As I mentioned last week, I’m really trying to enjoy summer to the fullest rather than spend it waiting for fall. For me, one thing this has meant is eating copious amounts of fresh berries. I mean, they are gorgeous, healthy, delicious and portable – how can anyone resist them? I certainly can’t, especially in the form of these mixed berry crostatas (well, there goes the healthy part.) This is a very low maintenance dessert and great for entertaining in a pinch. Have the dough ready in the freezer or the fridge, and use whatever fruit you have on hand to make a spectacular ending to any meal. The jewel tones of the mixed berries are so rich, this dessert is both beautiful to look at and to eat. When made as instructed (four crostatas), the final product is really too big to be a personalized dessert. I ended up serving them to be split between couples so it worked out in the end, but next time I’ll divide the dough into six or seven portions to get something more manageable for an individual guest.
1 cup sugar, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces
4 tbsp. ice water
1-1½ cups berries (I used blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp. milk
To make the crust, combine ½ cup of the sugar with the flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix briefly to blend. Add in the butter pieces and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and the largest butter pieces are the size of peas. (This can also be done with a food processor or by hand with a pastry cutter.) Add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing on low speed until the dough comes together. Form into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 450˚ F. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Form each into a ball. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each dough piece into ¼-inch thick rounds. Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Add about ¼ cup of berries into the center of each dough round, leaving a 1½-inch border around the edge. Fold the edges up around the fruit, pinching as needed to keep the dough in place. Generously sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top of the fruit. Brush the edges of the crusts evenly with the egg wash.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the crust is light golden brown. Cool for no more than 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to serving plates. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream as desired.