November 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Peach and Kumquat Crostata (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

I was unaware whether I had ever actually eaten a crostata before. Simona explained that a crostata was an Italian tart made with pasta frolla, a shortbread crust made with flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. It could be filled with preserves, cream, fresh fruit, ricotta, or a variety of other ingredients. As I am a lover of all things pie and tart-related, this sounded like a delicious challenge, especially since I wanted to make one that was still delicious, without wheat flour, sugar, or butter!

But then reality set in – when would I make such a dessert? For some of you that might follow me on FaceBook or know me, I recently switched jobs, and so I’ve been filling my days learning a new commute (this commute is longer than my old one), a new way of doing things, and trying to catch up on rest whenever I can. Oh, and that little thing called Thanksgiving was a big event as well – it always is. Not that I’m complaining. I love my new job, and it’s a great opportunity for me. And I very much love Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite holidays. Nevertheless, this has left little time for kitchen play lately, so I opted to have my crostata do double-duty, and I would serve it alongside the traditional pies for Thanksgiving dinner. Little did I know that it would ultimately steal the show.

If you recall, I preserved a great deal of peaches during the summer. I opted to use my preserves for this crostata. I ended up needing more preserves than I had, however, so I grabbed the only other preserves I had in the house – some no-sugar-added kumquat preserves. I opted to stir spoonfuls of the kumquat preserves in with the peach preserves, and the result was more than I’d hoped for. Along with a lovely dairy-free, gluten-free crust that was tender and delicious, the resulting tart brightened your tastebuds and was a pleasant, lighter end to a large Thanksgiving meal. And without refined sugar, it was a bit easier for those diabetics in my family to have their cake pie and eat it too! (Ha ha, I crack myself up!)

I can see other fruit crostatas in our near future. I still have blueberries frozen from the summer, and I have more peaches (not preserves) frozen as well. And next summer, these crostatas will appear in full force, I do believe! This crostata was well-praised by my family for Thanksgiving, so I imagine it would be welcomed anytime.

Peach and Kumquat Crostata

1 recipe gluten-free, dairy-free pie crust (recipe below)

2 c peach preserves (I made my own, refined sugar-free)

1/2 c kumquat preserves (you can substitute orange marmalade)

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare pie crust and roll out to fit into an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. (If no tart pan, you can also use a pie pan or regular tart pan, but the tart pan I bought was relatively inexpensive.) Press dough into pan as needed, and prick bottom with a fork. Combine preserves in a bowl, and spread out onto the crust evenly. With scraps of pie crust dough, roll out and make cut outs or cut into lattice strips, and lay over filling. Brush crust with beaten egg. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown and fruit is bubbly. Remove and allow to cool completely before removing from pan and cutting. (Cutting when warm will not allow the pectin in the fruit to “set up” and your filling will be more likely to ooze out.)

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pie Crust, adapted from Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free

1 c white rice flour

1/2 c sorghum flour

1/2 c potato starch

3 T sweet white rice flour

1/3 t fine sea salt

7 T palm shortening, placed in freezer for about 20 minutes to harden

1 cold large egg

2 T apple cider vinegar

1 T agave nectar

1/4 c ice water

Whisk together rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, sweet white rice flour, and salt. Remove the shortening from the freezer and dice into small pieces. Place it evenly around the flour, and with a pastry blender, a fork, or your hands, mix until the flour has a mealy texture and the largest pieces of shortening are the size of small peas.

Lightly beat the egg in a small bowl. Add the vinegar and agave to the egg and beat well. Pour egg mix into the flour mix and stir until just incorporated. Next, drizzle some of the water over the flour mixture and stir in, just until the dough starts to come together. Add more water as you need, but don’t make the dough too wet. It should look “shaggy”. Push the dough together with your hands and place on a large piece of parchment paper. Shape the dough into a ball, and flatten into a disc with your hands. Wrap the parchment paper around the dough and place in a zip-top bag and refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or up to overnight.

If it’s been several hours since your dough was placed in the refrigerator, allow it to sit out on the counter for 15-20 minutes before working it. Otherwise, place between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll out in a large circle about 1/8 inch thick. If the paper gets wrinkles in it, pull it up and place it back down again and keep rolling. If it cracks, wet your finger and repair the crack.

A trick to put your dough into the pie pan or tart pan – peel the top piece of parchment paper off of the dough, and turn the pan upside-down and place it over the pie dough. Slide your hand underneath the dough and the parchment paper, and place your other hand on top of the pie pan, and quickly flip the pan, dough, and parchment paper over all in one motion. Then, press the dough in a bit into the pan, and slowly and carefully remove the parchment paper. If the dough tears, repair it with your fingers. Once the paper is removed, you can finish pressing the dough into your pan as needed.

 

17 Responses to “Daring Bakers: Peach and Kumquat Crostata (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)”

  1. :-). I love the combination of peaches and kumquats!!!!!! And I have Artusi’s book sitting on my shelf..not that I’ve made a single thing (yet) from it. Last weekend, my friend made a crostata and I loved the simplicity – made a pie crust, fill with jam/preserves and bake. I tried to convince her to add some fresh lemon thyme leaves to the crust but she wasn’t having any of it……meaning I’ll have to give it a go myself! It looks gorgeous.

  2. The crust looks so delicate. I like the combination of peaches and kumquat, and I love that you used homemade preserves.

  3. Looks so delicious! What a great way to use home canned jam, of which I have lots- love the idea of a kumquat and peach combination!

  4. Next year I am inviting you to my Thanksgiving dinner. It looks perfect. Deal?

  5. Beautiful crostata ! Nice job on the challenge!

  6. Beautiful crostata–I love the idea of refined-sugar-free jam filling.

  7. Your crostata looks and sounds absolutely delicious, and I am not at all surprised that it stole the show! I love that you were able to adapt the recipe to meet your dietary needs, and that you used home-preserved fruit for the filling. Great job!

  8. Greeat job, I really am digging on your filling choice and it came out beautiful

  9. You have me totally intrigued with these awesome flavors. I love crostatas and this one looks totally fabulous! And this would make a perfect end to a Thanksgiving meal!

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  11. Peaches and kumquats sound so delicious and it looks so pretty.

    I’m so impressed with your gluten and dairy free version I know how hard it is make GF and DF pastry. Great work on this challenge.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  12. Your crostata looks beautiful! Peaches and kumquats sounds like a nice combination. I am glad you were able to adapt the challenge to your dietary needs.

  13. Oooo, girl! Kumquat crostata?!? You’ve got my head spinning–I will HAVE TO try this soon!

  14. Very pretty! I love it when something unexpected steals the show, especially when it’s easy enough to make again and again! You’ve got a winner here!

  15. Wowsers. Your stuff always looks amazing, but this crostata makes me think I could very easily go gluten and dairy free! Delicious and so inspiring. Practically EVERYTHING in your dish is home made – so special and no doubt, delicious. Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring!

  16. I can’t believe I hadn’t “Liked” you on Facebook. It’s done now. This looks delicious, and it’s not surprising since it’s one of Amy’s recipes adapted by Alta!

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