12 July 2012

Mango Nectarine Raspberry Crostata

mango nectarine raspberry crostata

I'm a lucky momma in a lot of ways.  Both of my boys love fruit.  I haven't found a fruit yet that they don't both scarf down.  So, I am always on the lookout for new types of fruit for them to try out.  I went shopping with my mom today and walked out of the store with some really lovely fruit.  I had never heard of one of these lovelies, though, so I had to do a little taste test to figure out a good pairing.  The unknown fruit is the Mango Nectarine.  These are a hybrid nectarine whose flavor is a cross between a mango and a nectarine.  They are not actually related to the mango, contrary to the implication of the name.  I decided to pair them with raspberries, since I thought the tartness would offset the sweetness of the nectarines nicely.

A crostata is a type of Italian dessert tart, but the term also refers to a type of rustic, free-form pie similar to what Southerners call a Slab Pie.  Slab Pies usually have a top crust, though.  I haven't ever made a crostata before, but this beautiful fruit was crying out to be shown off.  No top crust for these guys...so crostata was the way to go.  The idea of this dessert goes against my grain.  I am logical and methodical.  I am a baker because I love the precision and the science of it.  The beauty of the crostata is that you can make it into an oval, a square, a rectangle, an octagon...let your imagination run wild.  Or you can let the shape your pie crust wants to roll out into dictate your crostata's shape.

Be sure to line your baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.  If the fruit juices leak out of the crust, the parchment will keep your crostata from being permanently stuck to your baking pan by the caramelized fruit juices and sugars.

This crostata is truly some deep summer lusciousness at its best.  The bittersweet tang of the nectarines and raspberries, the sweetness of the juices, the crumbly crust with the occasional crunch of muscovado sugar. Yummy, yummy, yummy.  I put just a little drizzle of cream over mine for serving.  You could also serve it with ice cream or whipped cream if you feel like it.

mango necatarine and raspberries
Mango Nectarine Raspberry Crostata
makes one crostata

Print me, Please!!!

For the crust:

2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 c yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup very cold butter-flavor vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
1 Tbsp cold apple cider vinegar
4-6 Tbsp ice cold water

 For the filling:
4 mango nectarines, pitted and sliced
1 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp rose water (optional)

2 Tbsp cold milk
2-4 Tbsp muscovado sugar

my big kiddo pigging out on a
mango nectarine
To make the crust:  Stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Using a fork, a pastry blender, or your fingers, cut in the shortening until the mixture makes coarse, roughly pea-sized crumbs.  Add the vinegar and 4 tablespoons of the water.  Gently toss the ingredients together, adding more water if necessary by teaspoons, until dough just holds together.
Gather dough into a large flat disk; wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

To make the filling:  At least 1 hour before baking the crostata, combine the fruit, sugar, lemon juice  and rose water in a large bowl.  Place in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld and allow the fruits to release some of their natural juices.  Give it a gentle stir a couple of times while it is in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with flour. Top with another piece of parchment or a piece of wax paper.  Roll dough out to 1/8 to 1/4" thickness. Move dough to a baking sheet and remove top sheet of paper.  Spoon fruit mixture on top of the crust.  Fold edges of crust over the fruit by 1 1/2 to 2".  Check the crust for any tears and patch any holes.  Pour the juice from the fruit over the top once the crust has been folded over.

Brush the crust with a milk and sprinkle the crust and the top of the fruit with muscovado sugar to taste.  

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.  Place pan on a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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