As you know, hitting up the local farmers markets in Pittsburgh has been one of my greatest joys these past few months! The bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables (and other goodies) has inspired a number of new recipes, including this Rustic Peach and Almond Crostata.
If you’re new to baking, don’t let the title intimidate you. It’s not nearly as complicated as it might sound. A crostata is a lot like a pie but much more forgiving and not nearly so fancy. And you don’t need a pie pan. You just fold over the edges of the pastry to trap whatever filling you decide to use. In this recipe, we’re using almonds and peaches, but you can use whatever you’d like. In fact, I’ve shared recipes for a Blackberry and Apple Crostata, too. As you can imagine, there are endless options.
The first thing you will need is pie dough. You can find my go-to recipe here or use your favorite. Pie dough can be a bit tricky to make at first, but once you understand how the dough should feel, you’ll be good to go. (I like homemade dough, but feel free to use store-bought if you prefer.)
I rolled the dough out in a circle and placed it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Next, I sprinkled the crust with a mixture of ground almonds, sugar, lemon zest, and egg yolk. When making a crostata, it’s a good idea to layer something (even plain flour) on the dough to help absorb some of the juice from the filling. This keeps the crust from becoming soggy. For this recipe, I used ground almonds because they add a flavorful crunch and complement the peaches.
Speaking of peaches, they are next! Before adding them to the dough, I gently tossed them with brown sugar to make them even sweeter.
For the final step, the dough is simply folded over to hold in all of that sun-ripened summer fruit flavor. This is the part I love most about making a crostata. The rustic imperfection is part of the appeal of this delectable dessert.
After a visit to the oven and some time to cool on the counter, your Rustic Peach and Almond Crostata is ready to enjoy!
Here's what you will need:
1/2 batch IBC's Go-To Pie Crust (find the recipe HERE)
3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted and then finely ground
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 teaspoon lemon zest
1 egg (yolk and white separated)
4 large peaches, pitted and sliced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon coarse sugar
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12- to 14-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
In a small bowl, stir together the ground almonds, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon zest, and egg yolk. (Reserve the egg white.) Spread this almond mixture in the center of the prepared dough, leaving a 4- to 5-inch border of dough.
In a large bowl, toss the peaches with brown sugar. Then, pour the mixture onto the center of the dough, spreading it out evenly to cover the almond mixture. Fold the edge of the dough up and over the piece, pleating it as you go and leaving the crostata uncovered in the center. Dot the top of the peaches with butter. Refrigerate the dough about 30 minutes until it is firm.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Before baking, brush the dough with the reserved egg white and then sprinkle it lightly with coarse sugar.
Bake the crostata 50-60 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the peaches are tender. Transfer the crostata to a wire rack and let it cool for 20 minutes before serving.
As I told you, it’s not a complicated dessert. And It is the perfect way to enjoy summer and fall fruit from the market.
Oh, and if you’re in the mood to indulge, top your piece of crostata with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Delicious!!