Ina Garten Says This Unfussy Dessert Is the Best Way to Celebrate Any Season

We’re already dreaming up remixes for the filling…

If, by some chance, you had no idea who Ina Garten was and were introduced to her by stumbling upon an early episode of her Food Network show Barefoot Contessa, you might think she was unrelatable and maybe a little over-the-top. Garten often calls for “good vanilla,” her Hamptons home always appears put-together and accented with a fresh bouquet from her local florist, and she has some recipes that are so complex, they take hours to execute. (Or years to ace: Garten’s Boston Cream Pie recipe, which she was kind enough to share with us, took her 6 years to perfect. We promise it’s not that tough now that she has the technique so dialed in!)

But the more you get to know Ina, the more you realize she is far more down to earth than you might think. She loves PB&Js, breakfast for dinner, and declares that “store-bought is fine” so often, that catchphrase inspired a whole blog by the same name. One of her recent Instagram posts reminded us that celebrities, including Ina Garten, are just like us sometimes. Especially if that “us” refers to bakers like many members of the BHG team, who don’t exactly look forward to fussing over a lattice-topped pie.

“Crostatas are a great way to celebrate any season: peach in summer, apple in winter, but my favorite spring dessert is a Raspberry Rhubarb Crostata,” Garten explains in the caption on her post. “The rhubarb is tart, the raspberries are sweet, and it all comes together in a buttery crisp crust.”

Ina Garten and a pastry dessert with red stripy photo treatment

NBC / Contributor / Getty Images (Left); Kritsada Panichgul (Right) | Design: Better Homes & Gardens

Making Ina Garten’s Fruit Crostata Recipe

This springy Raspberry Rhubarb Crostata was originally featured in Garten’s 2016 cookbook Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, which joins an Apple Crostata in her recipe archives. We were instantly sold by the photo itself, but knew we really needed to try the berry and rhubarb rendition ASAP after spotting fan comments like, “I'm not a big baker…but your apple crostata recipe changed my life! [It’s] my absolute favorite dessert to make when entertaining,” and “we love your crostatas; it is a family favorite dessert year round.”

To make this open-faced fruit pie, you can either follow Garten’s instructions for a homemade pastry or start with store-bought piecrust. (Hey, if it’s good enough for Garten to serve to Norah Jones on a recent episode of her new interview-style cooking show Be My Guest, then it’s good enough for us!) For the filling, you’ll combine sliced fresh rhubarb, fresh raspberries, and a few other ingredients over heat. Roll out your pastry, bake, and let cool, then Garten suggests slicing and serving if you like. (We do!)

We love the way this easy, unfussy open-faced pie recipe can shift to match any season. Consider these combinations, or feel free to get creative with your own filling blends.

  • Summer: Thinly sliced fresh peaches and pitted, halved cherries 
  • Fall: Thinly sliced pears and fresh thyme
  • Winter: Thinly sliced apples and cranberries

Our Best Crostata Recipes

Now that Garten has reminded us of the appeal of a pie that requires zero crimping, folding, lattice work, or even a pie pan, we’re feeling more motivated than ever to revisit our Test Kitchen’s best open-faced pie creations.

If you’d like to join in the baking fun and are craving savory, try this Lemony Ricotta Summer Squash Galette from late spring to summer, then transition to Corn Crostata with Tomatillos and Queso Fresco and Sausage and Vegetable Galettes for harvest season. In winter, it’s tough to beat a wedge of Beet and Onion Jam Galette.

When you’re more in the mood for sweet, you can’t miss with our summery Blueberry Thyme Galette and Plum Galettes. Then celebrate all things fall with individually-portioned Honey Hazelnut Pear Galettes and a 10-serving Apple, Cranberry, and Pecan Galette.

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