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Peach Crostata

Ingredients:

  • Dough
  • 1½ cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 5 oz. cold European or low-moisture unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 large egg white, beaten until smooth

  • Filling
  • 5 ripe medium-size peaches (about 2 pounds)
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour

Procedures:

For the dough:

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper so it lies flat on the pan. Set aside until needed. Adjust oven rack to the lower-third level and preheat oven to 425°F, 400°F if you are using a convection oven.

Add the flour to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Remove the cold butter from the refrigerator, and cut into about ¼"-wide slices. Add the cold butter and salt on top of the flour, place cover securely on top and pulse twice to coat the butter chunks with flour.

Process continuously until a coarse meal has formed. The processing will be loud and then suddenly less and finally start to hum. Once it hums, stop the machine immediately. Remove the cover and gently feel the flour-butter mixture to check if a coarse meal has formed. The mixture should feel cool and slightly grainy, like cornmeal. If there are still large pieces of isolated butter, then you need to process a little bit more, but be careful not to overmix, which would be beyond the coarse-meal stage.

Once the meal is coarse, remove the cover. In a small bowl, beat the yolk with the 3 tablespoons cold water until smooth. Pour over the top of the coarse meal halfway between the side of the bowl and the center blade. Place the cover on top and continue processing only until a ball forms and rolls around in the bowl twice. Stop the processor.

Lightly dust the top of a smooth counter with extra all-purpose flour. Turn the dough out onto center of the dusted counter. Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour from sifter. Knead the dough gently and quickly, just until smooth. Dust lightly with additional flour only as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the table and your hands.

Form dough into a round disc with smooth edges, about 6 inches in diameter. If the dough seems too soft to roll, refrigerate it for 10 minutes. Place the disc of dough on the center of the flour-dusted counter. Keep the counter and top of dough lightly dusted with flour while rolling. Occasionally glide your hand under the dough and rotate it in a circle to ensure it is not sticking to the counter. If the dough begins to stick to the counter or rolling pin, that’s when you want to dust with more flour. It is better to use too much flour than too little; it makes it easier to roll. Roll the dough into a 12" circle. Using a dry, soft 3-"-wide bristle pastry brush, brush off any extra flour from the dough.

Roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll on parchment-lined cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, beat the egg white until smooth. Dip a small pastry brush into the egg white and scrape both sides of the brush against the top edge of the bow to remove excess eggl. Paint a thin layer of beaten egg white over the top of the rolled dough. If the dough has become warm and soft, refrigerate for10 minutes so it firms up and becomes more manageable. Save the extra beaten egg white for use later.

For the filling:

Wash the peaches in cold water and towel dry. Cut into ½"-thick slices. Place slices in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and tapioca, stir together until evenly blended. Sprinkle tapioca and sugar mixture over the peaches. Using a rubber spatula or large kitchen spoon, fold only until the fruit is covered with the sugar mixture.

Add the peaches to the center of the dough and evenly spread, leaving about a 2½" border. Gently press the peaches to close any large gaps between the slices.

Glide your hand under the edge of the dough, about 2½" in, and fold halfway toward the center of the filling. Continue this motion, making a pleat as you fold each piece of the edge until you have finished and created an outer edge with an open center. Once done, lightly paint the top ring of folded dough very lightly with egg white. Place in the preheated oven on the lower third rack.

After 30 minutes, remove from the oven. Using the back of a large oval soup spoon, gently press peaches down to the level of the juices. This will give a simple glaze to the top of the peaches. Be careful not to press too hard, or the juices will spill over the crust. Return to the oven and reduce heat to 400°F (375°F convection). Continue baking another15–20 minutes, until the fruit is tender and the crust is golden brown. Place the pan on a wire rack for even cooling.

by Jim Dodge

 
 
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