Saturday, 1 September 2007

Crostata di Marmellata

In many parts of Emiglia Romagna you will see this little tart in most pastry shops. Translated it simply means ‘jam tart’. Don’t let that fool you because this is not a children’s tea time favourite but a tart that is suitable for all ages and it will disappear all too soon. It’s probably the brandy in the jam that makes all of the difference. You need to have the presence of mind to hide some in the cupboard so that you can savour some all for yourself when everyone has gone and you can sit down with a cuppa or a glass of sweet, sparkling, white wine. Bliss.

To make this tart you will need to start by making ‘pasta frolla’ or sweet pastry as it's known in Italy. Now, if I am honest there are as many versions of this as there are homes in Italy. Everyone will have their little twist on the recipe. Most of the recipes in books will tend to have a far higher ratio of sugar than I use here. They also have less butter. What I do is make a fairly rich buttery pastry, to which I add a teaspoon of lievito ( Italian baking powder ). I tend to use the Paneangeli make and unlike the manufacturer’s instructions, I add it to the flour rather than at the end which is what they tell you to do. I can’t see how it will mix in properly if you do that.

Ingredients for Pasta Frolla

200g plain flour. If you can get ‘00’ flour this is the best.
120g butter
90g sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk if you need extra moisture.
Grated rind of half a lemon

Start by creaming the butter, lemon rind and the sugar. When you have creamed the mixture for about 5 minutes, beat in the egg.
Mix in the flour and lievito until the mixture comes together and forms a soft dough. You are not going to roll this dough out so it does not have to be too firm.
Remove about 1/3rd of the dough and set aside. You will use this to make the top later. Press the remaining 2/3rds over the base of a 30cm buttered baking tin.

Now the Jam
You can buy the jam for making this tart in Italy. It is called prunellata and it usually has a picture of a crostata on the jar so that you know that you are buying the right thing. The thing that marks this jam out from all others is that it's sharp. I love it and so do most of my friends. It needs to be sharp to prevent the tart from being too sweet. If you can’t get this jam, I suggest that you buy a morello cherry jam. If you do, however, substitute the brandy with kirsch.
For a tart of this size you will need about 400g of jam. Add two tablespoons of brandy to the jam and mix well. Spread over the base of the tart, leaving about 1 cm of pastry uncovered.
Now roll out the remaining pastry into long sausages and, starting with the edges of the tart, create a lattice over the top of the tart as shown in the photo.
Cook in a medium oven until the tart is cooked and golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin and when cold, dust with icing sugar and cut into pieces and serve.


TCake said...

can't wait to try this.....thankyou for sharing Tx

Tiriti said...

At the beginning of October we are going to Wales to visit the country and to see a a rugby match. We would be thankful if you advised as, some interesting restaurants (welsh food) to us by the zone of the south of Wales, we’ll rented a car reason why it does not matter to us to make some kilometers. We want to visit Cardiff and the coast in the direction of Gower and Tenby. If it can also advise to us about some gastronomical point of interest (some zone of vines, cheeses, stores etc).


Lluís Rey March.

Craft Fairy said...

Hi Lluis,

Too many questions for me to answer on the Blog. I don't want to disappoint you but Wales is not a gastronomic country. I struggle to find something acceptable if I want to go out and eat. Even when I do find a fairly good restaurant, the second time that I visit it, the standards will have dropped.
The best thing that you can do is visit the Welsh Tourist Board web site and see what information you can find there.
My forte is Italian rather than Welsh.

Polly P said...

Oh yum! Hmmm...!

Maybe one day I will be organised enough to give this one a go...

Thanks for sharing this one, mmm!