Peach Crostata

The best package for summer’s luscious peaches might just be in the rustic Italian crostata. At peak peach season, there are many ways to turn the stone fruit into a dessert. But I’ve long thought the Italian idea—the free-form tart—topped them all. It satisfies my longing for pie and a bit of crumble topping without any fuss with a double crust. I make a similar crostata with fall’s fresh apples without fail every year, a beloved recipe from the Meatballs and Matzah Balls cookbook.

Your peach crostata doesn’t have to be perfect, and if you are stressing out about trying to make it so, you’re missing the point. I don’t worry about rolling a perfect circle of dough. I don’t worry if the dough cracks as I gather it up around the fruit—just pinch it back together. I don’t worry if the whole thing is lopsided or crooked. If I’ve got good peaches and don’t burn the top, all is bella and dolce.

The recipe is flexible. If you’d like a little color and flavor contrast, toss some cherries or blueberries with the peaches before baking. Another big plus—you can make the crostata ahead, freeze it, and bake it later.

One thing to pay attention to—know your oven. If your baked goods tend to overbrown on top, cover the crust with a round of foil with a small hole in the center about 10 minutes from the end of the cooking time to avoid the singed-top syndrome.

The reward is a beautifully unified ensemble of softly sweet fruit, lightly spiced topping, and flaky, buttery crust. In other words, a lovely salute to peach season and sweet endings.

Peach Crostata

A buttery, flaky crust envelopes summer’s sweetest peaches in this rustic dessert. The bolder flavor of yellow peaches works better than mild white peaches here. The spices provide just a hint of warmth to the topping; feel free to add more or other spices to your liking—other options include cardamom, ginger, and allspice. Plan to make the crust at least 1 hour ahead or the night before baking.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


Pastry Shell

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup cold water


  • 6 cups thinly sliced yellow peaches (about 6 large peaches)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


  • Make the pastry shell by combining the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Using fingers or a pastry blender, work in the butter until it is in pea-sized pieces and well-coated with flour. Add the cold water and stir a few times, then gently form the dough into a ball (add more water, a few drops at a time, if needed for the mixture to hold together). Divide in half and flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine the sliced peaches, orange juice, and vanilla, then toss with cornstarch to coat.
  • Make the topping by combining the ingredients in a small food processor and pulsing just until crumbly.
  • Remove one dough disk from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of wax paper, roll the dough into an approximate 11-inch circle.
  • Transfer the dough immediately to the prepared baking sheet (leaving room for the second tart on the same sheet). Place half the peaches in the middle of the pastry shell, leaving a 2-inch border, and sprinkle half the topping mixture over the fruit. Gently fold dough edges around the peaches (about three-quarters up the sides of the mound), pleating where needed.
  • Repeat with the second round of dough. Refrigerate the formed pastries, loosely covered with a sheet of wax paper, for about 1 hour. (They can also be frozen at this point.)
  • Bake until the crust is golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes (longer if frozen). If the top of the crust is browning too quickly, place a piece of foil with a hole cut out of the center (to expose the fruit) over the crust to finish baking.
  • Remove and let the tarts rest on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer the tarts to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated in a 350°F oven.


Yield: Two peach tarts, about 6 servings each (Dairy)
Keyword Peaches, Pie


Recipe Rating


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.