One of my favorite parts of the week is when I go to the farmers market. I pick out fresh produce items that are in season and at their peak flavors and plan my recipes from there. I love cooking this way because the produce is already so flavorful that the hard part of coming up with something delicious is already done. The next step is finding ways to really celebrate those flavors. I’ve been on a baking kick recently, so when I bought over two pounds of plums and rainier cherries at the farmers market I knew I wanted to make crostatas.
I served the plum crostata with vanilla bean ice cream, and added a dollop of mascarpone to the cherry crostata slices, and they were both crowd pleasers! If you plan on making two, certainly double the dough recipe below.
Cornmeal Dough (by David Lebovitz from Fine Cooking):
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. sugar
1-1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
3 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup ice water
About 1lb plums; 8-9 small to medium sized ripe plums
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter
pinch of salt
1 1/4 lbs cherries (I used Rainier cherries)
lemon or orange zest
Mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Cut in the chilled butter using a food processor or a stand mixer until it’s evenly distributed. Add the ice water and olive oil and mix until the dough begins to come together. Gather the dough with your hands and shape it into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Slice plums into 1/2″ wedges and set aside. In a large saute pan, add butter, sugar, and salt and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture turns a deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add the plums to the mixture and stir a few times to coat. Let the mixture sit for a minute or so, and transfer it to a plate and refrigerate until cooled completely. Preheat oven to 375*. After both the dough and plum mixture have cooled, roll the dough out evenly into a circle onto a floured surface, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, add plum mixture to the center of the dough, and gently fold the border of the dough over the fruit. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until crust slightly golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes. Bon appetit!
Pit and/or halve cherries. (I didn’t sautee the cherries like I did the plums, but I think it would be delicious!) Once dough has completely cooled, roll the dough out evenly into a circle onto a floured surface, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, add cherries to the center of the dough, and gently fold the border of the dough over the fruit. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and a few pinches of unsalted butter. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until crust slightly golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes. Grate lemon or orange zest on top to finish. Bon appetit!