Moving is exhausting. Of course you all have moved and don't need me to remind you of this, but since that thought drifts through my head at least once a day (more like one hundred times per day), I needed to put it in writing.
I adore our new house. I love that it is ours. Unfortunately, this breeds a certain desire for perfection in organizing and getting settled that is just not immediately attainable. My clothes are still in garment boxes and we have four potential living room rugs lurking about. Every day, Rob and I return from work and our post-work activities and spend 3-4 hours working on a project at home. Let's just say that most "cooking" in the new house actually refers to the "making" of frozen pizza.
However, I have finally put away everything in our kitchen and rewarded myself with a trip to the farmer's market. The stone fruit was out in full force... apricots, plums, and ripe Palisades peaches. I couldn't resist.
It felt great to be back in the kitchen. That probably sounds silly, but cooking is therapeutic for me and preparing a full meal here for the first time makes it feel more like home. And whatever chaos is still ongoing elsewhere in the house, there is a home-cooked meal on the patio to be enjoyed with a few minutes of peace and quiet and conversations that don't involve drills and shelving or end with one of us saying "I'll be right back from Home Depot."
Summer Peach Crostata
Adapted from Food & Wine
Servings = 6 slices
This could also be called "Simple Peach Crostata" for the ease with which you can make the crust, slice the fruit, and have a gorgeous dessert with very little work. Feel free to use whatever fruit you have available for the filling. I've already made it with plums and apricots, both of which were tasty although the peach was the clear favorite. I got the ultimate compliment from Rob on this dessert - I could see this served in a bakery in San Francisco or Paris! And today when I cut a slice for his lunch, he asked "Is that all I get?" Thankfully, I doubled the recipe so that I'd have dough for a second crostata readily available (you can store the dough for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or freeze it).
If you use a tarter fruit to make this (e.g., apricots or tart plums), be sure to increase the sugar. My apricot version was a bit too tart, which was a huge disappointment.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1/4 cup ice water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound firm-but-ripe peaches, pitted and cut into eighths (substitute 1 pound of other stone fruit but don't forget to adjust the sugar in the filling accordingly) (approximately 4 peaches)
1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
1. In a food processor, add the 1 1/4 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar and the salt and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle on the ice water and pulse until the dough just barely comes together. Gather the dough and pat it into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and position an oven rack in the lower third. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll out the disk of dough to a 12-inch round; transfer to the baking sheet. Chill the dough until firm, 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar with the cornstarch and cinnamon. Add the peaches and toss well. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 15 minutes.
4. Arrange the fruit in the center of the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border all around. Fold the edge of the dough up and over the peaches. Brush the rim with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
5. Bake the peach crostata for about 50 minutes, until the crust is golden and the fruit is tender and bubbling. Check your crostata after 30 minutes - if it is browning too quickly, cover it with aluminum foil. Let the crostata cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.