Friday, October 10, 2014

Almond Peach Crostata

By: The Food Hunter

A crostata is an Italian free form pie, basically a pie made without a pie plate. It's casual, rustic and requires no fancy fluting or lattice top like a traditional pie. Crostatas can be sweet or savory depending on the crust and what it's filled with. The possibilities are endless. I prefer them sweet and will often use pieces of leftover pie dough and whatever fruit I have on hand to make small fruit filled crostatas.

All that is needed is dough and fruit but sometimes I like to mix things up a bit. In the recipe below a layer of homemade almond paste is added, which compliments the sweetness of the peaches nicely. This is especially good warm and topped with ice cream.

Almond & Peach Crostata
 (printable recipe)
For the Almond Paste
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond meal
1 tablespoon all purpose flour flour

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the almond meal and flour and beat until it forms a smooth paste. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.

For the peaches
4-6 peaches, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place sliced peaches in a large bowl and toss with the sugar and ground cinnamon.

For the Crust
2 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon or 1 small orange
3/4 cup (1 ½ sticks/6 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into ¼-inch cubes
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
A few drops ice water, if necessary

Place the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and citrus zest in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to combine the dry ingredients. Add all of the cold, cubed butter to the bowl and pulse to process the mixture until it is sandy and there are no visible lumps of butter.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and heavy cream. Add the wet ingredients to the food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times, or until the dough comes together. If necessary, add some ice water, a few drops at a time, to make the dough come together.

Remove the dough from the food processor and work it out with your hands to even out any dry and wet spots. Form the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill until firm, 1 to 2 hours, before rolling it out. You can also freeze the dough, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.

For the Crostata

Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into a circle and place on pan. Spread almond paste evenly on dough. Arrange peach mixture in center of dough, leaving a 3-inch border. Fold edges of dough toward center, pressing gently to seal (dough will only partially cover peach mixture). Sprinkle dough with a little sugar.

Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°; bake an additional 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm or room temperature.


  1. Oh my that looks and sounds FABULOUS!!! I am going to have to try this soon!

  2. That sounds insanely delicious! I need to start doing this. Yum!

  3. Dang! Forgot to say.... Pinned, too!

  4. Oh, you just reminded me that I can make a crostata and skip the headache of trying to make pie crust look pretty! Rustic is so much easier!

  5. That looks delicious! I love a crostata.

  6. You are brave for trying the crostata. I have tried versions of it but they always fall apart. This is a great recipe