Cornmeal Crust Peach Crostata

Posted: Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Recipe from "Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare-Bones Budget," by Amy McCoy; Andrews McMeel Publishing LLC.

Photograph By Amy Mccoy
Photograph By Amy Mccoy
Cornmeal Crust Peach Crostata

Photographs by Amy McCoy (

Cornmeal Crust

2 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) very cold vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 to 3/4 cup ice cold water

Peach Filling

6 medium peaches (approximately 2 pounds), halved, pitted, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices

1/4 cup honey

For Finishing

1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon milk (any kind)

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (sold as Sugar in the Raw), for dusting the crust

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt, mixing well to distribute all of these dry ingredients. Add the shortening and butter to the flour mixture, and blend until the fats are incorporated into the flour, yet remain the size of peas. Using a fork or pastry blender, if not using a food processor, add the ice cold water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together, meaning that no loose flour remains in your bowl. Form the dough into a ball. Place a piece of plastic wrap approximately 9 by 12 inches long on your work surface. Turn the dough out onto the plastic wrap, and flatten it into a thick round. Cover all parts of the dough round with the plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

In a large bowl, mix together the peaches and honey, allowing the peaches to release their juices, or macerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and get out your 10 by 15-inch rimmed baking sheet. On a lightly floured surface, working from the center of the dough round, roll out the dough to a misshapen rectangle, approximately 10 by 15 inches. I like to do this on a piece of reusable silicone parchment, which makes the transfer of the dough to the baking sheet infinitely easier, as I also bake the crostata on this piece of parchment. You can do the same by rolling the dough out on regular parchment paper and then sliding the dough and parchment paper onto the baking sheet before filling it with the peaches.

Place the honeyed peaches and their accumulated juices in the middle of the misshapen dough rectangle, spreading the peaches around so that there is a 2-inch peach-free border of dough. Working from the long sides first, fold that 2-inch dough border back over the peaches, then fold the short sides' 2-inch dough border over the peaches, tucking the corners up and over the dough to be sure all peaches at the edges are sealed in and leaving a center of exposed peaches, like a window of golden summer fruit.

In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk and milk, and then brush the egg wash over the crust. Sprinkle the crust with the turbinado sugar, then bake until the crust is golden brown and the peaches are bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow cooling for 15 minutes before serving it forth. Serves 6 to 8.

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