Rustic Pear and Walnut Crostata

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I haven't had too much time to bake in the past few days. Work has been hectic and I haven't been getting home until 9 or 10 at night... and well, by then I've spent the entire day in the kitchen and I have no desire to step into mine. That said, when I realized I had signed up for the GYCO "pear challenge" I was dead set on making something simple. Sometimes the simplest recipes can turn out to be the best, and this is definitely one of them. You can call it a galette if you prefer, but since I'm Italian I'll stick with crostata, they're basically the same thing. A pie dough filled with fruits (usually stone fruits, pears or apples) folded into a "nest," brushed with egg and covered in turbinado sugar. Sounds delicious, right?! Not only did it smell amazing while it was baking, but it tasted amazing too! We served ours up with homemade whipped cream (only because we didn't have any vanilla ice cream on hand) and it was gone in a matter of minutes. I hope you'll give this recipe a try- it's a keeper!

Pear and Walnut Crostata
Ingredients
5-6 Bosc pears, skin removed and sliced thinly (or Bartlett if you prefer)
4 tbsp. butter
½ c. sugar
¼ c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. lemon zest
¼ c. chopped walnuts

For the pie dough:
1½ c. all-purpose flour
4 tbsp. butter, cold and cut in 1/2" cubes
¾ tsp. salt
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
4-6 tbsp. ice water

1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. turbinado sugar

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place rack in the center of the oven (this will help prevent the top of the crostata from burning).
2. To make the dough, in a medium size bowl, combine flour and salt, whisk together. Add the cold cubed butter, using a pastry blender, cut for 1 minute (you don't want the butter to get too small). Gradually add the vinegar, then add one tablespoon of ice water at a time, using your hands to combine the mixture as you add (you might not need all of the water, you just want it to barely hold together). Place the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and cover tightly. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes (while you prep the other ingredients).
3. Meanwhile in a large skillet over medium-low heat, add butter. When butter has melted add pears, cook for 5-8 minutes or until they become slightly soft. Remove from skillet and place into a large bowl. Toss with sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon juice, lemon zest and walnuts- set aside.
4. Roll out pie dough into a 9" circle (the edges don't have to be smooth). Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Place the pear mixture into the center leaving about 2" of edge around the mixture. To fold, bring up the edges and pinch 5-6 times to help "get rid" of excess dough. Pat firmly around the mixture.
5. Brush the pie dough edges with the egg, then sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Place in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes or until the crust is crisp and the pears are tender. Remove and allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting and serving.
Stephen + Natalie | Makes approximately 8 servings


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