Quirky Niece No 1 gave me a really easy recipe for Crostata, or Italian jam tart. She acquired the recipe on a recent trip to Italy. She tells a lovely story, below in this post, of her time in Italy with Companion to Quirky Niece.
“So, as part of our spontaneous European holiday, we decided to hire a car and drive around Tuscany for 5 days. After a hairy hour or so battling peak-hour Florence traffic due to a GPS mayhap, we finally found ourselves out in the countryside and at our first airbnb accommodation, a sprawling country house on an agriturismo near Montepulciano. In the warm summer evenings we sat on the balcony, looking out at the glittering lights of the ancient city, and every morning, we ate a sumptuous breakfast prepared by our beautiful hosts, which included fresh cheeses, sliced meats and a wonderful jam tart. We could never finish it, so we took it with us on our adventures, only to find another one freshly baked the next day! On our final day, I asked our friendly host which baker she bought it from. Highly amused, she responded that she was a terrible cook, but this was her special foolproof recipe. In an instant, she quickly set her baby down and wrote up the ingredients on a post-it. And now, it has become my go-to entertaining recipe as well! I use all kinds of jam, so long as they have delicious chunks of fruit, and I remember our host’s exhortations to prick the base thoroughly with a fork before spooning in the jam.”
I made the crostata recently using this recipe. I made a quick strawberry jam for the filling, but any good quality store bought jam would do. In hindsight, my pastry was too thick – I would use a larger baking mold next time, for a more manageable pastry base.
300g plain flour
½ sachet of baking powder (1 sachet = 11g)
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
Quantity of any good jam for the filling ( I used strawberry here)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line a tart mold with baking paper or you could simply grease a baking tray if you want a true rustic crostata.
Place the flour, baking powder and sugar in a food processor and pulse till the mixture just comes together.
Make a well in the centre and add the butter and egg and egg yolks and mix in gently until combined but not overworked.
Roll out the dough roughly – remember this is not a precise tart – and line the tart mold. Or gently shape the dough into a round with a pastry rim on the baking tray. And prick the base – something I forgot to do this time!
Fill the tart with the jam and bake for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden and the jam bubbling.