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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Recipe: Seasonal Fruit Crostata

Seasonal Fruit Crostata with Almond Cream in Puff Pastry

Recipe: Seasonal Fruit Crostata

Sincerest apologies! I certainly should have known better than to share photos of a Mixed Berry & Peach Puff Pastry Crostata in the recipe post on Almond Cream (Crème D'Amandes) without posting a recipe for the Crostata as well. 

Consider this post as my Act of Contrition.

But there's certainly nothing complicated about a Crostata (or Galette, in French). It is a rustic dessert (i.e. it's cool if it looks a little messy). Typically, a Crostata is made from just Pastry Dough, Fruit and Sugar. And keeping with the rustic theme, it is formed without a mold. The Pastry Dough is simply rolled into a circle, a filling is placed at the center, and the Pastry Dough is folded up and over the edges.

So any recipe for a Crostata is just general guidance... a simple framework from which to design your own dessert. Just keep in mind that the best tasting Crostata will begin with the best ingredients, so use what is in season. Right now, that means Peaches, Peaches, Peaches... but when Autumn arrives, it will be all about those Pears and Apples (and Pumpkin... oh, the Pumpkin!)

Close Up of Seasonal Fruit Crostata with Almond Cream in Puff Pastry
Any type of Pastry Dough will work for a Crostata. You can go traditional with Pate Brisee, which will be tender and flakey, or Pate Sucree, which will be sweet and cookie-like. 

But recently, I've been using Puff Pastry. That buttery perfection makes for a much more decadent Crostata. Yes, Puff Pastry takes a bit longer to make, but it's time well spent.

Puff Pastry Dough for Seasonal Fruit Crostata
Once you have made and rested your Pastry Dough, roll it into a circle slightly larger than the desired size for the final Crostata (i.e. for an 8" Crostata, roll the Pastry Dough to about 10" in diameter). The extra couple of inches will be folded up and over the Crostata filling to create a crust at the edges.

While a rustic Crostata is typically made without a tart ring or mold, I like to use a deep cake pan to hold the Pastry Dough in place as I arrange the filling, allowing me to create a more presentation-focused dessert (blame it on the traditional French Training).

Sliced Black Figs
Even though a traditional Crostata is typically filled with Fruit macerated in Sugar, there's nothing preventing you from using whatever filling you desire, be it sweet or savory.

Almond Cream
Honestly, you can't go wrong with seasonal Berries. Simple is delicious. However, I've become addicted to Almond Cream, a sweet, rich and intensely-nutty filling that is an amazing complement to fresh Fruit. 

For an extra something special, place a thin layer of Almond Cream at the bottom of the Crostata, and thank me later.

Macerating Berries
As for the Fruit, when using Berries, it's best to macerate them for about 30 minutes with Sugar and Lemon Zest. Adding some Corn Starch to the Macerated Berries prevents to mixture from becoming too runny. The Corn Starch will thicken the juices when the Crostata is baked.

Sliced Peaches
Other Fruits require minimal preparation. If they are somewhat under-ripe, Stone Fruits (e.g. Peaches, Apricots, etc) can be briefly grilled. Fruits like Pears and Apples are enhanced when poached in Wine with Spices.

Macerated Berries Layered on Almond Cream
Once all of your Fruit is prepared to your liking, fill the Crostata, leaving a border at the edge of the Pastry Dough so that it can be folded over to form the crust.

Unbaked Seasonal Fruit Crostata
In addition to the Macerated Raspberries and Blackberries, I layered slices of Peaches and Figs.

Close Up of Unbaked Seasonal Fruit Crostata
As a final touch, lightly brush any exposed Pastry Dough with Egg Wash and sprinkle the crust with a coarse Sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw.

Close Up of Unbaked Seasonal Fruit Crostata
Bake the Crostata on a parchment-lined sheet tray at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). The baking time will vary based on the size of the Crostata and the filling used. This Crostata was larger and was filled with both Almond Cream and a generous amount of Berries and Fruit. It required a full 50 minutes before the crust was a golden brown and the Peaches and Figs began to take on some color.

- The Recipe -

Seasonal Fruit Crostata:

Yield: One 9" Crostata


  • Raspberries: 1 Pint
  • Blackberries: 1 Pint
  • Lemon, zest: 1x
  • Sugar: 75g
  • Corn Starch: 8g (1 Tbls)

  • Yellow Peaches, medium: 2x
  • Black Figs: 1 Pint

  • Egg, for egg wash
  • Sugar in the Raw, for finishing

*Note on Ingredients: Pick your favorite type of Pastry Dough. Pate Sucree is best rolled to a thickness of 1/8". Anything thicker can be hard to cut with a fork. Pate Brisee and Puff Pastry are more tender and can be rolled slightly thicker. 

When it comes to the Fruit, use whatever is in season.


1. Prepare the Pastry Dough and let it rest and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling. When the Pastry Dough is ready, roll it into a circle approximately 11" in diameter and between 1/8 and 1/4" thickness. If using a tart ring or mold, spray it with non-stick spray before lining it with the Pastry Dough. Place the Pastry Dough back in the refrigerator to rest and chill as you prepare the other ingredients.

2. As the Pastry Dough rests, macerate the Raspberries and Blackberries (or other seasonal berries) with the Lemon Zest, Sugar and Corn Starch for at least 30 minutes.

3. As the Berries macerate, prepare the Peaches and Figs. Cut the Peaches in half and remove the pits. Cut each half into at least eight wedges (cut more wedges when using larger peaches). Cut the Figs into 1/4" slices, discarding the stems.

4. Prepare the Almond Cream. If the Almond Cream was prepared earlier, remove it from the refrigerator and beat it smooth in a mixer for several minutes. Place a thin layer of Almond Cream on the Pastry Dough, smoothing it with an offset spatula.

5Once the Berries has macerated, layer them on top of the Almond Cream in the center of the Crostata, leaving a border of approximately 1" from the edge.

6. Layer the Peach wedges and Fig slices in a circle on top of the Almond Cream and the Macerated Berries around the outer edge of the Crostata. Places another ring of Fig Slices towards the center of the Crostata.

7. Chill the Crostata briefly so that the Pastry Dough firms and can be easily trimmed with a paring knife. Fold the trimmed outer edge of Pastry Dough over the Peaches, creating a crust to the Crostata. Lightly egg wash the exposed Pastry Dough and sprinkle it with the Sugar in the Raw.

8. Bake the Crostata at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) for 45-50 minutes, rotating the Crostata halfway through baking. Monitor the Crostata closely as smaller or less-filled Crostatas will bake more quickly.

9. Serve the Crostata warm or at room temperature. 


- The Crostata is best served warm or at room temperature the day it is made. It can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2-3 days, but should be tempered before serving.
- The Crostata can be assembled and refrigerated, unbaked, for up to two days.

Questions? Comments? Send me an email or leave a comment.
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  1. Hello,
    I am looking to make this recipe and I am really excited. I have a question. Your puff pastry recipe calls for baking the dough at 400*F for good rise but in the crostata recipe the whole thing bakes at 350*F. Is it not as important to get as much rise with the crostata? Do you think blind-baking at 400* before filling would be beneficial? Thank you!

  2. Hi there!

    When using the puff pastry dough for a product like a crostata (in which the raw dough wraps around the filling and must be baked together), you can't expect the same type of rise as you would if you just baked the puff pastry dough alone. However, it will still be much flakier than a normal pie dough. In the crostata, the 'top' crust (that portion that folds over the outer rim) will have a very nice puff to it.