Tag Archives: summer

Fruit Crostata (Galette aka Free Form Tart)

Let’s start with the exciting news! My blog was nominated for the Blog on Fire Award by One Picture, A Million Words! I’m so honored to be nominated! Thank you! There are official rules to accepting this nomination, including nominating eight other blogs and sharing eight things about yourself. I’m still working on that part (hey, I need to be thorough! Don’t rush me!) but I just wanted to formally say “thanks” for the nomination! Post coming soon with my eight nominations.

I love The Chew. Yes, I’ve mentioned that before but every week I laugh at their antics, drool over the food, and get inspired by this show. It’s so genuine and so unlike any other cooking show!  We’ve made dozens of recipes from the show and most have been fantastic. Last week I made Carla’s Blooming Onion (or rather, “Flower Power”). We’ve done several Sunday Suppers from The Chew as well.

I didn’t tweak this crostata at all, except for the type of berries I used. Mario used all blackberries, but I used strawberries and blueberries, along with peaches of course, because that is what I had available. You could use any fruit and it would be delicious. I’m looking forward to trying it with apples and cranberries this fall. The dough is so easy to work with and actually one of my favorite doughs that I’ve had. I’m not a big fan of pie, I mean, I ‘ll eat it, but the crust is my least favorite part of a pie. Not for this crostata! I probably could have eaten it all by itself. Ok, maybe a little fruit.

Don’t skip the honey and egg glaze…makes it oh so irresistible!

Crostatas (galette) are a lot easier and more forgiving than a pie. If you are afraid of making pie because of the crust looking crazy, then this is for you! It’s supposed to look a little crazy! That makes it “rustic” and therefore cool. Don’t you love that? I sure do.

Peach & Berry Crostata

From Mario Batali

One year ago: Lime & Blackberry Italian Meringue Pie (funny that a year ago was a pie, don’t you think? It’s a good one too!)

Yield: One 12 inch crostata

Difficulty: Easy

Time: Hands on 20 minutes; chill time 30 minutes; bake time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • For the Dough:
  • 2 1/2 cup Cake Flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • Grated Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted Butter (cut into small chunks)
  • 1/4 cup Ice Water plus more if needed
  • For the Filling:
  • 5 Large Ripe Peaches (pitted and cut into 16 slices each)
  • 2 pint Fresh Blackberries
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon All-purpose Flour
  • To Finish:
  • 2 tablespoons Honey
  • 1 Large Egg (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup Mascarpone or Freshly Whipped Cream

Directions

1. Add flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zet to food processor or stand mixer with paddle attachment. Mix briefly to combine. Add butter and mix until coarse crumbs (if using food processor then pulse quickly). Add water 1 TB at a time, allowing plenty of time between additions to be absorbed. Add until dough comes together but is not wet or sticky. Should be easy to handle. If you add too much water, add a tablespoon of flour. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 365F. Slice your peaches into approximately 16 slices each. If you are using strawberries, slice them too. Add  the lemon, sugar, and flour to the fruit and toss gently to combine. Set aside.

3. Remove dough from refrigerator. If it is too cold, let soften at room temperature a little. But, colder dough is easier to work with so don’t let it warm up too much. Colder dough will require less flour to dust. Dust your work surface and rolling pin very lightly. The more flour you add, the tougher your dough will be so refrain from constantly dusting your dough. Move it around frequently to keep it from sticking. And, don’t worry about it being perfect. We’re going for rustic, remember? Roll it to about 16 inch circle and 1/4 inch thick.

5. If you have a 12 inch tart pan with removable bottom, you can use that. I only have a 9 inch and that would have been too small. Thus, I just used a sheet pan and did free form. Do whatever is easiest for you. If you do free form, just place the dough on your sheet pan (lined with parchment or silpat). It may hang over a bit at first but you’ll fix that in a second.

6. Dump your fruit into the center. I actually had to take some of my fruit out because it was too much! Once the fruit is in the center, fold the edges in, leaving plenty of the fruit to show, but make sure it is also folded over enough so the fruit doesn’t fall out. There’s no rule on how to do this, just fold it over so that it stays together and the fruit stays put.

7. Mix together the honey and egg and brush over the entire crostata, including the fruit. It will act as a delicious glaze and help the crostata brown nicely.

8. Bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Start checking about 50 minutes. Once it is golden brown and the fruit bubbly, it is ready!

9. Top with fresh whipped cream (I’d avoid adding sugar to the whip cream…otherwise it will be too sweet) and enjoy!

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Pineapple Chile Ice Pops & Book Review

Summer makes me grumpy. For some summer may be a good thing (if you live up North, perhaps) but here in the South summer is Not Fun. It’s buggy, muggy, and just plain hot.

But there is one huge positive for summer: frozen treats. Nothing quite cools you down like a good ice pop. We all grew up with various forms of Popsicle and ice pops. I remember spending summers at my grandparents playing in the itty bitty plastic pool and then having a cool treat afterwards.

I admit I was a little afraid of this recipe. It is technically titled “Spicy Pineapple” but it wasn’t spicy at all. The chiles add such a wonderful complexity to the sweetness of the pineapple, but they aren’t spicy. These would be a perfect treat at a BBQ.

I got this recipe from the book Paletas by Fany Gerson. The other recipe I’ve tried was a yogurt and berry pop. Great post-run treat. My next one will be the avocado pop. Yup, avocados in frozen form! The book is inexpensive at $11 and is full of beautiful photos and great instructions. I have these reusable molds that are pretty decent for the price. But what I love about the book is she has instructions for various forms of ice pop making. Apparently there are instant ice pop makers  and she has instructions for those as well as the molds. You can just as easily use paper cups and a stick. Or a shot glass and a stick. How fun would that be?

These are quick and easy to make. The longest part, obviously, is waiting for them to freeze. But otherwise they only take a few minutes to make.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book on my own and was not paid to review. I just trusted the reviews on Amazon!

Spicy Pineapple Ice Pops (Paletas de Pina con Chile)

Adapted from Paletas by Fany Gerson

Yield: 8 to 10

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 15 minutes hands on; several hours for freezing

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 small serrano or jalapeno pepper, split lengthwise
  • 1 ripe pineapple, peeled and cored
  • 2 TB lime juice
  • 1 to 2 tsp ground chiles (I used 1 tsp chile powder)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

1. Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add the pepper, reduce to a simmer for five minutes. Let cool and strain. I did this step the day before and chilled overnight.

2. Coarsely chop the pineapple. Put the pineapple, syrup, lime juice, ground chile, and salt into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Alternatively, finely dice 1 1/2 cups pineapple and set aside. Coarsely chop the rest. Toss the finely diced pinaple with the chiles and salt. Blend the remaining ingredients.

3. Pour mixture into molds. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours. If you are using the finely diced pineapple, freeze for about 30 minutes until slushy and then add the diced pineapple. I just made it easy and blended everything for a smooth ice pop. You’ll still have a few chunks.

What’s your favorite frozen treat?

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