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Plum Crazy…

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like every year summer goes by even quicker than it did the year before. 
I wait and wait all winter for stone fruit season to arrive,  daydreaming about all of the amazing things I’ll make…  fantasizing about juicy peaches, ripe plums and perfect nectarines. 

Awaiting that first taste of summer, sinking my teeth into the perfect bite, juice dribbling down my chin… 
and then it’s August.

When did that happen?!   I realize I barely had a chance to make any of the delectable things I spent so many hours, days, weeks thinking about.  And here we are again, summer more than halfway gone.
So, upon this rather startling revelation I decided I had better get it in gear if I was going to accomplish at least a few of the things I had set out to do.

For those of you who may not know, a crostata is a single-crust, free-form pie.  This is good news for the likes of me as I find rolling out multiple pie crusts in the heat of August a nearly impossible feat. 
If I had central air-conditioning and a marble slab in my kitchen, I’d be much more agreeable.

Plum Crostata

for the dough:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter (not margarine) cubed into small pieces & chilled
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 tbsp ice water

In the bowl of a food processor,  pulse together dry ingredients until well combined.   Add in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  I usually keep my butter in the freezer for this so it stays really cold as it is being incorporated.   Add in ice water, pulsing machine until it almost forms a ball.  Do not over work dough.  Remove from food processor and flatten into a disk.  Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.   You can do this a day ahead.

for the filling:

  • 6 ripe plums, sliced 1/4″ thick ( I used red & black plums)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (or 1 whole, if small)
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour 

Mix all ingredients together and set aside.

for glaze:
1 egg
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sanding sugar

assemble crostata:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove dough from refrigerator and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and lightly floured.  Press out the dough until it is approximately 11 inches in diameter. 

You can roll it out with a pin if you like but I chose to just press it out.  My kitchen was very warm and the dough was getting a little too soft, as the butter in the dough was beginning to melt so I had to go with it.  I had already put it back in the refrigerator once…  It was just too warm of a day (lesson learned). 

Place fruit in center and bring up edges of dough to the center, pleating dough as you go.  If you really want to impress, lay fruit in a circular pattern and then fold dough over.  If dough breaks, don’t sweat it…  just pinch it back together.  It’s supposed to be “rustic”, right? 
Well, mine certainly was! 
(The crust didn’t hold in a few spots,  let’s just say that gave it “personality”)

Brush crust with honey/egg mixture and sprinkle sanding sugar on crust.
Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until crust is golden brown and fruit is bubbling.

A scoop of vanilla ice cream on this would be divine…  just sayin’


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