Sunday, August 16, 2009

Peach Crostata

Peach CrostataThese crostatas (crostati?) are so stinkin' easy! I may never make a regular pie again. I really don't mind making pie crusts; they just never turn out the way they should, and I never know exactly what I did wrong. This "foolproof" crust is not only a snap to make, but geez, you just fold it over the fruit and you're done. No pressing it into a pan (no pan!), no crimping the edges, no blind-baking (or pre-shrinking as I like to call it), and no disappointments. There's no denying it, I am in love. And it's for real.

After the Plum Crostata went so well last Wednesday, I knew that it would be the perfect thing to serve at our bbq on Sunday. Unfortunately, there were no more Italian prune plums at the store. Word to the wise: when you see them, buy them. I think I've said this before. You won't get a second chance. We took home some lovely peaches and regular plums instead.

The only other snag* was from me trying to be more efficient (save time, cut corners) by attempting to make a triple-batch of the dough. This action sent my nemesis, the food processor, into what can only be described as a culinary coronary. "Spock, where the hell's the power you promised?"** There I was dumping the whole mess into my largest mixing bowl and madly working my vintage pastry cutter into a frenzy (and my shoulder into a flare up). You know, if not for the occasional physical pain, it really is so much simpler to just do things manually sometimes. But then I'm just an old-fashioned girl/techno-phobe at heart.

Peach Crostata from The Boston Globe
[[This link no longer works... CLICK HERE for the recipe]]

Notes: I divided the dough into three equal portions, wrapped them each in plastic wrap, and stuck them in the fridge. The recipe called for 6 large peaches per pie, and the flat I got at CostCo contained eleven. I figured it was probably enough for 2 pies. My lovely assistant and I washed, pitted and sliced all the peaches and tossed them with the other ingredients (doubled since I was making two). I suspected that I had way too many peach slices for two pies. It turned out that I had enough for all three pies with plenty to spare. I'll do the math later and try to figure out how many peaches are actually required per pie.*** They turned out wonderful. Served them on our "good" cutting boards and cut them into wedges with the pizza cutter. Rustic. Casual. And oh, so tasty.

Notes (8/17/09): I whipped out a double-batch of the dough today (manually) and made one crostata tonight when we got back from the movies. Used the left-over peaches from Sunday. I rolled the dough out to a 14" circle this time so I could try to fit more of the peaches onto it. Worked great. No problems at all. Love this dough.

Notes (8/19/09): Had leftover crostata yesterday for breakfast so I didn't make the other one until today. I mean, really, peach pie twice in the same day? It's just too much. I've got to have some semblance of restraint, haven't I? Peach pie once a day though, that's perfectly reasonable. Even recommended. By me. Oh, and I made it with the rest of the left-over peaches from Sunday. Ah well, soon enough it will be winter and this will all be just a beautiful memory. Me (huddled by the fire for warmth): "Remember last summer when we had peach pie every single day?". Hubs (gnawing on a stale crust of bread): "Mmmm, yeah. (lets out a long wistful sigh) How could I ever forget?"

*I lied. There was another snag. I assembled the first crostata and it was perfect. Unfortunately, it was also still on the cutting board. My lovely assistant asked, "Didn't you want to do that on the baking sheet?". Uh, yeah. Luckily no one else saw. Did I mention that I did the same thing on Wednesday?

**Kirk to Spock in the movie Star Trek IV, to which Spock replied, "One damn minute, admiral". My food processor replied to me also, but I couldn't possibly repeat what it said. This is a family-friendly blog after all.

***I'm told the answer is: approximately 1.83 CostCo-sized peaches per pie. Important to note that peaches purchased or picked anywhere else may produce a different result.
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