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Rustic Fruit Crostata

A crostata (also known as a galette) is my go-to dessert. Super-easy. Whole berries, sliced stone fruits, and pitted whole cherries are my usual fruit choices. A mixture of blueberries and raspberries is very pretty. Use your imagination and add cinnamon or other sweet spices to enhance the fruit flavor. I like cinnamon in a peach crostata, lemon zest in a blueberry crostata and a little raspberry liquor in a raspberry crostata. Any basic pie crust, pâte brisée (or a store-bought prepared crust) will work for a crostata.

3 cups fruit
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
(Optional spice suggestions: cinnamon, lemon zest, fruit liquor or vanilla)
One egg, beaten with one Tablespoon water
One single-crust pastry or pie crust, rolled into a free-form 12 to 13-inch circle

Special equipment: parchment paper will really help with clean-up and moving the baked pastry to a cooling rack.

Heat oven to 350°. Place washed and prepared fruit in a bowl. Toss with the lemon juice. In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the cornstarch and any optional spices. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the fruit, stir to blend, and leave the fruit to macerate about ten minutes.

Place the dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and brush the entire surface with the beaten egg mixture. Carefully spoon the fruit mixture into the center of the pastry, leaving a 3-inch border.

Gently fold the dough over the fruit to make a little basket. (It doesn't have to be perfect - thus the word "rustic" in the title.)

Brush the outside top crust with the egg mixture. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let rest about ten minutes and then carefully move to a wire rack to cool - or serve warm. Serves six. Of course, vanilla ice cream is delicious with a fruit crostata.

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