Friday, September 4, 2015

Rustic Nectarine Crosata Recipe

Homemade rustic crostata with sweet and juicy nectarines, a touch of cinnamon, over a buttery and flaky crust. 
Perfect dessert for the summer!
Have you ever eaten at GJelina? It's a popular restaurant on Abbot Kinney in Venice, California. So popular that it's always quite hard to make reservations. Even a month ahead! I know, this is L.A. ... what would I expect, right?!?
Anyways, I went there last week with my husband for our special anniversary lunch. And we got lucky. No reservation, and there was a table for two available right away. Woo hoo!
After eating there, now I know what all the fuss is about. Lunch was truly amazing! The menu is fun and interesting. Not really expensive. All the dishes were phenomenal, from start to finish. And without the kids at the table I could really focus on my food. Mmmm... I really want to go back. Soon!

Now it's a week after, and I'm still thinking about that lunch. Especially our dessert. We had a nectarine crostata with olive oil ice-cream. And as you can see from my pictures, I had to try and make it myself right away. 
I searched on line and found a great recipe on Bon Appetit Magazine for a  rustic fruit crostata. As usual, I made modification to the recipe. You know me: I can't help it :)
The result: NOT exactly like the crostata from GJelina. Probably it's impossible to re-create it without getting the secret ingredients from the chef. But mine, we all agreed, came out excellent nonetheless.
This rustic crostata is super easy to make. Much easier than baking a pie. And it tastes just as good, with a flaky and buttery crust, and a juicy and fruity filling. And let's not forget the delicious aroma of cinnamon.
I made the dough by hands, which takes a little longer than using a food processor. The dough needs to be chilled in the refrigerator for an hour or longer. Once chilled, you can roll the dough, pour the filling, fold the edges up, and stick it in the oven. It's rustic, and it needs to look homemade. So anybody can do it and it doesn't have to look perfect.
You will need to wait a few minutes for the tart to cool down a bit, before cutting yourself a big slice. And if you are anything like me, you will eat it warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side!!
As usual, I'm not just going to tell you how to prepare this dessert, but I will show you in this short video. Enjoy :)

Ingredients: to make a 10 inch (25 cm) tart, serves about 8                       PRINTABLE RECIPE

For the crust:

  • 1 2/3 cups (250 gr) of all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (50 gr) of corn meal
  • 3 tablespoons (45 gr) of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • grated zest of an orange (organic)
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz, 170 gr) of unsalted butter, chilled
  • 5-6 tablespoons (75-85 ml ) of cold  water

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup (50 gr) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus a bit to sprinkle on top (optional)
  • 3 large nectarines (mine were about 1 3/4 lb = 850 gr) ripe
  • 2 tablespoons of milk, for glaze (or one beaten egg)
  • sugar crystals (optional) for decoration

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour inactive and 1 hour baking
1. Combine the flour, the cornmeal, the sugar and the orange peel in a large bowl.

2. Add the butter, and using the tip of a knife, cut the butter and reduce it to small (pea-size) pieces or as small as you can. If you have a processor, the job is a lot faster. Pulse only for a few seconds. Do not over mix.

3. Add 4 tablespoons of water. Mix with a spoon until the dough comes together. Add one or two more tablespoons of water if necessary. I used about 6 tablespoons total (85 ml) but that can vary.

4. Move the mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap. Make it into a disc. Wrap it in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour, or overnight if needed.

5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the top with flour, and turn the dough often to make sure it doesn't stick to the counter. Roll to about a 14 inch (36 cm) circle (diameter). Place it on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, helping yourself with your rolling pin. Refrigerate again while you prepare the filling

6. Preheat the oven to 375º F (190º C). In a bowl mix the sugar with the cornstarch and the cinnamon. Add the nectarines cut in slices (about 16 slices each) and mix with a spoon.

7. Place the fruit in the middle of the dough and distribute evenly. Make sure to leave an edge around the border of about 2 inches (5 cm). The tart will come out to be about 10 inches in diameter. Brush the edge with milk.

8. Fold the edge over the fruit as shown in my picture. If the dough breaks at any point, don't worry! Pinch the dough to seal.

9. Brush the border (outer part now) with more milk. Sprinkle with sugar crystals and more cinnamon if you wish.

10. Bake at 375º F (190º C) for about 55-60 minutes, until golden on top. Let the crostata cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting. Serve at room temperature, or warm ... and how about  with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream?! Delicious!!


  1. Interesting stuff to read. Keep it up.

  2. Great recipes and this one is my favorites.

  3. Can I do it with apples? Which kind do you recommend?

    1. Yes!!! Now that you mention it, I'd really love a slice of apple crostata just about now!
      I like McIntosh (here the season should start soon) or Golden Delicious, which are easier to find. Enjoy :)

  4. Oh my gosh, just looking at those luscious photos makes my mouth water! Yum-may.