Apricot Crostata

apricot crostata

I have a sweet spot for a crostata (the plural form is crostate). This Italian tart is so popular all over Italy. You'll even find it on the breakfast table. That's because Italians love to have a bite of something sweet with their cappuccino in the morning. That's tradition! Normally crostate are made with jam. So, the jam your nonna made in summer will get put to good use in one of these sumptuous crostate. However, I like to bake crostate in summer with fresh fruit. And some of the best fruits for making crostate are plums, peaches, and apricots.

Now, you may find this recipe resembles a French galette. Basically the two are identical. The tradition of making pies and tarts is something you'll find in every culture. In the States, you can't visit a classic diner without seeing a sour cherry pie on the counter. It's part of the American tradition, too! This is why I love summer and the bounty of summer fruit, because I love to bake pies, galettes, crostate, and all types of tarts. So for this recipe, I want to show you how I make an Italian-inspired apricot crostata or crostata all'albicocca in Italian.

apricot crostata slice

As you can tell from the photos, this is a rustic tart. You only need one disc of dough to make it. Folding up the edges encapsulates the fruit filling and gives the finished tart that humble/rustic look that I love. And to make this crostata even more Italian, I add a layer of crushed almond cantucci (or biscotti) underneath the apricot filling. This does two things: One, it helps absorb all the juices that the apricots release during baking, therefore preventing a soggy crust. And, two, the cookie crumbs add additional almond-y flavor and crunch. The recipe may serve six to eight, but you'll find that you can't stop eating this crostata once you start -- it's just that good!

Apricot Crostata

Note: For this recipe you'll want a very hot oven. If you have a pizza stone, place the stone on the bottom of your oven, or on the bottom rack, and preheat it along with the oven before starting the recipe.

2 pounds ripe apricots, quartered
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, stripped of seeds
1 tablespoon lemon juice (from about half a lemon)
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
1/4 to 1/3 cup crushed almond cantucci or biscotti
Crostata crust, recipe follows

Preheat oven with pizza stone to 400 degrees F.

Add the quartered apricots to a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla seeds. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and tapioca starch, and pour over the apricots. Toss the apricots to ensure all the fruit is evenly coated. Let the fruit macerate while you roll out the dough.

Roll out the chilled dough on a sheet of parchment paper to 12 inches in diameter. Use the plastic wrap to help you roll out the dough without adding additional flour. Carefully lay dough with parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Spread the crushed cantucci onto the dough, making sure to leave a border around the edge.

Pour the macerated apricots and their juices over the crushed cantucci, spreading the fruit out in an even layer while leaving a border around the edge. Fold up about a 1-1/2-inch border of dough, overlapping when necessary. Make sure there are no holes or tears for the juices to leak from.

Bake for 40 minutes until the apricot juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Crostata Crust

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, and salt. Mix together with a whisk to aerate

Add butter and work with a pastry blender until mixture resembles course meal.

Add water 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until dough comes together.

Form the dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour before rolling.


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