Rustic pear crostata is an easy to make one-crust fruit tart filled with fresh ginger and lemon-infused pears in a tender buttery pastry.Make the dough in minutes using a food processor up to two days ahead.
Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until blended, about 10 seconds. Add the butter and process 15-20 seconds, or until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the vinegar and 4 tablespoons water through the feed tube, pulsing just until the dough forms a ball around the blade (add more water a teaspoon at a time if the mixture appears too dry).
Dump the dough out onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper and pat into a smooth ball, then flatten into a disc. Fold the parchment around the dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days ahead.
Make the crostata:
Heat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack centered in the middle.
Remove the pastry dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Let it soften until pliable (your finger will leave an indentation when lightly pressed), 10 - 15 minutes depending on the temperature in your kitchen.
Meanwhile, stir together the sugar, cardamom, ginger and lemon zest in a small bowl until it looks like wet sand. Set aside.
Cut the pears in half and remove the cores. Slice each half horizontally into 1/4-inch thick slices.
Sprinkle a little flour on both sides of the dough, then roll it out on a lightly floured surface to make a circle roughly 12-inches in diameter. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Using an upside-down 8 or 9-inch cake pan or tart ring as a guide, make a light circle-shaped indentation in the center of the dough, leaving a 2 or 3 inch border. Sprinkle half the ginger sugar mixture over the circle. Arrange the pears shingle-style on top of the sugar. Sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the pears.
Fold the edges of the dough over the fruit leaving the center exposed, making casual pleats as you go. Remember, this is a rustic tart, so there's no need to be perfect :)
Lightly beat the egg with the cream or milk and brush over the dough. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
Bake 45 minutes, until the edges the crostata are golden brown and the fruit is juicy and bubbling.
Cool at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
The pastry dough can be made ahead 2 days in advance or wrap well and freeze for up to a month.Use this pastry dough recipe to make a crostata filled with juicy summer fruit like berries or stone fruits, just be sure to toss them with a tablespoon or two of cornstarch to keep the crust from getting soggy.