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Plum Crostata with Walnut Streusel

Crostatas (free-form pies) can be made with almost any fruit. If you have no plums, give this a try with peaches or apples or pears or only jam. If your crostata leaks and makes a pretty mess on the parchment paper, that’s just par for the course and nothing to worry about. 6 servings


  • Rimmed sheet pan and parchment paper


  • Dough for one crostata – recipe below or use your own or use purchased dough
  • 1 pound about 20 pitted small, ripe, firm plums pitted and cut into ½-inch slices (My plums were about 1 ½ inches in diameter and I cut them into sixths. Larger plums will do; cut them into eighths.)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1 teaspoon to sprinkle on dough before baking
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • Walnut streusel topping – recipe below
  • 1 tablespoon milk (to brush on pastry before sprinkling with the teaspoon of sugar and baking)


  • DOUGH: MAKE + CHILL (see recipe below): Make the dough as per instructions below (or use your own dough) and chill for an hour or freeze for 15 minutes.
  • PREHEAT THE OVEN to 425 degrees F and place oven rack at center. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  • STIR TOGETHER PLUM MIXTURE: While the pastry chills, in a large bowl stir together the sliced plums, sugar, and lemon zest. Set aside.
  • MAKE THE WALNUT STREUSEL (see recipe below) 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, lifting/turning dough and dusting counter again once or twice to keep dough from sticking. Roll the dough up onto the rolling pin (or carefully fold it into fourths) and move the dough to the center of 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. Top evenly with the walnut streusel. Bring up the edges of the dough around the plums, folding or pleating gently as needed to go around in a circle. You’ll have about a 9 ½-inch crostata (9" after baking). Brush the dough carefully and lightly with the milk and sprinkle only the dough with reserved teaspoon of sugar. (This will help brown the crust.)
  • BAKE/COOL/SERVE: Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crust is crispy golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Don’t worry if some of the juices have escaped onto the parchment paper. Remove pan to cooling rack. When it has sat for 30-40 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.
  • 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 much crostata leftover, 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.


  • ¼ cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • ⅛  cup EACH: granulated sugar and brown sugar
  • ⅛  teaspoon EACH: ground cinnamon and ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
In a food processor fitted with a steel blade or in a medium bowl with a pastry cutter, place all ingredients except nuts and pulse or cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Stir in the nuts. Remove the blade from the food processor, if using, and with fingers, pinch together the crumbs so they hold together.
CROSTATA DOUGH (makes one crostata)
  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ pound (1 stick/8 tablespoons) unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 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, adding a drop or two more if needed. 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.  NOTE: This dough recipe 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.   Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2021. All rights reserved.