One of the best things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit that is available everywhere; my favorite of which are berries. Vibrant in color, sweet and delicious, berries can be used in many different recipes. I like to mix them in my morning oatmeal, add them to salads and even use them to make fresh fruit salsa or sangria. Of course adding them to desserts is always fun.
This time of year I love making fruit crostata, a sweet pastry dough filled with fresh fruit. Although I thought peach was the most-liked in our house it seems this mixed berry is the real winner.
Mixed Berry Crostata
For the Filling
1 pound berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and/or blackberries)
1/4 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 - 2 tablespoons flour
Mix together in a bowl
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. Arrange berry 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 berry mixture). Sprinkle dough with a little sugar.