Thursday, 28 May 2015

Soft crostata with almonds and apricot jam

Soft crostata with almonds and apricot jam

Another recipe for crostata today!
I said before on this blog how much I like this type of sweet baked good and how much I enjoy "playing" with the recipe changing, every time I make it, the combination of the main ingredients: flour, sugar / sweetener, fat, raising agent (the options being yes or no) and filling (jam in the most basic and simple version).
And in the blog you can find some of the crostata recipes I prefer and make more often (check out this link).
But with today's recipe I have added another variable to those mentioned above, that is the filling technique.

In general the filling for crostata, whether it is just jam or something more sophisticated (custard, ricotta, chocolate ganache, fresh or cooked fruit, a mousse or whatever else), is spread evenly on the base; sometimes the base is topped with some more dough, in the form of a lattice strip or in more creative shapes, other times there is nothing over the filling.
In this recipe the jam filling is spread in a thick layer just in the central part of the crostata and is surrounded by a thick and wide border of pastry. Since the batter contains less flour than a traditional shortcrust pastry and has an addition of baking powder, the crust is softer than other types of crostata: I would say that the texture of the pastry is something in between a shortcrust pastry and a cake.

It's a simple tart but very pleasant, with a fresh lemon flavor (there is lemon zest in the batter) and the peculiar lovely texture that the addition of a small amount of almond flour gives to the dough.
It can be served for breakfast or with the afternoon tea (it goes very well with coffee too); but if you serve lightly warm with ice cream or whipped cream, it is a lovely solution for dessert.
Soft crostata with almonds and apricot jam

Soft crostata with almonds and apricot jam
makes one 20 cm Æ tart  
95 g all purpose flour
30 g almond flour (or almonds ground in a food processor with 1 tbsp sugar or flour from the total)
65 g butter, soft
80 g granulated unrefined cane sugar
1 whole egg  + 1 yolks
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 pinch sea salt
zest of 1/2 large lemon (organic, not waxed, if possible)
200 g apricot jam
Preheat the oven to 180° C. Butter the base and the sides of a fluted tart pan with a loose base.
Mix the flour, almond flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and smooth. Add in the egg and the egg yolk and mix to incorporate.  Beat in also the lemon zest.
Add the flour mixture to the butter-eggs mixture and stir to incorporate.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with a spatula. Using the back of a spoon or a smaller spatula, create a circular shallow indentation in the middle of the batter, leaving a thicker border about 3 cm wide all around.
Pour the jam in a bowl and whisk it to make it smooth (you can add some lemon juice to balance the sweetness), then spread it in the indentation, leaving the border clean.
Bake at 180°C for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the border is risen, golden and firm, and a skewer inserted in the edge comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then gently loose the cake out of the side, leaving it on the base. Don't let the tart completely cool otherwise it will be difficult to remove it from the pan.
Transfer to a serving plate - still on the pan base - and serve warm (with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream) or at room temperature with a cup of tea.

Soft crostata with almonds and apricot jam

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