Last year during a slightly challenging period in my life, my friend Anna would repeat the phrase “don’t fret.” Now, whenever I’m in a tough spot, I do the same. Somehow it’s more effective than saying calm down or don’t worry, and it’s become like a mantra during life’s inevitable fretful moments. I repeated it to myself while making the dough for this crostata — pie dough is a thing I have yet to master and anxious moments have abounded in previous attempts. And then I forgot to fret. For the first time ever, my pie dough came out beautifully. It was a turning point: I stopped over-thinking the dough. I stopped worrying whether there would be another disaster. I just chilled the butter and the water, measured the flour and the sugar, and went about making the dough as if it were a familiar habit, even though it was not. And it worked.
Peaches get jammy when cooked, and are rather heavenly in the company of a good vanilla ice cream. You could go for any summer fruit here: peaches and berries are great paired together, as are peaches with any of their stone fruit cousins, such as plums or nectarines. Just remember: don’t fret!
Individual Peach Crostatas
Recipe for dough adapted from The Kitchn
Yield: 4 small crostatas
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup ice water
1 egg, beaten
Coarse sugar (such as demerara) for sprinkling
3 ripe yellow peaches, thinly sliced (no need to remove skin)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
First, prepare the dough. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the chilled butter. Pulse until a coarse, sandy texture emerges, about five or six times. With the processor running, slowly add the ice water in a drizzle until a dough is just formed.
Turn the dough onto a clean, floured surface. Form into a ball, then flatten into a disc and cover in plastic wrap. Chill for at least one hour.
While the dough is chilling, prepare the peaches. Mix together the peach slices, sugar, lemon juice and cardamom. Set aside.
After an hour, remove the dough from the fridge. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide into four equal portions (or six, if you’d prefer mini crostatas).
On a well-floured surface, roll the dough into a disc shape, roughly six inches across. Transfer the disc to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Arrange the peach slices in a fanned circle, leaving at least one inch of dough at the edges. Drizzle just a little of the remaining peach juices over the fruit. Fold the dough over the peach filling in a clockwise circle. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.
Lightly brush the egg wash over the surface of the dough, and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for ten minutes before serving.
Best with ice cream!
Kimberley Hasselbrink is a food photographer and blogger based in San Francisco. She is the author of the blog The Year in Food, which is framed around a monthly seasonal food guide. Kimberley enjoys unusual produce, strong coffee, road trips and summer nights.