Rustic Jam Crostata

Italians often do not eat a lot of desserts unless it is for a holiday or special celebration, but one dessert you often see in bakeries and trattorias is a simple jam crostata or tart. A small slice of one of these buttery crusted sweet treats is wonderful for a mid day break with coffee, or after a light diinner and a recipe such as this one can be put together in minutes from ingredients most people already have on hand.

I recently tasted a jam tart in Umbria that had a buttery crust but the crust had just a little more texture than usual which I really enjoyed. When I asked what it was made with I was told the crust had a little cornmeal added to it which created a really nice bite. I was looking through all of my cookbooks and online sources looking for a similar crust and found one in a recent Italian cooking magazine. Before I could translate it into English to try it out though, I came across David Lebovitz’s recipe for Easy Jam Tart and I adapted my recipe from that one. I replaced the extract with cinnamon, and instead of cutting out shapes for the top I gave the top a more rustic look by crumbling the crust along the outer edges. My husband and I prefer berry based jams, so I used a wild mixed berry jam on our tart, but any good quality jam would work. I also did not refrigerate my dough before using it and it worked out just fine. I have also made a similar crostata with fresh fruit that I first chopped and precooked before assembling the tart and baking it.

A Buttery Slice Of Sweetness!

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Rustic Jam Crostata

Use your favorite flavor of jam in this crostata but homemade works best!

Ingredients:

  • 9 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Finely Ground Cornmeal
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 Cups Fruit Jam

Directions:

  1. Mix together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer until well blended.
  2. Add the egg and egg yolk and continue to mix until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix just until the dough comes together.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Take about 3/4 of a cup of the dough mixture and set it aside.
  7. Press the remaining dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
  8. Spoon the jam into the crust and use a spoon to smooth across the bottom crust.
  9. Using your fingers, break up the remaining crust mixture into small pea sized pieces and drop along the outer edges of the tart, leaving the center section of jam uncovered.
  10. Bake the tart in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until it is lightly browned.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
  12. To store, simply cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 5 days.
  13. Allow to return to room temperature before serving.

Adapted from recipe for David Lebovitz’s recipe for Easy Jam Tart.