Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fruit Crostatas and Back to School

     Ok, so this title is slightly misleading. These pint-sized fruit crostatas actually happened several weeks ago, I just never got around to uploading them. Shocking, right? Me, being lazy?
     Never!  Oh, alright, maybe.  In any case, this recipe and (the next few to come) were made about 2-3 weeks ago in my final efforts to crank out new tasty treats before I became bogged down with homework, dancing (ps, I do ballroom dance. Whoo!) and, if time allows, a bit of a social life!

     Admittedly, I was 200 kinds of excited when I found the recipe for these things, because it looked quick, I pretty much had all of the ingredients on hand, and frankly, I was dessert-crazed. And peach-crazed.  From July through all of August, I think there was rarely a day when I did not have a peach under my roof, nursing cartons-full, baking them, eating them raw, dreaming of them...
     Needless to say, peaches have really moved up on my list of favorite fruits this summer.  Strawberries (followed most likely by apples) have always reigned supreme, but I have to admit that peaches are much more consistently delicious...
     In any case (luckily for all you out there it's been so long since I made these that I can't really come up with long stories to tell before giving you the recipe) whilst these were doughy, tasty, and you just REALLY can't go wrong with a peach, some sugar, and cinnamon, I have to say I disapproved of the crust/dough base a bit-it had a little TOO much sugar, and was so sweet it hurt my in the future, I would most certainly halve the sugar in the crust and probably add a little more flour.  Since these were largely free-form, I of course could not fanangle mine well enough for that gorgeous, rustic crostata/galette shape, and they unfolded a bit in the oven (probably due to not being rolled thin enough, but seeing as I have no rolling pin, hand-patting had to do.)
     For the filling, I improvised a bit from the original recipe.  With the peaches I mixed in some cinnamon, nutmeg and I believe lemon juice and blackberries, (for a couple of them I even drizzled on some honey), and since I had recently purchased some Asian Pears at the farmers market, I made two little hand-pies out of the dough for them also using some honey, a coating of sugar, and lemon juice. (One had blackberries, the other not. I was playing around here).  The results were good enough so that, no lies, I ate the entire batch of things that came out of this dough by the end of the next day. Which included the two 6-inch peach crostatas, two Asian Pear hand pies, and I made about 6 little "cookies" out of the dough with only blackberries on top.
     And you know what? Too much sugar in the dough aside, they were quite yummy, so I may be trying this recipe again sometime in the future!  So without further ado, I'm going to link you straight to the recipe because frankly, there's no point in repeating it word-for-word here.  Just take note of my advice above, and improvise to create your own dream crostatas!

For baking beginners:  If you ever wonder what the difference between a Crostata and a Galette is, I'll go ahead and tell is the Italian word, and one is the French word, for more or less a one-crust open-faced pie. ;)  I've heard that there is some sort of small difference between the two, but nobody has enlightened me to what that is yet, and so for all intents and purposes, they are the same.
For baking experts: Do you have a magic-proportions recipe for some sort of all purpose dough/crust that you can use in all of your baking needs?  If so, what is it?

Quick Fruit Crostatas adapted and played with from La Kocinera

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