On a recent visit to Northern Italy, I noticed that the one thing that was present on every breakfast table was a jam tart. Therefore, it was only logical that I eat a slice of jam tart every morning for breakfast. The polite thing to do after all. But by far, the best tart we had was an Apricot Jam Crostata at Antico Borgo di Tabiano Castello in the Parma countryside. The chef was lovely enough to share the recipe with me – and while it was scribbled in shorthand Italian and sized for about 40 people, I think I got the gist of it. The adapted tart came out deliciously. It’s easy and makes a great breakfast.
Apricot Jam Crostata
For the tart shell:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 stick cold butter, chopped into little pieces
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 (+/-) cold water
1 1/2 – 2 cups apricot jam
To make the tart shell:
Place all ingredients except the water into a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the processor running, drizzle in the water until the dough just forms a clump. Dump the dough onto the counter and form into two disks, one 1/3 of the size of the other. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll out the larger disk and fit it into a tart ring or a tart pan with a removable bottom. Press down with the base of a glass to make sure it’s even and flat. Trim edges and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the crust has set and is golden.
Remove from oven and spread jam filling evenly into tart shell until it’s almost to the top.
Roll out the remaining 1/3 of the dough and cut into strips. Lay dough strips on top of jam in whatever pattern you like.
Bake for approximately 40-50 minutes until jam is set and pastry is golden.
Let cool before serving.
And a sunrise photo of the historic and beautiful Tabiano Castello..