This recipe reminded us of why we love crostatas so much (and made us wonder why we don't make them more often). The dough comes together quickly and is easier to work with than other crusts we've made. Italian prune plums are only in season for a short time. Got some? Get going on this...
This recipe came from The Boston Globe in an article titled "Foolproof Pastry," and indeed it was. Unlike most pastry doughs, it has an egg in it, so it's quite flexible and forgiving. We pulsed the ingredients in a food processor and turned the crumbs out onto a floured surface, kneading it easily into a soft ball. Very little dryness (or anxiety).
The recipe called for chilling the dough for only 30 minutes, which was fine. It rolled out with no problem and didn't crack or split. Here's the crostata, about to go into the oven, with our free-form edges that had been brushed with milk and sprinkled with sugar.
We do have a few notes on the recipe. In the ingredients for the plum crostata (not the pastry), it lists two tablespoons of sugar but never tells you when to add them. We assumed we were supposed to toss the sliced plums with the sugar, and we're glad we did.
This crostata is not very sweet—and that of course depends on how sweet your fruit is—and the "topping" is more like a glaze, rather than a crumble. We might add more brown sugar and some butter to make a chunkier, sweeter topping in the future. We cooked it for a bit longer than suggested to get a browned crust, and we still had a few spots of raw, powdery topping on top of the plums, but that was no big deal.
The crust is a bit chewier than a classic pastry crust, but we liked it. And the fruit really shines, not overwhelmed by sugar. A slice would be perfect with a sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top.
Get the recipe:
Related: Classic Recipe (and Video): Martha Stewart's Pâte Brisée
(Images: Elizabeth Passarella)