August sure has a way of sneaking up on you. Before you know it, the month is halfway over. But late summer is wonderful. I have been soaking up the lush green mountainside, the cheerful hummingbirds who visit my feeder 100+ times a day, and the nights when I don’t need a light jacket. For these too shall pass as the season evolves into Autumn.
I have been so busy making pastries and my Honest “Twinkies” that there hasn’t been too much downtime in the kitchen. When my baking work is finished, I want to get outdoors and play. Like I’ve probably said a million times, summer is my absolute favorite season in the Rockies. With views like these to distract me, can you really blame me?
Next week we will be in South Carolina and I am excited to be by the ocean again and spend quality time with my family. It’s been a few years. I have been menu planning for the trip too- easy to assemble but delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Banana Crunch Muffins, caprese salad, grilled fish tacos…
So when I finally got around to packing yesterday I noticed the cherries, plums, and peaches sitting on my kitchen counter, ripe and at their peak. Ohhh, crap.
I made this very easy pastry courtesy of Rebecca Rather in The Pastry Queen. It comes together very quickly, and once it chills down enough to roll easily, you are golden. Fill it with a heaping mound of luscious stone fruits and bake away. Crostatas are meant to be a ‘rustic’ dessert, so no need for perfection here.
The pastry is a nice cross between a pie crust and a sugar cookie. You won’t be upset if you get pieces of just crust. I made three small crostatas out of this recipe, but you could make even smaller ones for a dinner party and everyone would get their own dessert. Mine will probably be cut into slices and packed away in my carry-on bag for an alternative to airport food.
Enjoy your lazy late summer friends.
How to make this high altitude-adjusted recipe:
Adapted from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- ¼-1/2 cup ice water
- 2 cups stone fruit, sliced
- Additional sugar, for sprinkling
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and salt.
- Add the chilled pieces of butter and using a pastry blender, cut them into the flour mixture until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas.
- Pour a little bit of the water into the pastry at a time, mixing gently and stopping when the dough begins to hold together. You may not need all of the water.
- Shape it into a ball, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into three pieces and roll each into a ball.
- On a floured surface, roll each ball into a 8" circle and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Mound ⅓ of the sliced fruit in the center and fold the dough edges toward the center.
- Sprinkle with sugar.
- Preheat your oven to 375 F.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until the edges are a light golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet.
Note: This recipe is adjusted for high-altitude baking. To make a sea level, you may require less water in your pastry.