Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Peach and Blueberry Crostata

My grandmother is one of the world's greatest pie makers.  Every 4th of July she whips up blueberry crumb, strawberry rhubarb and sour cherry to feed the masses up in Canada.  Unfortunately, my favorite pie she makes is blueberry peach, and the peaches are never ripe enough in early July to make it into a pie.

This weekend, well into peach season, I had a craving for that pie like crazy.  I found great peaches at a farmers market and picked up some blueberries at the store.  Instead of making a pie however, I decided on a crostata.  From the ingredient list, a crostata seems identical to a pie: dough for a crust, a fruit filling, a crumb topping.  The difference is in its formality.  A crostada is basically a dressed down, more modern pie.  Where a pie requires a special pie plate, prebaking the crust, special crimping of the edges and sometime even a lattice top (do we ever get to eat it??), a crostada is pared down to the essentials.  It's sexy and sassy, completely free form.

You begin by rolling out the pie crust on a baking sheet.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  Mine was patched in a few places.  The key here is taste, not a pristine appearance.  The fruit filling goes in the middle.  You fold the edges of the crust up around the filling and top it all with crumb topping.  25 minutes in the oven and you're in summer fruit heaven.

I stole this recipe from Ina, with a few changes.  Her recipe is for a "Summer Fruit Crostata" including peaches, plums, and blueberries.  I eliminated the plums and amped up the berries.  Feel free to do whatever you like.  From prior experience with this crostata, I know that the filling can be very runny, so I didn't add the orange juice.  I did, however, add lemon zest.  Because it is about 99% humidity here, my crust and crumb topping were extremely sticky.  I just chilled them thoroughly and did the best I could to pull it all together.

Peach and Blueberry Crostata

Adapted from Ina Garten

For the Pastry:
1 c. flour
2 tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick cold butter, diced
3 tbs. ice water

For the Filling:
1 lb. peaches, peeled and cut into small wedges
1 pint blueberries
1 tbs. and 1/4 c. flour
1 tbs. and 1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 tsp. salt
4 tbs. cold butter, diced

For the Pastry:
1. Place flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix briefly.  Add the butter and combine with your fingers until the butter is the size of peas.  Add the water and stir until the dough comes together.

2. Roll the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap in foil, and chill for at least 1 hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 450.  Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Roll the pastry out on a floured surface into a roughly 11-inch circle.  Transfer to the sheet.

For the Filling:
1.  Place peach wedges and blueberries in a bowl.  Toss with tbs. flour, 1 tbs. sugar and lemon zest.  Mound filling in the center of the pastry circle

2. Combine 1/4 c. flour, 1/2 c. sugar and salt in a bowl.  Add the butter and combine with fingers until crumbly.  Sprinkle over the fruit.

3. Fold the sides of the pastry around the filling, pleating it as you go.  Don't stress if it isn't perfect.

4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden.  When cool enough to handle, transfer to a plate and serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. Glad your crostata has good sass Cate!

  2. You're sexy and sassy. And not very formal.