the oven on top of a sheet pan.)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
8 ounces unsalted butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons ice water as needed
1 egg yolk mix with 1 tablespoon water
6 peaches, sliced
1 jar peach jam
4 ounces blanched almonds, slivered toasted
9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Combine flour, sugar and salt on work surface. Using your fingertip work the cold butter in with the flour mixture until it resembles coarse corn meal. Preheat oven to 400°F.
Combine the egg yolks with lemon juice, zest and a little water as needed; make a well in the flour mixture and gently work it in. If the dough feels dry, add a little water. Do not knead the dough or gluten will develop and dough will become tough. Using the heel of your hand, push a section of the dough down and away against the work surface, smearing the dough to combine.
Gather into a ball and shape it into a flat round disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Roll out the dough on a well-floured board to an 11-inch circle and with the help of rolling pin place dough in the tart pan. Press dough down to fit the pan, trim of excess dough and add to remaining dough.
Gently prick the pastry all over with a fork, taking care not to pierce pastry all the way through. In a small bowl, combine jam and almonds. Spread the pastry shell with jam mixture and top with peach slices.
Bake the tart for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with gelato or ice cream.