Summer Fruit Costata
Works well with stone fruits, such as peaches, plums or nectarines. Tarts can be chilled for several hours before baking. Recipe can easily be halved. Freeze remaining wrapped dough disks in a freezer zip-top bag.
1 recipe crostata dough (see below), divided for 12 tiny tarts
1/4 cup unbleached flour, for rolling the dough
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
6 fresh peaches, plums or nectarines, sliced off the pit into eighths
1 tablespoon milk
SPRINKLE a clean work surface with flour, and gently pat each dough disk into the flour to lightly coat. Working with half of the dough, roll out each dough disk into a 5- to 6-inch circle and transfer each to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each circle of dough with 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Repeat with remaining dough, keeping one sheet chilled while you work with the first.
DIVIDE fruit into 12 equal portions.
WORKING with one sheet of dough circles at a time, lay one portion of peach slices in the center of each dough circle, leaving a 1-inch border. Mound any extra fruit just slightly in center. Fold plain edge of crust up to partially enclose peaches, leaving fruit exposed in center. Gently fold and pinch dough edge to seal any cracks. Dough will drape gently over fruit, with creases or folds every few inches enclosing the fruit around the edges. Repeat until all tarts are formed.
HEAT oven to 425°.
BRUSH crust with milk and sprinkle top of fruit and dough with remaining sugar.
BAKE crostatas until crust is golden brown and fruit is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes. Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand on sheet at room temperature. Re-warm in 425° oven for 5 minutes, then serve.
A food processor makes light work of this pastry. If you don't have a food processor, the dough can be mixed by hand.
1/2 pound cold unsalted butter
2 cups unbleached flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup ice cold water
CUT the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and keep cold.
PLACE the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine.
ADD the cold butter cubes to the processor, carefully tossing with a spatula to coat each butter cube with flour (this prevents the butter cubes from sticking together and helps them combine more evenly with the flour).
PULSE 15 times, or until the butter particles are the size of small peas.
ADD the ice water, with the motor running, all at once through the feed tube. Process for about 10 seconds, stopping the machine before the dough becomes a solid mass. If the dough seems dry and crumbly, add a few sprinkles of cold water and pulse again.
TURN the contents of the bowl onto a sheet of parchment paper, pressing any loose particles into the mass of dough. Divide into 12 equal pieces for individual tarts. Roughly form each piece of dough into a disk and wrap in parchment or plastic wrap.
CHILL for at least 1 hour. The dough may be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks.
April Hamilton has always said, "Cooking is fun!" She shares her easy, practical recipes for delicious food through her cooking classes for kids and families. April's husband and three daughters help with testing and tasting in their Charleston kitchen. April would love to hear from you: Email aprilskitchencoun...@gmail.com.