Peach Week: Peach & Blueberry Crostata

Peach Week: Peach & Blueberry Crostata

Do you look forward or back? It’s not a trick question, I really want to know! I’m not super nostalgic by nature. If anything, I err on the side of impatience, always anxious to get to the next… milestone, job, project, weekend. It’s why I don’t feel sad the way some people do about my kids’ birthdays – there’s always so many things to look forward to. How can I feel sad about Esme not being a baby anymore when we just took the training wheels off of her bike this weekend?

Of course the major – MAJOR – downside to my habit of looking ahead is that I can miss out on what’s actually going on. I spent the last low-temped week we had in Toronto talking about how it felt like summer is over. Something about the coolness of the morning air just felt like September to me. Esme had had enough one day. “Mom, there is a month – that’s four weeks! – left of summer. It is not over.” And she’s right. I need to stop looking at the back-to-school articles crowding my twitter feed and get my head back into the game. So, I’m planning some picnics, barbecues and even just dinners out on our deck to get the most out of the second half of summer. You with me?

Here’s a little something to help you and your family celebrate the long summer ahead of us. Don’t worry, I know pie can be intimidating but this one is as easy as they get. It looks gorgeous when it comes out of the oven and tastes like heaven. Peach and blueberry is one of my all-time favourite summer combination. But I’ve got another one coming up for you that’s amazing, too. I can’t wait… 

peachbluecrostata

photos by Maya Visnyei

 

Peach & Blueberry Crostata

Crust

1 cup flour (I used a pastry flour but you could use all purpose)
1/2 cup whole­wheat flour
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted but­ter, in fact, throw in the freezer
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk

Filling

1/4 cup cornstarch
3 cups sliced, peeled peaches (about 5 peaches)
1 x 6 oz. blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Plus:
1 egg
2 Tbsp sugar for finishing the crust (I use a schmancy large-grained sugar that looks great in photos but use what you’ve got!)

 

Method

Place your but­ter in the freezer for half an hour before you start.

Mix flours, sugar and salt in a bowl.  Now, grate the very cold but­ter with the large holes on a box cheese grater. This is a trick I learned from Martha Stew­art and is it ever a good thing. The grater makes the per­fect sized lit­tle bits of but­ter. Then you just toss them into the flour, really toss it around well so it breaks up and every bit gets coated in the flour mix.

Whisk together the milk and egg and then stir into the flour. It will seem like it’s not enough mois­ture to hold into a dough but it is. Use your hands to gather it into a ball. Flat­ten it into a disk, wrap tightly will cling wrap and put in the fridge for at least an hour and a half but up to two days.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare your filling right before you intend on baking your crostata. If you do it to far in advance the juices from the fruits will make it soupy and hard to work with.

You could simply peel your peaches with a paring knife or you could do what I did and cut a small X at the non-stem end of each peach, quickly blanch them in boiling water – just a minute or two is plenty – and then plunge them into an ice bath. This makes slipping off the skins really easy. Slice the fruit off of the stone.

peachcrostatarolldough

At this point I’d get my dough ready. Remove it from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to warm up. I like working right on my baking sheet as I have a rimless one. If you don’t, you can work on a sheet of parchment. Don’t miss this step! Transferring your crostata will be quite tricky otherwise. Roll out the dough to a about a 12 inch circle. Do your best to create a circle without too many raggedy edges but the whole point of a crostata is that it’s rustic so don’t worry too much. Leave your rolled dough for a minute while you put your fruit together.

peachcrostafilling

In a large bowl, toss together the peaches, blueberries, cornstarch, sugar and lemon juice.

In a small bowl, whisk your final egg and keep a pastry brush handy. Brush the entire inside of the dough with egg.

peachcrostatafold

Now, comes the quick-moving part. Spoon your filling into the centre of the dough. Let it mound up. Leave about an inch and a half border of unfilled dough around the edges. You might want to use a slotted spoon if you’ve got a lot of liquid. A little is fine but you don’t want it running everywhere. Now start folding up your dough into the centre. You don’t want it to meet in the middle – there will be a hole about an inch or two across left in the centre. Just keep folding and pleating all the way around.

peachcrostatabrush

Brush the top parts of the dough with egg and then sprinkle liberally with sugar.

Place in the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Allow the pie to cool quite a bit before slicing into a piece of heaven.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Laura
    August 05, 10:12 Reply
    Wow! That is so much easier than rolling a traditional pie crust - will definitely be giving it a try!!
  2. Jan
    January 19, 19:46 Reply
    This is excellent!! I made it with blackberries and Granny Smith apples as in your awesome cookbook. I am not a cook so I'd just like to share a few tips. The first time I made it I didn't pinch it enough on one side and it flattened out and the fruit oozed out...my kids are use to my cooking blunders, but they really enjoyed this one...exploding crostata. Even though it just oozed, NOT exploded, they coined it exploding laughing while enjoying every bite. So my advice would be to make sure it is well pinched. The second time I made it, I pinched it well and I used 3 Tbsp of water in the slurry instead of six and this was a bit better as it was less runny and held it's shape!! I served it today to a friend who use to own and cook in his own restaurant and he loved it, but I suspect the kids preferred the exploding version.

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