Sunday, 26 August 2012

Cherry and Peach Crostata

I have blogged various versions of the crostata before, including Fig and Raspberry, Rhubarb and Strawberry amongst others.  We enjoyed last week's combination of cherries and peaches in a clafoutis so much that I thought I'd put them in a crostata with some frangipane on the base.  It was delicious again, with cream or creme fraiche, whichever you prefer.  Make some rich shortcrust by blitzing together 150g of plain flour with 75g of chilled, diced unsalted butter and a tablespoon of caster sugar.  Now mix an egg yolk and a tablespoon of chilled water, and pour over the dry mix in the processor.  Blitz again until just coming togther into a ball, adding a tiny bit of water if necessary.  Tip onto a sheet of cling film, flatten into a disk, wrap and chill for at least an hour.  Bring out of the fridge for about 20 minutes on a warm day to soften, then roll into a rough disk about 14 inches in diameter.  I do this on the clingfilm to make lifting easy.  Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Now cream 50g of soft unsalted butter and 50g of caster sugar until pale and creamy.  Add an egg, 100g of ground almonds and a dash of vanilla essence.  Quickly mix then spread on the pastry base, leaving a 2 inch border all round.  Pile 3 skinned and chopped white peaches on top of the frangipane, and a big handful of stoned cherries.  Bring the edges of the pastry up around the side - it should be ragged and rustic looking.  Sprinkle with a teaspoon or so of sugar and bake at 170C (fan) for half an hour until browned.  Best served just warm rather than hot from the oven.

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