nectarine, blueberry, and raspberry galette or crostada

I usually bake pies, but sometimes, I enjoy baking summer fruit galettes because they are quick to prepare, and because you are guaranteed a flaky, browned crust on the bottom, which is hard to achieve in a pie.  For this, I used nectarines, blueberries, and raspberries, because that’s what I had on hand.  I liked the color of all three fruits- dazzling! I also liked the pure taste of the fruit in the tart- a result of only a little sugar and a dash of cinnamon- and no nutmeg!! I’m publishing this recipe because my daughter told me this dessert was one of the most delicious desserts she’s ever eaten. It’s adapted from Simply Scratch – Rustic Peach and Blueberry Galette.

for the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached organic flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks frozen butter (I used salted), cut into smallish cubes
  • 1 extra large egg yolk mixed with 3 tablespoons whole milk- but I will use 3 1/2 tablespoons next time, as dough needs a bit more liquid                                         ** (reserve the white for egg wash) 

In bowl of food processor with metal blade, put flour, salt, and sugar.  Pulse 1 or 2 times. Put butter cubes on top.  Pulse until you can still see little pieces of butter.  Pour egg yolk and milk mixture into feed tube and whirr until dough just comes together as a ball.  Sprinkle some flour on a marble slab or on a piece of waxed paper, and flatten (roll) pastry into a disk about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick.  Wrap in plastic or waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes, or if you’re short on time as I was, stick in freezer for 30 minutes.

for the fruit filling (you can adapt your fruits to your taste or what you have on hand):

  • 2 large nectarines (do not peel!)  (or 4-5 nectarines or peaches to 1 cup of blueberries and no raspberries)
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 heavy cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached flour 
  • NO NUTMEG!!! (I hate it!) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

In mixing bowl, slice the nectaries, put the blueberries, and the raspberries.  Sprinkle in the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and flour.  Gently mix with a rubber spatula.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Take pastry out of fridge.  Roll out (either on waxed paper or on a marble surface) to a circular shape of about 14 inches. You should flip it a few times, sprinkling flour on rolling surface as needed.   Transfer carefully to a large sheet pan lined with parchment (I folded pastry in half to move it and then unfolded it onto my parchment lined sheet pan). Evenly put the fruit mixture evenly on pastry leaving a border of about 1 1/2 inches around the outer edge with no fruit.  Then pleat that uncovered pastry up and over the fruit (You will have quite a large opening where the fruit is uncovered by pastry).  Make an egg wash of the reserved egg white with a teaspoon of water.  Brush it generously over the folded pastry.  Sprinkle the crust lightly with granulated sugar, and a little extra sugar over the fruit, too.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 min.  Once you see crust is starting to brown, reduce oven to 375 degrees, and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes till crust is perfectly browned.

Serve warm or at room temperature plain or with vanilla ice cream.

Peach Crostadas Or Peach Turnovers

Yesterday, my daughter Randi got back from a great summer vacation with her husband Dan and his  family in Mantoloking, New Jersey, a beautiful shore town next to Point Pleasant Beach at the Jersey Shore. I knew that Randi wanted Nana (my mother) and me to pick up some incredible fried fresh flounder platters (the best!) from the amazing Keyport Fishery (Keyport, NJ) for dinner tonight.  When Randi called me yesterday she put Noah (now 2 years old) on the phone to tell me what he wanted me to bake for our dessert.  He said in his sweet baby voice, “peach pie.”  So Randi asked me if I would oblige, or if it was too big a deal to make it.  I said I would love to make it for Noah.  Luckily, I was just about to set foot in Trader Joe’s where they happened to have beautiful looking peaches.  So last night, I made some pastry, and this morning, I made the filling, and I actually made 1 12 in. crostada, and 2 mini crostadas, and 2 turnovers with the filling and the pastry.  I was just fooling around to see how the turnovers would come out.  The reason I made the 2 mini crostadas and not 2 more turnovers is because when I cut the dough, 2 pieces just weren’t squared enough to make the turnovers, whereas you don’t have to worry about that with the crostadas. The large crostada just came out of the oven, and the rest are baking.  Oh my god, the crostadas are gorgeous, and so are the turnovers! the dough looks super flaky. Yes!

for the dough:

  •     2 1/2 cups unbleached organic (King Arthur) flour (carried by Stop and Shop and A&P or
  •     2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  •     1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  •     1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (3/4 cup), cut into pieces (I take butter right from the freezer)
  •     6 oz. cold cream cheese , cut into pieces
  •     1/2 cup cold light cream, half and half, or heavy cream

for the filling:

  •     about 6 large peaches or nectaries (I did not peel them to save work and to add a bit of the rustic), about 2 lbs.
  •     scant 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  •     juice of 1/2 lemon, about 1 tablespoon
  •     about 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  •     1 tablespoon flour
  •     1 tablespoon cornstarch
  •     1 large organic egg yolk, beaten with 2 teaspoons light cream (substitute half and half, heavy cream, or whole milk)
  •     granulated sugar for sprinkling on top

make the dough:

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor.  Pulse.  Add the butter and cream cheese and pulse till the mixture looks like very coarse meal, 10-15 pulses approximately.  Add the cold cream and pulse, just until the dough starts to come together, about 10 pulses.  Turn dough out onto clean work surface or waxed paper, gather dough together, cut it into 2 pieces, form into 2 disks, and wrap in plastic, refrigerate at least 2 or 3 hours, or overnight as I did.

when ready to bake:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Position oven racks in middle of oven.  Line heavy duty baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make your filling.  Slice peaches into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick wedges and some smaller pieces with remaining parts of peaches into large mixing bowl.  Add sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, flour, cornstarch, and salt.  Set aside.

Take out 1 disk of pastry.  Roll out disk on waxed paper which you dusted with flour till you have about a 12 inch round (doesn’t have to be totally round)  Every once in a while, lift dough up, and sprinkle a little more flour underneath, or sprinkle flour on top as I do, and flip pastry so that the newly floured top is now on the bottom.  When dough is somewhere between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick, transfer it to parchment lined baking sheet (fold in quarters, transfer, and unfold).  Place about half of your peach mixture on round, leaving about 1 inch on edges that you are not putting the peach mixture on.  Begin draping dough up and over, making pleats, pressing to seal.  Place back in fridge right on baking sheet so dough gets cold again before you bake it- that will keep it flaky.  Take out when cold, in about 15 min., and brush dough with egg wash, sprinkle lightly with sugar.  Then dot the filling with just about 1/2 tables. of butter.   Bake for about 30 min. or a little more till crust is beautifully browned.  If you think crust is browning too quickly, reduce temp to 400 degrees midway.  Let cool on baking sheet, either serve warm or at room temp.

Then take out remaining disk of pastry from fridge.  At this point lower temp. to 400 degrees.  (I felt I would lower temperature, because these smaller turnovers seemed a little more delicate, so I decided they would do better with 400 degrees rather than 425 degrees.) Roll out pastry somewhere between 1/4 in. and 1/8 in. thick, try for a large rectangle, about 12 by 14 in. if you want to make the turnovers, otherwise roll out into another big circle if you wish to make a second crostada, again sprinkling with flour as you go as explained above..  I did the rectangle.  Then with pizza cutter, cut into 4 squares or rectangles, if possible.    Tranfer first square or rectangle to parchment lined baking sheet.  I actually at this point cut my largish peach slices in smaller pieces.  Spoon a few tablespoons of peaches onto half of rectangle, on half of your square- making a triangle, or on middle of round if that’s what the quarter of your dough turned into.  Leave a border of about 1/2 inch in square or rectangle, and about 3/4 inch for round.  Brush border of square and rectangle with egg wash to be a sort of glue.  Then fold over the dough for your turnovers- your square or rectangle, and pleat the dough over the mini crostada.  Brush tops of turnovers all over with some of the remaining egg wash, brush dough of crostada, and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-30 min. till beautifully browned.  Take out and serve either warm or at room temperature.

an easy variation for the crostadas:

one box of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry- defrost it in fridge, then break sheets into thirds along line that is present, then roll out each third till about 1/8 to 1/4 in. thick, form into squares, rectangles or circles, and fill with above filling, fold over to make either triangles, rectangles, or half moons.  When ready to bake, brush with melted butter and bake on parchment lined cookie sheets at 400 degress until browned.