Friday, September 2, 2011

Nectarine Crostada- Lazy Girl Pie

I could have made a big deal of this Italian artisan dessert, but really, let's cut to the chase, shall we?  It's really just a gloriously lazy way to make a pie and have it look very special

This dessert took about 10 minutes to put together, and another 45 minutes to bake.  It was so easy....  You can use that pre-made pie crust, if you have to, but it is easy to make it.  Here's my recipe, that I use all the time, and even make ahead and keep pre-made pie crusts in the fridge at 'major pie making' seasons, you know, end of summer, Thanksgiving and Christmas!

I bought a huge box of nectarines in Eastern Washington last weekend for $8.50... wow, did you know that is more nectarines that you can shake a stick at.  (Shake a stick at????  I know it's something weird that people say that sometimes pops out... just seemed to work here!).  So far I have made 3 batches of jam, 2 pies (one in the freezer now... lucky me!), 1 crostada and I've still got a long ways to go before seeing the bottom of that box.
I need to get going, the fruit flies are rallying for an attack...

I'm going to make a little admission to you, I almost had a disaster with this crostada.
You know why? 
Because I very carefully  poured in all the juices into the crust after I filled it, I just kept filling it up, thinking to myself "this is gonna be so awesome" and unfortunately, it all tried to come out while baking.  We ate it anyways, and it was yummy.  My advice to YOU is, go ahead and fill up the crust with fruit, but don't worry about getting every bit in there, and do NOT pour in any extra liquid....  yowza, what a mess. 

I am thrilled that I used my Silpat (nonstick baking liner) on my pan and the whole mess just peeled off.  If I hadn't, well, I probably would have thrown the pan away. Yep, it was that bad (see photo below if you don't believe me). If you don't have a Silpat (a French brand name that has 'stuck'- hahaha) then go get one ... they are incredible for cookies, baking- - anything!  They sell for about $19.99 at most kitchen places, but I got mine for $9.99 at the Business Costco (in WA, Lynnwood & Fife) who has great deals on restaurant quality cooking supplies!
Oh yeah, I love me some Costco, especially the business one.

One pie
6 cups nectarines, sliced (or peaches, berries, apples or combination)
1 cup sugar (use less if your fruit is super sweet)
1/4 cup cornstarch

1 pie crust

Roll out the pie crust into a 10-12" round, don't worry about uneven edges, that's part of the charm. I rolled my pie crust out right on top of my silpat mat, so it was easy to move from the counter to the baking sheet, but parchment paper would work too.

If you are a little freaked out because of the issue I had, you really could put the whole round of pie crust and fold over the top in the same way, but that at least, would ensure that some of the juices stayed down in the pie where you expect it too.

Cut up fruit and add to a bowl. Add the sugar and the cornstarch and mix.


Add fruit mixture on top of crust and fold up the sides, something like I have done below. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 40-45 minutes.  It should be golden brown and juicy bubbly all over when you take it out.

Do NOT add any accumulated juices from the fruit mixture into the crust.... it all managed to drain out and burn to a crisp. 

Can you say "Houston, we have a problem"???  This is when I was kicked down from my "happy place" into the "bad word place" as it was baking.  

Luckily the pie was fine, and I managed to push the burnt juices away from the pie before the pie was burnt just from being so close to it.

We all happily ate this with a group of relatives last night... and you know relatives, they will tell you if it's no good. All they said was "Yum".

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