Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Peach Crostata

Before we went to California, I made my first crostata, and was amazed at how well it turned out, and how easy it was to make. When I lived in Pittsburgh, pre-celiac, I used to enjoy the delicious crostatas at the Cafe at the Frick, and my mom and my aunt make wickedly good crostatas too, so there was no need for me to ever make one.  Until recently, I also shied away from recipes that involved a rolling pin.  I'm not sure why I've always had a rolling pin phobia, but thankfully my husband enjoys rolling out dough, when I actually make a recipe that calls for it.  In the past year, I have been baking more, because I discovered two high quality gluten free all-purpose flours (Cup4Cup and Better Batter) and Nicole Hunn's Gluten-Free on a Shoestring cookbooks.

A couple of weeks ago, we purchased some Florida peaches at the Winter Park Farmers' Market.  Right away, I began thinking about all the great crostatas I used to eat before I was diagnosed with celiac.  After  consulting my mom and aunt, and doing some research online, I decided to take the plunge and make a peach crostata.  My sous-chef (aka my husband) was not even around to help.  My crostata looked pretty good, and my whole family thought it was delicious.  

When my husband came home with these lovely peaches from the Winter Park Farmers' Market on Saturday, I knew a second peach crostata was in our future!  

I've had this Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Piecrust Mix sitting in my pantry since Thanksgiving.  It's pretty pricey at $19.95, but it contains 2 packages of piecrust mix and 2 packages of dusting flour, enough for 2 crostatas. 

I started with 4 cups of sliced peaches, but you can use up to to 4 1/2 cups.  If you don't have enough peaches, I suggest adding some raspberries.  The combination of the two is very good, though I eliminate the cinnamon when I use raspberries.

After adding some flour, sugar, and cinnamon, I gently stir the peaches, then make my crust.

Here's what my crostata looked like before I rolled up the edges.

It doesn't need to look perfect, which is what I love about making crostatas compared to baking a pie.

Final touches before it goes in the oven - butter and an egg wash.

Peach Crostata - serves 8

  • Uncooked pie dough (I use Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Piecrust Mix - only one packet needed)
  • 4  to 4 1/2 C sliced fresh peaches (6 to 8 peaches) - skin removed
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 T gluten free all-purpose flour (I use the dusting flour in the Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Piecrust Mix box)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 egg - beaten

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Combine peaches, cinnamon, sugar, and flour in a large bowl, and stir gently. 
  • Prepare one package of Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Piecrust Mix according to the directions on the package (you only need enough dough for a single-crust pie) - you will need a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater, 1 stick of cold unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons of ice water, and 1 large egg yolk.  
  • Place your dough ball on a piece of parchment paper that has been lightly dusted with the dusting flour included in the Piecrust Mix box.  Dust the top of your dough ball and your rolling pin with more flour, and roll out your pie crust until it's about 12-13 inches across.  
  • Pour your peach mixture into the center of the pie crust, leaving about 2 inches around the edge.  Fold the edges of your pie crust over the filling.
  • Place the butter in the middle of your crostata, and brush the pie crust with the beaten egg.  
  • Transfer your crostata, still on the parchment paper, to a baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes in the lower third of your oven until the pie crust is golden brown.  
  • Serve warm, right out of the oven, or at room temperature, if you can wait.

Recipe Notes

If your peaches are not very sweet, increase the sugar to 2 1/2 tablespoons.

We usually cut our crostata in half, and have it for dessert two nights in a row.  I refrigerate the leftover crostata overnight, and reheat it in a 350 degree oven until it's a little bit warm.

In the future, I plan on experimenting with different fruits.  I love the apple crostatas my family makes in the fall, and I've had great crostatas with plums and nectarines at The Cafe at the Frick.

When I use raspberries, I increase the amount of sugar I use to 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons total, because raspberries tend to be less sweet than peaches.
    This recipe was inspired by a Bobby Flay recipe for Fresh Peach Crostata.


    Since writing this post, I have posted recipes for apple and raspberry crostatas on my blog.