Pear Crostada

I have been trying out some new dessert recipes in preparation for a belated birthday dinner for a very special lady who someday will be my daughter-in-law.  I found this recipe for a Pear Crostata, an Italian baked tart or pie, in the Wall Street Journal.  The WSJ is business-focused, but I also read the personal journal section which is lifestyle-focused for the excellent science, health and wellness information and interesting recipes.

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This crostata was delish! I made a few tweaks which I do with most recipes I try or regularly make.  I added a little dried fruit to the pears along with a chocolate sauce I had been wanting to try, drizzled on top once I pulled it out of the oven. I also used a store-bought rolled pie crust.  Adding a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt to would be another yummy addition.

 

How to Make a Pear Crostata- Wall Street Journal 10/1/16
I LOVE FALL FRUIT and will seize any excuse to encase it in a buttery crust. Sure, an apple pie fits the bill deliciously, but a pear crostata is a little more surprising and a whole lot simpler to make. The free-form Italian tart serves equally well as picnic fare or the culmination of an elegant soirée. And it really is easier than pie. This is meant to be a rustic dessert, so please don’t bother with peeling the fruit. Just roll out the dough, pile the pears in the middle, fold the pastry up around the edges and bake into a scrumptious package of beautifully bubbling fruit enclosed in a tender, sugary crust. This recipe calls only for a crust, sliced pears and a few spoonfuls of sugar, but often I’ll take the extra step of dotting the filling with knobs of butter before baking, to keep the fruit moist and add a little richness
Does it get any easier than that? Yes it does. I’m not ashamed to admit that I keep store-bought frozen pie crust on hand for this very purpose. No mucking around with flour, no undue fuss, just roll it right out. Of course you can make your own pastry, but when dinner guests arrive unexpectedly or a craving for dessert suddenly strikes, the purchased variety is a lifesaver.
If you like, you can swap in apples for pears. This dessert is nothing if not versatile. In summer, peaches, plums and all other stone fruits work brilliantly, as do berries, or a combo of the two. Serve your crostata straight from the oven, lukewarm, room temperature or reheated last-minute. You can even put it together up to 24 hours in advance; just keep refrigerated until ready to bake. With any luck you’ll have leftovers for breakfast the next morning.1. Roll dough out flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with 3 tablespoons sugar. (Dough should still have some chill.)
2. Place fruit in center, leaving a margin of about 2½ inches all the way around.
3. Fold dough margin over edge of pears, using your fingers to crimp soft pleats. Sprinkle remaining sugar over crostata. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 12 before baking.
4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake crostata on middle rack until fruit is bubbly and crust is golden, 20-25 minutes. Cool on a rack 10 minutes. Serve warm.
I need to spend time in the kitchen daily and love to cook for my family and friends;)  My family loves to tease me about serving fruit for dessert, but this is one fruit dessert I am sure they would request!

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