Crisps, Cobblers, Tarts, and Crostatas
The myriad ways to turn summer fruit into delicious desserts.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: August 24th, 2012
ies are pretty awesome—that's a pretty undeniable fact. But when it comes to fruit desserts, pies can be annoying in the sense that if you don't want to use a pre-made crust, making your own can seem a little daunting. It's not, but that's another story for another day—today, we'll take a look at pie-esque desserts that are even easier to make than pie.
Fruit crisps are literally just about the easiest thing you can make. Cut up some fruit, put it in a dish. Top it with a mixture of softened butter, brown sugar, and oats (and maybe some pecans, almonds, or walnuts if you feel like it). Pop it in the oven, let it get all bubbly, then serve it warm (and if you're feeling fancy, with a scoop of ice cream). For a starter, use apples and cinnamon, like in this recipe.
Peach cobbler is a staple for summer months. Cobbler is different from a crisp, though, as instead of a crispy topping, it's got a cake-like topping. Again, this one is as easy as putting cut-up fruit in a dish, topping it with the batter, and popping it into the oven. Try this one on for size.
A crostata is a European-style pastry very similar to a pie, except without the formal structure for the crust. Instead, for making a crostata, you roll out the pie dough on a baking sheet, pile the fruit filling in the middle, leaving two inches on the perimeter, then fold over the excess crust towards the center of the filling. Here is a good apple-cinnamon recipe.
Tarts are also similar to pies in that they use the same crust format, but different in that they usually have a base of pastry cream, custard, sweetened cream cheese, or a fruit curd. If it sounds difficult, it's not. For this one, all you need to do is bake the crust and make the pastry cream—the fruit remains raw for tarts. We like this strawberry one, but you can make them with virtually any fruit you want.