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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Peach or Apricot Crostata

The Altitude Adjustment Section
This is a fun recipe by Susan Purdy of Pie in the Sky fame for a crostata — or more simply, a fruit pizza. It starts with a great crust and then you add fresh sliced fruit a little thickener and bake. This is a great time to try it with fresh peaches or apricots. Just steal them from your neighbor's tree!

Ingredients for pastry
3 cups A.P. flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cut up
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 egg yolk, room temperature
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5-6 tablespoons cold water

Procedure for pastry
In food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt to blend. Add butter and shortening and pulse 8 or 9 times till mixture resembles coarse meal. Add yolk, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons water and pulse a few times. Add more water, 1 spoon at a time, till dough holds its shape. Do not mix till dough balls follows blade around — that is over-mixed and bad. Now gather into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.

Ingredients for Filling
5 cups fresh sliced peaches or apricots
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup jam of your choosing, maybe Orange Marmalade?
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup fresh OJ

Procedure for filling and assembly
Combine all ingredients except cornstarch and OJ. Stir cornstarch and OJ together in a small cup and then toss into the fruit. Set aside.

Measure out a large piece of tin foil (shiny side down) and draw a 17-inch circle with your fingernail. Then draw an 8-inch circle inside that one. Now rub butter in the 8 inch circle and flour the outside to the edge of the larger circle. Roll out chilled dough on top of the foil till it reaches the marked line. If it’s too sticky, roll out with plastic wrap on top. Now put the whole thing a flat edged sheet pan. Mark dough 2 inches from edge with fingernail. Whisk up an egg with 1 teaspoon water and brush pastry to make it moisture proof. Sprinkle with1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs to absorb extra moisture. Carefully spoon fruit filling inside drawn circle. Now carefully put your hand under foil to help flip the dough edges onto the fruit letting the dough pleat and fold as it falls. If you see any cracks, seal them with left over egg wash. Sprinkle with a little extra sugar, it couldn't hurt! Now pinch up the foil over the edge, about 1/2-inch high, to trap any dripping juice. Bake at 425 in the bottom of the oven for 15 minutes, and then lower oven to 350 and bake for 25-35 minutes more until pastry is golden brown and fruit feels tender when pierced with a knife. If you followed all this crazy procedure (and I always do) the tart should easily slide off tin foil onto a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar. Yum!