Martha Stewart's Simple Glaze To Elevate Fruit Crostatas

If you are a fan of fruit fillings baked in flaky crusts, it's always pie season. But, as spring gets underway and seasonal berries are at their sweetest — or when fall hits and you have more apples than you know what to do with — baking a pie is a logical way to create a piece de resistance to share with family and friends. Luckily, there are all types of variations of this delicious dessert to chose from, including the fruit crostata, an Italian creation. 

A crostata is best described as an open-faced pie that can be made freeform, sans a pie tin. You simply bake this tart-looking dessert on a sheet pan and the end result is a rustic looking dish that is the focal point of a meal. Crostatas have a sophistication to them that your average pie doesn't. But, if you really want to elevate your fruit crostata, you may want to borrow a baking tip from Martha Stewart

Stewart is the queen of many things, including pie baking, and she turns to a baker's secret weapon to give her crostata both a visual pop and some added flavor.

Open a jar of preserves

While many glazes are made with sugar, starch, and water, Martha Stewart's glaze solution doesn't require any mixing. That's because she uses her own homemade apricot preserves when she makes her apple crostata to give it both a glossy and glassy finish that is visually pleasing and oh-so tempting appeal to have a second slice. Stewart explains to Food & Wine that to create this flavorful glaze she simply melts her preserves in a pan and strains the warm syrupy liquid so it is free of any fruit chunks.

A glaze is a wonderful way to help keep your fruit moist, preserve its bright colors, and hold it in place — and creating one from apricot preserves is shear genius for an apple crostata. Apricot is considered a colorless glaze that can be used for both pies and breads. It's sweetness will also enhance the flavor of your crostata. The rule of thumb when applying a glaze is to use a cold one when working with fresh fruit and a warm glaze when you are baking your fruit. 

While apricot preserves are wonderful for lighter colored fruits, if your crostata is made with plums or dark berries, Stewart recommends using a raspberry or current jelly to compliment the fruit.