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!
Deborah Mele 2011
- 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
- Mix together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer until well blended.
- Add the egg and egg yolk and continue to mix until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix just until the dough comes together.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Take about 3/4 of a cup of the dough mixture and set it aside.
- Press the remaining dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
- Spoon the jam into the crust and use a spoon to smooth across the bottom crust.
- 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.
- Bake the tart in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until it is lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
- To store, simply cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 5 days.
- Allow to return to room temperature before serving.