Showing posts with label fruit dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fruit dessert. Show all posts

Monday, August 6, 2012

Easy Summer Living

One of the traits I share with my protagonist, Sophie, is the belief that food doesn't have to be fancy, difficult to prepare, or a lot of work to be good.


I love baking tortes. Lots of layers with a delicious cream in between them and a beautiful icing or frosting on top. I've been known to tackle the wonderful, but sort of scary Dobos Torte. Seven layers with a hard caramel topping. Tortes like that are the perfect thing for company. You don't have to be a pro at decorating for them to be showstoppers. Plus they're large, so they provide dessert all weekend long.

A fabulous cake is a big time commitment, though. And at the moment, I don't have a bunch of guests to consume a cake, and someone would have to eat it . . .

So today I opted to use more of the wonderful fruit that's so plentiful right now and bake the sort of thing that Sophie would whip up for her friends. I used ready made puff pastry to speed things up a lot. This recipe is so simple that there's really not much to it. But it tastes wonderful and you can make exactly as many as you need so you won't be tempted to eat the leftovers.


I tried several things to see what worked best. I indented some of the pastry where the peaches were to help the edges puff up -- totally unnecessary. To make them sweeter, I added a little bit of raspberry jam under the peaches on some of them. You can do that if you want, but to be perfectly honest, I liked the ones without it better. Peaches and pastry -- so simple! It doesn't get better than that.












As you can see from the pictures, some of the peaches are in a row and others are circular and somewhat like a rose. I liked the rose formation best. They're prettier, and they have more peach on them, so there's a better peach to pastry ratio.



Peach Puff Pastry Tarts

puff pastry (follow directions for thawing)
peaches (roughly 1/2 peach per tart)
sugar
1 egg

Preheat oven according to instructions for your puff pastry. Somewhere between 375 and 390.

If using large sheets of puff pastry, cut into squares approximately 5 inches by 5 inches.

Peel peaches and slice. Arrange on the puff pastry squares in a line, slightly overlapping, or in a circle, slightly overlapping.

Sprinkle the fruit generously with sugar.

Beat the egg with a fork and brush on the edges of the puff pastry.

Bake 18-20 minutes.

Eat plain, or serve with ice cream or whipped cream.




Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Easy Honey-Glazed Peach Crostata from Cleo Coyle




Sweet, round, and succulent, the yellow-orange orbs of summer are hard to resist. I know many of you are peach lovers, too. Last week, Libby D. left a comment on my Insanely Easy Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake post, suggesting the use of fresh peaches in place of cherry pie filling. It was a great suggestion, and ever since she made it, I couldn't stop thinking about the shimmering glazed filling in this recipe. It combines yellow peaches with a bit of honey, butter, and flour. I think it would make the perfect substitute for the cherry pie filling in last week's coffee cake post.

I first shared this recipe two years ago, but with summer produce about to hit stores across the country (and Libby's comment last week), I decided to bring it back for those of you who may have missed it or would like to download it again. May you bake it with joy! ~ Cleo







   
To download a PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share click here. 


Cleo Coyle, sucker for
summer produce, is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries.

Cleo Coyle's
Lite and Easy
Honey-Glazed
Peach Crostata

This is my lite and easy version of a free-form crostata, which is an Italian baked dessert tart, usually made with jam or fruit. This rustic tart bakes much faster than a typical two-crust pie and is incredibly simple to make using peaches, butter, and honey. (The French, of course, would call this a galette.)


INGREDIENTS

For Crostata Filling:

1 tablespoon butter

1-1/2 tablespoons honey (I use orange blossom)

2 tablespoons flour

Pinch of salt

5 large, ripe, yellow peaches skinned and diced (or 6 small)

1 egg, lightly beaten with fork (for brushing crust)

2-3 tablespoon sugar for dusting (for best result use “sugar in the raw” aka turbinado sugar)



For Crostata Crust:

One pie crust, rolled out to at least 11-inches in diameter

NOTE: When I have time, I make my own pie crusts from scratch, like the one you see to the right. For today's recipe, I opted for a pre-made pie crust. If pie crusts are a snap for you to make, go for it. Otherwise, no worries. Just pick up a pre-made crust from your grocery store. That's exactly what you see in my photos, a Pillsbury crust from a box that I thawed and unrolled.

METHOD

Step 1 - Prepare filling: In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat, add honey, flour, salt, and diced peaches. Gently stir for about 3 to 5 minutes to coat the peaches with the glaze and soften them up.

Before the next step, allow filling to cool. Use a slotted spoon to drain some of the excess liquid, but not all of it. This crostata bakes quickly in the oven and the butter and honey will make a more succulent crostata than baking the fruit without this honey glaze.



Step 2 - Fill tart: Place rolled out dough (about 11 inches in diameter) onto a baking sheet lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. OR line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Mound diced peaches in the center, leaving a 2-inch border.

NOTE: A parchment paper lining on your baking sheet will make it easier to transfer the tart to a serving plate. See my *Crust Note at the end of this recipe.


Step 3 - Brush with egg and fold: Mix lightly beaten egg with a splash of water and brush the crust's border with this egg wash. Now create a rustic crust edge. Using clean fingers, lift up the border a bit and begin to pinch the dough together every inch or so around the edges, then fold down each pinched peak over the fruit (see photos below).




Step 4 - Brush and sprinkle: Lightly brush the crust again with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Raw sugar will give you the best result in this recipe. 

See my note below for more info on "sugar in the raw."




*NOTE: Sugar in the raw is a coarse, natural brown sugar. In the US, we call a version of this turbinado sugar. In the United Kingdom, this type of sugar is called demerara. Either way, it makes an excellent finish for baked goods, sprinkled on crusts, over the tops of cakes and pies. Read more about it by clicking here.


Step 5 - Bake: Place baking sheet on lowest rack of an oven that’s been very well pre-heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

The crostata will be done in 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool a bit before slicing and serving right from the baking sheet. Want to move the tart to a serving plate? See my note below...



*CRUST NOTE: In this tart, the fruit is the star, not the crust, which is too thin to move without breaking. If you wish to transfer this thin-crust crostata to a serving platter, line baking sheet with parchment paper. After baking, slide paper (crostata and all) onto platter then carefully pull paper out from under crust or cut around edges for a pretty appearance.




SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This baby is delicious served with ice cream or whipped cream. Ginger whipped cream pairs especially well with the flavors in this rustic tart. Recipe below...




Cleo's Fresh 
Ginger Whipped Cream

Makes about 4 servings

1 cup heavy cream
3-4 tablespoons sugar (to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


Place heavy cream, sugar, and ginger into a well chilled bowl and beat with an electric mixer. The cream will thicken as you beat it. When it forms stiff peaks, you're done. Do not over beat.

Note: Chill it, baby! Using a chilled bowl will speed up the process of whipping your cream. I use a metal bowl that's been in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. I'll also put my hand-mixer's beaters into the freezer for 15 minutes.



Eat with joy!


~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse: CoffeehouseMystery.com





The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 
 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.