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plum and almond crostata

The sliced almonds in this pie brown beautifully on top and provide a crunching interest throughout, but could easily be replaced with walnuts or pecans. If your plums aren’t perfectly ripe, you might add another tablespoon or two of sugar to the filling.
Makes one crostata -- about six servings.

Ingredients

  • Dough for one crostata-recipe below or use your own or use purchased dough
  • 1 ½ pounds black ruby or other large ripe plums, pitted and cut into 1/8-inch slices
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 4 tablespoons sliced almonds, divided (3 tablespoons for filling and 1 tablespoon for topping)
  • 1 tablespoon milk (for topping)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (for topping)

Instructions

  • DOUGH: MAKE + CHILL: Make the dough as per instructions below (or use your own dough) and chill for an hour or freeze for 15 minutes.
  • STIR TOGETHER THE PLUM MIXTURE: While the pastry chills, in a large bowl, stir together the sliced plums, sugar, pinch of salt, lemon zest and 3 tablespoons of the sliced almonds. Set aside.
  • PREHEAT OVEN to 425 degrees F and place oven rack at center. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  • ROLL OUT DOUGH: Sprinkle the counter or board lightly with flour. Roll out the chilled pastry dough into an 11-inch round. Roll the dough up onto the rolling pin (or carefully fold it into fourths) and move the dough to the parchment lined rimmed baking sheet.
  • SPOON PLUMS INTO PASTRY: Spoon/pour the plum mixture into the center of the pastry, stopping about 1 ½ inches before the edges. Bring up the edges of the dough around the plums, folding or pleating gently as needed to go around in a circle. Brush the pastry with the milk, sprinkle the reserved tablespoon of almonds on top of the plums, and sprinkle the whole pie with sugar – concentrating on the dough. (This will help brown the crust.)
  • BAKE/COOL/SERVE: Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Don’t worry if some of the juices have escaped onto the parchment paper. Remove pan to cooling rack. When it has sat for 15-20 minutes cooling, move the crostata off the paper so that it sits directly on the rack to cool completely as follows: Move the pan off the rack. Using both hands, lift the parchment paper off the pan (keeping the crostata level) and place it back onto the rack with the pie still on it. Carefully slide the crostata off the paper and onto the rack itself while pulling the paper from underneath it. Cool completely or until just warm. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.
  • STORAGE: Store well-wrapped on the counter for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for a week. If it’s very warm and humid when you are baking, you might want to wrap and leave the pie in the fridge immediately after serving. We never have crostata leftover for long, but I would probably share it with neighbors or eat it for breakfast rather than freeze it. The dough, however, freezes very well if you’d like to make a double batch and freeze one. Let it sit overnight in the fridge, wrapped, to thaw before using.
    Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2020. All rights reserved.

Notes

CROSTATA DOUGH (makes one crostata)
  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) ice water.
 
In a food processor fitted with the knife blade or in a bowl using a pastry cutter, pulse together/mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the pieces of butter and pulse/cut in until mixture is the size of small and large peas. Slowly drizzle in ice water pulsing or stirring until dough begins to come together. Turn out onto floured board, gather dough, pat into a ball, and then pat or roll into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour or freeze 15 minutes.
The recipe for the dough only is somewhat adapted from the book CUCINA SIMPATICA: ROBUST TRATTORIA COOKING, by Johanne Killeen and George Germon. I think this is the same dough and recipe Ina Garten uses in her apple crostata.