Sunday, June 19, 2011

Blueberry Peach Crostata, Rustic Yumminess

So, it's Father's Day.  I have to be honest and fess-up. I have an issue with Father's Day.  It's sort of bittersweet in the truest sense of the word.   I feel a bit guilty on this day.  I've always wanted to recognize Paul, and give him his "due respect" for being the father of our two children, but it has always been overshadowed with the sadness of losing my own father on this very day.  This is the 25th anniversary of my dad's passing.  Somehow this year I feel different.  Maybe it's because my mom is with him after all these years.  He is not alone anymore.  I am grateful for the time I had with my dad, and I am happy that he at least had a few short years to experience  "grandpahood".  He was such a proud grandpa!
So this year is Paul's year.  Not once did I say,"You're not my father" like I usually say.  Instead I said, "it's your day!"  Paul chose the day's activities...or lack of activities.  He chose his father's day feast menu and of course chose dessert.  I did not allow him free reign mind you, I supplied him with a list of options.  Later in the week I'll tell you about the spicy shrimp on the barbie.  Now is the time to talk dessert.  I gave Paul the option of a fruit tart or a rustic crostata.   Not ever having a crostata before, his interest was piqued.
A crostata is like a freeform pie.  You have a lot of freedom to choose fillings and spices, easy to customize to any taste.  I chose to make blueberry-peach crostata, spiced with cinnamon, ginger and a hint of nutmeg.  A blueberry inspiration after a trip to the farmer's market this morning.
A food processor makes the whole process a breeze.  You can mix the dough for the crust ahead of time, the crumb topping too.  Just roll it out and add the fruit filling shortly before dinner and your crostata will be perfect for dessert.  The crust is a basic butter pastry.  I like Ina Garten's pastry from her apple crostata.  You can use any butter pastry you like if you have a favorite.  Adjust the fruit and spice to your liking.

Blueberry Peach Crostata
serves 6 - 8
Pastry from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa
Crumbs and Filling, me


  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) of very cold butter, diced
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground almonds (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 peaches, sliced
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
Place flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor.  Pulse a few times to combine ingredients.  Add butter, pulse about 15 times.
Add one tablespoon of ice water, pulse 3 times.  Add another tablespoon of ice water and pulse until dough comes together.  Do not over-process.

Turn out onto floured board and shape into a ball.  Flatten, and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for one hour.
In the same food processor bowl, place the crumb ingredients.  Pulse to combine.  Dump into small bowl and using fingers, press together to make crumbs.   Refrigerate.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper or a silpat.
Combine fruit with lemon zest, sugar, flour and spices.
On a floured board, roll the chilled pastry dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.  Transfer to the prepared jelly roll pan.
Place fruit mixture in the center of the rolled dough.  Fold the outer edges toward the center, pleating to form circle.
Sprinkle fruit with prepared crumbs.
Bake in 375 degree oven for 50-55 minutes, or until nicely browned.
Cool and serve at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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