With nectarines and peaches just coming into season, this easy crostata is perfect way to enjoy them, especially if the fruit you’ve bought turns out to be a little firmer or less juicy than you’d hoped.
A crostata is Italian free-form rustic tart with a tender, buttery crust folded over a juicy fruit filling. French cooks call it a galette. Whatever the name, it’s so easy to make and looks great.
We use some brown spelt flour in the home-made melt in-the- mouth pastry to reduce the white carbs and add fibre (plain wholemeal works too) but if you’re pushed for time, use fresh or frozen ready-made shortcrust pastry.
Keeps: 2 days in the fridge Freeze: 3 months
Per serving: 262 cals, 31 g carbs
For the pastry
2 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp cold water
125 g (4 oz) cold butter 85 g (3 oz) spelt flour 140 g (5 oz) plain flour 2 tsp caster sugar
For the filling
4 ripe peaches or nectarines
1 tbsp spelt flour
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp soft brown sugar squeeze of lemon juice
1-2 tsp low-sugar apricot conserve
squeeze of lemon juice
To make the pastry:
Separate the egg. Reserve the white for glazing the pastry, and whisk the yolk, water and lemon juice together. Cut the cold butter into small cubes, then put the flour, sugar and butter into a food processor and pulse until it resembles fine crumbs. Add the yolk mixture through the feed-tube and process until it looks like a moist crumble, about 10 seconds.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently with your fingertips to remove any cracks. Flatten into a disk, wrap in clingfilm or foil and chill for 20 minutes and up to 24 hours, or freeze until needed.
To fill and bake the crostata:
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Cut the unpeeled fruit into 2 cm (3⁄4”) slices – if the stone clings to the flesh, just cut around it so you have 4 large pieces of fruit, then into slices. Mix the fruit with the rest of the filling ingredients.
Lay the chilled pastry on a large sheet of baking paper, cover with a large sheet of clingfilm and roll out into a 30 cm (12”) disc – this stops it sticking to the rolling pin without having to use extra flour. Peel off the clingfilm – if the pastry has become too soft and sticky to separate from the clingfilm, pop it into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then try again.
Pile the fruit in the centre of the pastry, leaving a 4 cm (11⁄2”) margin clear of fruit around the circumference. Bring the pastry margin in, pleating it to create a circular enclosure that leaves most of the filling exposed. Using the side of your hand, coax the outer edge of the crostata into a neat circle.
Whisk the egg white until frothy then brush it over the exposed pastry. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 190°C/Gas 5 and bake for a further 15 minutes or until the pastry is a rich golden brown.
Transfer the crostata to a cooling rack, leave for 5 minutes then slide the paper out from underneath – this stops the underside becoming soggy. Warm the apricot conserve with the lemon juice until liquidy, then lightly glaze the pastry and exposed fruit using a silicone brush.