Almond and Mixed Berry Crostata

recipe photo

For this crostata, the dough is rolled out in a single, large round, the filling mounded on top, edges tucked over, then into the oven it goes. No need for meticulous fitting of top and bottom crusts. No fancy lattice work. Just all the great flavor of seasonal fruit and buttery crust in a presentation that looks great with a fraction of the effort. This dessert lends itself to seasonal variations: nectarine and blueberry, pear and ginger sprinkled with sliced almonds, peaches and fresh ginger. But that's between you and your local market. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 pint strawberries, rinsed, tops removed, berries quartered
  • ½ pint each raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, gently rinsed and blotted dry
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus a pinch more
  • 2 cups all–purpose flour, plus more for your work surface
  • ¼ cup almond meal or very finely ground almonds
  • 10 tablespoons cold butter, cut into about 10 chunks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon each finely grated orange and lemon zest
  • ¼ cup demura sugar (sugar in the raw) or other coarse sugar, for garnish (optional)
  • Whipped cream, crème fraîche, or honey gelato (optional)

Preparation

  • Combine all the berries with ½ cup of the sugar, the corn starch, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse together the flour, almond flour, the remaining ½ cup of sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt a couple of times to combine them. Add the butter and pulse just until the butter pieces are the size of small peas. Add one egg, the egg yolk, and the citrus zest and pulse until the dough is well combined and begins to ball up around the blade. Transfer the dough to a work surface that has been liberally dusted with flour. Using your well–floured hands, gently form the dough into a ball, flatten it into an 8–inch disk, wrap in plastic film, place on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Twenty minutes before baking, pre–heat the oven to 350°F with a rack set at the lower middle position. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Unwrap the dough and place it onto the floured work surface. Dust a rolling pin with flour and use it to roll the dough into a 14–inch round. (If the dough is too cold and stiff, leave it for a few minutes and try again.) Use a pastry brush to gently brush excess flour from the surface of the dough. Place the rolling pin across the dough circle a few inches from the top and gently roll the dough around the pin. Use the pin to carefully lift the dough and unroll it onto the center of the parchment-lined baking sheet. Don't worry if the dough extends beyond the sheet.
  • Use a slotted spoon to pile the fruit in the center of the dough, leaving juices that have collected in the potterybarn.com bowl behind. Distribute the fruit evenly over the crust, leaving a 3–inch band of dough around the edge. Carefully lift the edges of the dough over the filling, tucking and ruffling to fit. Lightly beat the remaining egg with a tablespoon of water and brush it over the exposed surface of the dough. Liberally sprinkle the dough with coarse sugar if you are using it.
  • Bake until the pastry is deep, golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before sliding the crostata onto a large platter to serve. Serve wedges of the crostata warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche or scoop of honey gelato, or vanilla ice cream, if desired.