Fresh Cherry Crostata
- SERVINGS: 8
- 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 -inch dice, plus 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 2 tablespoons slivered blanched almonds, very finely chopped
- 3 pounds fresh cherries, pitted
- In a bowl, mix 2 cups of the flour with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the salt. Add the cold butter and cut it in briefly using a pastry blender. Add the water and stir just until the dough begins to come together.
- Gather up the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Knead briefly until it forms a smooth, cohesive mass. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out.
- Mix the almonds with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon of the sugar.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 15-inch round; transfer to a baking sheet. Sprinkle the almond mixture all over the dough to within 1 1/2 inches of the edge. Arrange the cherries on top. Fold the edge of the dough up and over the fruit.
- Brush the melted butter over the pastry border and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the whole crostata. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the crostata is deeply browned. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Dip a brush into the crostata and glaze the cherries with some of their juices. Serve warm.
When it comes to choosing a wine to serve with dessert, chef Paul Bertolli's general rule is that the wine should be slightly sweeter than the dessert. The Topaz Special Select Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc-Sémillon from the Napa Valley is an ideal match for this tart; it has the right level of sweetness, as well as an underlying structure that keeps it from being merely cloying. Its background hint of almond is harmonious with the flavor of cherries. A young Sauternes from France would match equally well, as would a sparkling Muscat.