Ina Garten: the ode continues. Rosy cheeks, a to-die-for kitchen, magnificent gardens, bouncy black hair, and a light-hearted chuckle. Elegance and casual comfort rolled into one. With an incredible recipe collection.
I’ve assigned myself the duty of baking a new dessert each week [he’s got a stressful schedule and a strong sweet tooth; fine, I do too]. Her cookbooks are proving quite useful.
This was my first attempt at making a crostata. My first attempt at pâte brisée
Juicy and sweet, flaky and buttery – this crostata is a terrific summer treat. And I’m darn proud of that dough!
White Peach Crostata [serves 6]
For the pastry: [makes 2 rounds]
1 c all-purpose flour
2 T granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 t kosher salt
1/4 lb [1 stick] butter, well-chilled and diced
3 T ice water, plus extra as needed
+ + +
For the filling:
3 medium, ripe white peaches
1 T all-purpose flour
1 T brown sugar
1/3 t dried orange peel
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
milk or beaten egg whites, optional
turbinado or vanilla sugar, optional
Thirty minutes before you begin, put a large bowl and pastry cutter into the refrigerator to chill. This will prevent the butter from heating up too much during preparation of the dough.
For the pastry, place the flour, sugar and salt in the chilled bowl [or in the bowl of a food processor – see below]; toss to combine. Add the butter and toss quickly with your fingers to coat each cube of butter with the flour. Using the chilled pastry cutter, work the dough quickly until the butter is the size of peas. While still cutting with one hand, add the ice water all at once; continue working the dough until just before it comes together. Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form it into a flat disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Roll the pastry into an 11″ circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to the sheet pan.
For the filling, mix together flour, brown sugar, orange peel and vanilla. Cut the peaches into medium-thin wedges and add to the bowl; toss to fully coat with dry mixture. Place the peaches on the dough circle, leaving a 1 1/2″ border. Gently fold the border of the pastry over the fruit, pleating it to make an edge. If desired, brush the dough with milk or beaten egg whites, and sprinkle with Turbinado or vanilla sugar.
Bake the crostata for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the peaches are tender. Let the crostata cool for 5 minutes, then using two large spatulas, transfer it to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Alternatively, Ina’s original recipe uses a food processor fitted with a steel blade: “Pulse the dry ingredients a few times. Add the butter and and toss quickly [and carefully!] with your fingers to coat each cube of butter with the flour. Pulse 12-15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board, roll it into a ball and form into a flat disk.” Continue with the directions as written above.
An adaptation of Ina Garten’s Summer Fruit Crostata from Barefoot Contessa at Home