Crostata di Frutta

Fruit Tart

When I was growing up in Tuscany, there was just one shop which made and sold the very best fruit tarts I have ever tasted. Bicycling home the four miles, balancing anything up to three of these on the handle bars and getting them home intact was an act in itself! This recipe is an attempt to re-create the flavor of those memories.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • grated peel of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • cup unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 8 oz lightly poached apples, pears, apricots, or peaches (if the stone fruit is really ripe and soft, don’t poach, but use it as it is)
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Method

  1. Mix the flour with one third of the superfine sugar, salt, and lemon peel. Pile the flour mixture onto a countertop and make a hollow in the center with your fist.
  2. Break two eggs into the hollow and add the butter and remaining sugar. Knead all this together quickly to form a smooth ball of dough. Wrap it in plastic wrap or a clean cloth and rest in a cool place, but not the refrigerator, for about 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Divide the dough into 2 sections, one larger than the other. Roll out the larger piece evenly on a lightly floured countertop.
  4. Grease and lightly flour the tart pan. Line the tart pan with the rolled out pastry and fill with the cooked fruit.
  5. Roll out the smaller piece of dough and cut into strips. Arrange the strips as a lattice over the fruit. Brush lightly with the egg yolk and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown, Leave to cool, dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar and serve.

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