Fresh Peach Crostata

published Jun 27, 2022
Crostata Recipe

In our opinion, this freeform Italian peach tart is best served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Serves8 to 10

Prep40 minutes

Cook50 minutes

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A photo of a slice of peach Crostata (an Italian baked tart) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, melting over the pastry.
Credit: Shilpa Uskokovic

There isn’t anything I love more than a ripe, sweet summer peach. It’s the perfect fruit and one I mostly enjoy fresh. When I want to do more than just eat the juicy peach over the sink, I like to make a simple dessert like this crostata. The buttery crust combined with nutty amaretti cookies and splash of floral orange blossom water is as good as the best fresh peach I’ve ever had. 

What Is Crostata?

Crostata is an Italian dessert. It’s a form of a tart or pie that is most often baked freeform but may also be baked in tart rings or pie plates. Various fruits like plums, peaches, figs, or berries can be used in sweet preparations. At the same time, savory crostata often contain pre-cooked meat, fish, or vegetables like mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, or tomato, just to name a few. 

Credit: Shilpa Uskokovic

Flaky Pie Crust vs. Shortcrust?

You can use any dough for crostata, including sophisticated puff pastry. American cooks often use flaky pie crust, while in Europe a tender shortcrust is used. I agree with Europeans, as shortcrust produces a sturdier base for chunky and bubbly fruit filling. Baking powder is a secret ingredient here. It provides a slight lift for a lighter yet sturdier crust. 

What’s the Difference Between a Crostata and a Galette?

Not much beyond just the name, honestly, as both Italian crostata or French galette are European, rustic, mostly freeform tarts made of crust and generally fruit filling.

Crostata Recipe

In our opinion, this freeform Italian peach tart is best served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Prep time 40 minutes

Cook time 50 minutes

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons

    heavy cream, divided

  • 3 pounds

    ripe peaches (about 8 medium)

  • 3 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons

    cornstarch

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    orange blossom water (optional)

  • 7 ounces

    amaretti cookies (about 14 medium)

  • Crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut 10 tablespoons unsalted butter into cubes and let sit at room temperature until softened, 40 to 60 minutes.

  2. Place 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Beat with the paddle attachment on low speed until combined, about 1 minute.

  3. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is absorbed and the mixture resembles cornmeal, about 5 minutes.

  4. Place 2 large eggs and 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until combined. Add to the flour mixture and beat on low speed until a dough forms, 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a disc. Wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but preferably 24 hours.

  6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Score 3 pounds peaches with a paring knife by making a shallow “x” mark in the bottom of each one, just enough to cut the skin. Carefully add peaches to the boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds, turning them as needed so all of the sides come in contact with the water. Transfer the peaches to a colander and rinse under cold water for 30 seconds.

  7. Starting at the “x” mark, peel the skin from the peaches and discard. Any skin that isn’t coming off can be gently peeled with a knife. Halve and pit the peaches. Cut each half into 4 to 6 slices and place in a large bowl.

  8. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 1/2 teaspoons orange blossom water if using, and remaining the 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Toss to combine.

  9. Place 7 ounces amaretti cookies in a zip-top gallon plastic bag and coarsely crush them with a rolling pin.

  10. Dust a work surface with all-purpose flour. Unwrap and place the dough on the work surface, then roll out into a rough 13-inch round. If the dough is cracking too much, let it sit on the counter, covered, until slightly softened. Transfer the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and slide both onto on a rimmed baking sheet.

  11. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the cookie crumbs. Sprinkle the remaining cookie crumbs evenly onto the dough, leaving a 3-inch border. Place the peach mixture evenly over the cookie crumbs. Gently fold the edges of the dough over the filling, pleating the dough about every 2 inches as you go.

  12. Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon heavy cream onto the crust and sprinkle with the reserved cookie crumbs. Refrigerate or freeze for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.

  13. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the peaches are knife tender, about 50 minutes. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The dough can be made, wrapped well, and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 6 months. The assembled crostata can be well wrapped and refrigerated for up to 2 days before baking.

Storage: Leftovers can be wrapped and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.