If you are looking for a special means of presenting some of summer's delicious fruit, make a rustic fruit tart. The French call it a galette, the Italians a crostada.
The dough is a rich pie crust that the “Joy of Cooking” calls a shortbread dough. Those who tend to develop a rash at the thought of making pie crust, do not be deterred.
This is an easier approach. First, you don’t have to carefully roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, risking tearing it. You also don’t have to carefully fit it into a pie pan. There is no top crust.
Consider the fruit tart a tricked-out dessert pizza.
You can choose any shape you like. If you have a large, round pizza pan, make it round. Or make it to fit a rectangular baking sheet.
In the month of August, you couldn't go wrong with 100-percent juicy Michigan peaches. But at least mix in some blueberries for contrast.
Use your best judgment regarding how much of the dough to fold over the fruit filling. If the filling is on the soupy side, you will want to fold a wider strip to avoid having liquid drip over the edge. Or just fold enough to form a rim, a la deep-dish pizza.
This rustic fruit tart is fun to make and will be a big hit with your guests. The recipe is from “Hudson Valley Mediterranean: The Gigi Good Food Cookbook” by Laura Pensiero (HarperCollins, $30).
Rustic Fruit Tart
2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 sticks cold butter
1/3-1⁄2 c. orange juice
2 c. each blueberries and raspberries
2 t. grated gingerroot
2-3 fresh peaches, sliced
1 T. cornstarch
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 egg yolks
In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter in 1⁄4-inch slices and cut in with pastry blender or two forks. Butter should wind up about the size of small peas. Stir in juice.
Dough should be moist, but not so sticky that you can’t use hands to form ball. Add more flour as needed. Shape dough into flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In bowl, stir together fruit, cornstarch, ginger and orange zest.
Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out to 12-inch circle. Transfer to baking sheet that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.
In small bowl, whisk egg yolks with 1 tablespoon water. Arrange fruit in center of dough and fold dough loosely around fruit, overlapping as necessary. Brush outer 2 inches of dough circle with egg mixture for a nice glazed look.
Bake tart 30-40 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through to assure even browning. Fruit should be bubbly and crust golden brown. Let tart cool 15 minutes before slicing