Jam tarts are classic Italian desserts. Every home baker and her nonna has a favorite recipe, often incorporating homemade jam created with ripe fruit from the orto, or garden patch.
SERVING: Yield 12 slices
- 2 cups jam, any flavor.
- ¼ cup apricot jam (optional), for glaze
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough.
- ¼ sugar.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces, plus more for pan.
- 1 egg yolk.
- 1 pinch fine sea salt.
- Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl, and mix with a fork to combine.
- Scatter the butter on top and, with a pastry cutter or your fingers, pinch the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add the egg yolk, and stir with the fork again until thoroughly combined. (You may need to switch to kneading briefly by hand.)
- To make the crust with a food processor, place the dry ingredients in the bowl fitted with the metal blade.
- Pulse to combine, add the butter, and then pulse 4 to 6 times again, until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add the egg yolk, and process just until the dough forms a ball.
- Shape the dough into a fat disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
- When you’re ready to bake the tart, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Butter either an 8 or 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom or an 8 by 8 inch square pan, and set aside.
- Place the dough on a lightly-floured work surface.
- Cut off about one third of the dough, rewrap it in plastic, and set aside. (Refrigerate if your kitchen is warm.)
- Roll the two-thirds of the dough ¼ to ½ inch thick in a circle or square about 1 inch larger than your pan. If the dough resists, let it relax for a few minutes and come back to it.
- Wrap the rolled dough around the rolling pin, transfer it to the pan, and unfold it into the pan. Press it against the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Cut off a small piece of dough from the remaining piece and, with your hands, roll it into a ½- inch rope on the work surface.
- Place the rope around the perimeter of the pan on top of the rolled dough. Return the remaining dough, wrapped in plastic, to the refrigerator.
- Line the crust with foil, fill with dried beans or pie weights, and bake until the crust is set and matte, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the oven, and allow it to cool slightly.
- In the meantime, increase the heat to 400°F.
- When the crust is cool enough to handle, spread the 2 cups of jam in it in an even layer.
- Lightly flour the work surface, and roll out the remaining dough to the shape of the pan but 1 inch larger all around, between ¼ and ½ inch thick.
- Cut this into ½-inch to 1-inch wide strips for the top lattice.
- Place alternating strips on top of the tart, attaching the ends to the rope of dough that you created earlier.
- Arrange the remaining strips at an angle to the first strips, again attaching them to the rope of dough. Lattice made!
- Now, bake your tart until the lattice strips are golden and dry, for 15 to 20 minutes.
- If using the glaze, while the tart is baking, combine the apricot jam with 2 tablespoons of water in a small pot.
- Heat over low heat and whisk to combine, then strain out any chunks of fruit.
- While the tart is still warm, brush the lattice strips with the glaze.
- Cool completely on a rack, and serve at room temperature to your lucky guests.
Also Read: GRANDMA’S ITALIAN JAM TART