Rustic Berry Crostata with Peaches

4.75 from 31 votes
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A rustic peach and berry crostata, the ultimate summer dessert! A tender cornmeal crust is filled with almond creme and topped with fresh stone fruit and berries.

Rustic Berry Crostata with Peaches

My local market has super sweet yellow and white peaches and plump blueberries and blackberries available, so I thought that the combination of sweet and tangy fruit would be perfect for a crostata.

When I get the chance, I enjoy making fancy lattice designs on apple pies. However, a crostata is a much more quick and simple way to create an elegant and flavorful dessert, in less time and use less filling! A crostata is an Italian baked tart (similar to a pie) with large chunky pieces of fruit for the filling.

Close up of fruit crostata crust

This rustic peach and berry crostata recipe is a free-form baked pie with a layer of ground almond creme mixture called frangipane. This gives a delicate and sweet almond aroma and flavor, making the crostata, even more, luxurious.

I used yellow corn meal in the crust which adds just the right amount of texture to the pastry making it interesting and enjoyable. A free-form pie gives you the flexibility to make a delicious dessert without worrying about perfecting the look because rustic is not supposed to be overly flawless but it’s still classy.

How do I make a tender and flaky crostata dough?

The key to a “flaky” crostata dough is the temperature of your ingredients and the size of the butter. You want to make sure that the butter is chilled and broken down to the size of a pea when you incorporate it into the dough. Chilled butter will ensure that you have small pea-sized “pockets” of fat, which when the crust bakes gives you the flaky layers. If the butter is room temperature or melted, the dough will be flatter and less flaky. Also, make sure not to overwork or over-knead the dough. You want to knead until the flour, and butter just comes together to a smooth dough. Over kneading causes the dough to become tough because of gluten bonding (strengthening of the protein matrix, which increases toughness in the dough).

Rustic Berry Crostata with Peaches

A rustic berry crostata with peaches is the ultimate summer dessert! A tender cornmeal crust is filled with almond creme and topped with fresh stone fruit and berries.
4.75 from 31 votes
Prep Time2 hours
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time3 hours
Servings 12 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients  

Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely grated
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes, 1 ½ sticks
  • ¼ cup water

Frangipane (Almond Crème)

  • ½ cup almonds, finely ground
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, ½ stick
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely grated
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Peach and Berry Filling

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon nutmeg, grated
  • 4 peaches, and each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, pure

Topping

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk, or water
  • ¼ cup turbinado sugar

Instructions 

Crust

  • Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, cornmeal, lemon zest, and salt on medium speed for about 1 minute, until blended. Add the cold butter pieces and mix on medium-low speed for about 3 minutes, or until the largest pieces of butter are about pea-size. With the mixer on medium speed, add the water and beat for 1 minute, or until the dough forms moist clumps.
  • Scrape the dough onto a work surface and knead 3 to 4 times, until it all comes together into a smooth dough. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate about 1 hour, or until firm enough to roll out.

Frangipane (Almond Crème)

  • Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the ground nuts, butter, sugar, lemon zest, and salt on medium-high speed for about 1 minute, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and flour, and beat until blended. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until firm.

Peach and Berry Filling

  • In a large bowl, combine the granulated and brown sugars, flour, salt, nutmeg and stir until blended. Add the peaches, blueberries, blackberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Gently toss until the fruit is evenly coated.

Shaping the Crostata

  • Put a large piece of parchment paper on a work surface. Put the dough in the center of the paper and top with a second sheet of parchment paper. Roll out the dough into a 14-inch round about ¼-inch thick, stopping occasionally to peel away the paper, dust the dough lightly with flour, and reposition the paper, so you don’t get any wrinkles.
  • Place the rolled dough on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Scrape the chilled frangipane onto the center of the dough, and using an offset spatula, spread it in an even layer, leaving a 1 ½-inch border of dough.
  • Leaving any juices in the bowl, arrange the fruit in the center of the frangipane, leaving about a 2-inch border of frangipane.

Topping

  • For the topping, combine the egg and milk in a small bowl and mix with a fork until blended. Using a small pastry brush, brush the dough border with the beaten egg mixture. Fold the edges (including the part with the frangipane) over the filling, pleating the dough in evenly spaced folds as you go around and gently pressing down on the pleats to seal. The dough will not cover all the fruit filling. Brush the dough with the beaten egg mixture and sprinkle generously with the turbinado sugar.
  • Refrigerate the crostata for about 1 hour, until the dough is very firm, or up to 4 hours.

Baking the Crostata

  • Position a rack at the bottom of the oven, and preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking pan with 1-inch high sides with parchment paper.
  • Set crostata on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350F. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is deep golden brown and the bottom of the crust has set and is lightly browned. Once you reach 30 minutes, keep checking the color every 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool slightly or completely before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 12 servings
Calories 348kcal (17%)Carbohydrates 51g (17%)Protein 5g (10%)Fat 15g (23%)Saturated Fat 7g (35%)Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat 0.03gCholesterol 27mg (9%)Sodium 289mg (12%)Potassium 98mg (3%)Fiber 3g (12%)Sugar 29g (32%)Vitamin A 450IU (9%)Vitamin C 7.4mg (9%)Calcium 30mg (3%)Iron 1.4mg (8%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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3 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Joanne says

    Such a wonderful, delicious dessert to serve to company. The first time I tried it I made it without the frangipane and it was great. I’m excited to try it this with it.
    I was wondering, can this be made a day ahead?