Summer fruit crostata: Simple, classic, and delicious

Elizabeth Duncan

The farmers’ market is full of delicious summer fruits. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, plums, and nectarines are the superstars during the summer months. These fruits taste fantastic fresh off the stand, but after a few days on the kitchen counter, they tend to get bruised and less appealing. A summer fruit crostata is a simple and easy way to create a tasty dessert with day-old fruit.

Best served with vanilla ice cream, this summer recipe allows you to start the summer off right with a delicious dessert.
Best served with vanilla ice cream, this summer recipe allows you to start the summer off right with a delicious dessert.

A crostata is very similar to a pie, but is so much easier to make. All you need to do is make a sweet dough for a crust and fold the fruit inside.

For the dough, pulse together flour, sugar, cold butter, and water in a food processor. If you do not own a food processor, just place the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together with a fork. Pour out the dough and form it into a ball. It should stick together well and not be too crumbly or too wet. Then, place the dough in the refrigerator to chill.

Next, cut up your fruit. Day-old fruit is often the juiciest and sweetest. Sometimes, you can actually buy the fruit that is about to go bad at the farmers’ market for a reduced price.  I think a crostata tastes best when you have a mixture of fruits. Stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, and plums complement

berries such as blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries very nicely. Stone fruits and berries are delicious in the summer, however a crostata can be filled with any kind of fruit available at that time of year. Also, an apple crostata tastes amazing  any time of the year!

When preparing the fruit to place inside, make sure to take the skin off the stone fruits because it can be very bitter. Once you have your fruit cut up, take note on the mixture’s bitterness and juiciness. If the fruit is sour, add about a tablespoon of sugar, and, if it is juicy, add a little over a tablespoon of flour to soak up the juice. Cut up as much fruit as you deem necessary to fill up the center of your crostata. This is normally about one to two pounds of fruit.

Next, take your chilled dough, place it on a cold surface, and roll it out. Roll from the center of the dough outwards so the dough is even and does not tear. Once you have a round piece of dough, place your fruit mixture in the middle, leaving a generous amount of dough on the edge. Then fold the dough over the fruit mixture to hold it inside, leaving some of the fruit visible to create a nice aesthetic. In the space visible, you can also artfully place a couple berries to enhance the appearance of your crostata.

Now, it is time to cook your crostata.  Place it in the oven on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Some of the juice may spill over.

Once it has baked for about 20 minutes and the edges are golden brown, take your crostata out of the oven. It is best served warm with vanilla ice cream.