Stone Fruit Crostata with Anise Seed Cornmeal Crust

When fruit is at peak season, a crostata is a perfect dessert to showcase it.  Basically a rustic tart or pie, it requires none of the tedious crimping or lattice work for its crust.  Just roll out dough, pile fresh fruit in the center and then fold the edges around fruit.  This recipe utilizes the slicer/shredder attachment and the plastic whipping bowl.  We love being able to grate frozen butter and gently whisk it into dry ingredients for flaky crostata, pie or biscuits.

Let’s start with the crust first.  Since not much is done to the fruit, I wanted to make sure the crust had lots of flavor.  I swapped out some of the flour for cornmeal which not only adds flavor, but a nice crumbly texture.  Then I added in freshly ground anise seed, which makes this smell like a bit of heaven when baking.

Anise seed, not to be confused with star anise, has a licorice flavor to it.  Cultivated in several European and Asian countries, it is used to flavor many liqueurs, such as ouzo, sambuca and absinthe.  It is also used to aid digestion and relieve upset stomachs.  Now if you don’t like licorice candy, don’t be put if.  I HATE all kinds of licorice candy, but really love anise seed.

Just grind up with a mortar and pestle. No need for it to be superfine. I actually like the little bits in the crust.

 

As I mentioned above, this crust utilizes the grater drum on the slicer/shredder attachment.  Since cold butter can’t technically be used in the plastic whipping bowl, we’ve found a nifty workaround by using frozen grated butter.  Since this renders the butter into tiny cold pieces, it eliminates having to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.  Just a quick whisking together and done.

Go ahead and measure all other dry ingredients into plastic whisking bowl so when butter is grated, dough can come together quickly before butter begins to soften.
Quick mix and then into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to rest. Pie crust could be made a couple days in advance. Just wrap well and store in fridge.

 

I roll this crust out slightly thicker than I would a pie crust.  I want it to be sturdy enough to encase all that fruit and not let any juices leak out.  I baked this on Nordic Ware’s Naturals Nonstick Baker’s Half Sheet Pan, which they were kind enough to provide me with.  No parchment paper or silicone baking mat needed.  The bottom of the crostata baked beautifully and didn’t stick to the pan at all.

Once rolled out, transfer onto baking pan before filling with fruit.

 

Next we come to the fruit.  A lot of crostata recipes don’t do anything to the fruit.  But I wanted to make sure that the juices from the stone fruit didn’t seep out of the crust, so I tossed the fruit with just a little flour to thicken those juices up.  I also added in a healthy dose of vanilla bean paste, which I thought paired quite nicely with the anise seed in the crust.  Vanilla extract can be substituted for paste.  A little salt and sugar rounds it all out and elevates the final taste.

If using two kinds of fruit and not wanting juices to bleed onto each other when tossing with flour mixture, use separate bowls.  Tart below has nectarines and plums that were tossed in separate bowls so their individual colors stayed intact for presentation.
Any type of stone fruit can be used. This crostata was tested with peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums. I prefer slightly firm fruit so it will hold its shape during baking.

 

If fruit isn’t ready once crust is rolled out, place crust into the refrigerator to keep it from getting too soft.

When filling with fruit, make sure to leave a 1 1/2 – 2 inch border around the edge that will be folded over fruit when done filling.

 

Now contrary to what these pictures might suggest (because social media isn’t real!!), this lovely pan is not meant as a serving platter and you definitely don’t want to cut on it.  Once the crostata is cool, use a wooden pizza peel or large plastic spatulas to transfer to serving platter or cutting board for serving.  Don’t use metal scrapers or spatulas to remove crostata, they will scratch up the nonstick finish.

This pan was used in pictures purely as an effort to show it off and was not used as a cutting surface.

 

Let us know if you have any questions or comments.  Happy baking!

 

Stone Fruit Crostata with Anise Seed Cornmeal Crust

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Inactive Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

 

Crust:

115 g. (8 Tbsp.) frozen unsalted butter

180 g. (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour

76 g. (1/2 cup) cornmeal

2 g. (1 tsp.) anise seed, freshly ground

2 g. (1/2 tsp.) kosher salt

28 g. (2 Tbsp.) sugar

150 g. (10 Tbsp.) ice cold water

Fruit:

681 g. (1 1/2 pounds) fresh stone fruit

8 g. (1 Tbsp.) flour

10 g. (2 tsp.) vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

pinch salt

5 g. (1 tsp.) sugar

Other:

1 egg beaten, for egg wash

sanding sugar

ice cream or whipped cream for serving, optional

 

Set up the Ankarsrum mixer base with the slicer/shredder attachment and the regular sized grater drum.  Place a bowl underneath to catch grated butter.  Using the plunger, push frozen butter through attachment.  Use a small scraper or spatula to scrape out inside of drum when done, ensuring all butter is utilized.

Set up the Ankarsrum mixer base with the plastic whipping bowl and the single wire whisks.  Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, anise seed, salt and sugar on the lowest speed (12 o’clock).  Add the frozen grated butter and whisk until butter is coated with flour mixture and evenly distributed.  With the mixer going, add the ice water, a couple tablespoons at a time, and whisk on low speed (1 o’clock).  Mix just until dough begins to come together.  Turn out onto a clean surface and gently knead together until all loose flour is incorporated.  Shape into a disc and cover and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375º F.  If not using Nordic Ware’s nonstick pan, line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

10 minutes before crust is ready to be rolled out, slice fruit and place in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with flour, vanilla bean paste, salt and sugar.  Gently toss with hands to evenly coat.  Do not do in advance as fruit will begin to leak out juices.

Once dough is done chilling, roll out on a lightly flour surface into a circle approximately 12 inches in diameter.  Transfer to half sheet pan.  Fill with stone fruit, making sure to leave a 1 1/2  inch border.  Fold border over fruit.

Brush crust with egg wash.  Sprinkle entire surface generously with sanding sugar.

Bake 375º F. for 45-50 minutes.

Let cool completely before cutting into.

 

Yield: 6-8 servings.

 

Whole Wheat Version

Made with freshly ground soft white wheat and honey granules

-Replace all-purpose flour with 169 g. (1 1/2 cups) whole wheat pastry flour.  If milling at home, use soft white wheat.

-If desired, replace sugar in crust with 22 g. (2 Tbsp.) Sucanat with honey/honey granules/honey crystals.  Replace sugar in fruit with 4 g. (1 tsp.) Sucanat with honey.

-Follow instructions above.

Gluten-Free Version

Made with King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour

-Replace all-purpose flour in crust with 180 g. (1 1/2 cups) of a measure-for-measure/cup-for-cup gluten-free flour.

-Increase salt to 3 g. (3/4 tsp.) in crust.

-Let crust sit for 2 hours in fridge before rolling out, as gluten-free flour needs more time to absorb liquids and become manageable for rolling.  Crust will be crumbly, so handle gently.  Generously dust rolling surface and top of dough with gluten-free flour when rolling out.

-Replace all-purpose flour in fruit with 8 g. (1 Tbsp.) of a measure-for-measure/cup-for-cup gluten-free flour.

-Follow instructions above.

 

Published by

Carmi Adams

Carmi Adams has loved cooking from a very early age; requesting fondue pots and cookbooks for birthdays as a child. She further pursued her passion for food at the Art Institute of Atlanta and obtained a degree in Culinary Arts. Carmi landed a job on the show Good Eats, which aired on the Food Network. For seven years she did everything from food research, recipe development and testing, product testing to feeding a hungry film crew. Now living in the central coast of California, Carmi enjoys the bounty of agriculture, vineyards and farmers markets at her culinary disposal. She has been using the Ankarsrum mixer for over 15 years and feels that it is hands-down the best on the market for home cooks.