This free-form tart, known as a crostata in Italian, is the perfect way to showcase ripe apricots and blackberries when you don’t have the time to assemble a pie. For an even more decadent dessert, serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
For the crust:
- 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
- 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) ice water
1 lb. (500 g) fresh apricots, pitted and quartered
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) blackberries
- 2 Tbs. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 Tbs. half-and-half or whole milk
To make the crust, in a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt and pulse to mix. Scatter the butter cubes around the bowl and process just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the motor running, drizzle in the ice water and process just until a ball of dough begins to form. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before you plan to roll it out.
Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).
In a large bowl, combine the apricots and blackberries. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar and nutmeg and sprinkle over the fruit. Fold in gently.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 15-inch (38-cm) round. Carefully transfer the dough round to a large baking sheet. Pile the fruit mixture in the center, leaving a border of about 2 inches (5 cm) free of fruit. Dot with the butter. Fold up the edges of the dough to create a pleated border, partially covering the fruit. Brush the crust with the half-and-half.
Bake the tart until the crust is golden brown and the exposed fruit is browned in spots, 30 to 35 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti (Weldon Owen, 2011)