The most important thing I have to say about this jam tart is that it helped conquer my fear of making a lattice topped pie. I make tons of pies in every shape and form but this jam tart is my first attempt at making a lattice top. Which is surprising since the crust is my favorite part of a pie and a lattice top supplies more than enough of the buttery stuff. But have you seen a lattice topped pie? All that weaving and looping in and out? I may as well be knitting a scarf. Aint’t nobody got time for that.
Well, turns out one Saturday I did have time for that and since I am all about conquering my fears I dug in. Making the lattice top does take time and you have to sort of work quickly so the butter laden dough will not get too soft to work with. The good thing is once you get to this part you’re about three quarters of the way finished with the pie and all you have to do is spread over the jam and then (carefully) lay over the lattice top.
If you’ve been following this blog, then by now you should know the basics of pie dough: flour,cold butter, some salt and cold water; crumble and crumble until it looks like small peas; gather into a ball; wrap in plastic; refrigerate. I promise the recipe is more specific than this, but you get what I’m trying to say it’s the same routine as always with pie dough. Except this time it’s kind of not, only because we’re going to add a couple of eggs. And some lemon zest. oh and some baking powder. Okay, okay. It’s a bit different but just a tiny bit.
I happen to be a huge fan of this type of pie dough, not only is it sweet with a cookie like crumb it’s easy to work with and very forgiving. It requires no rolling out, you can just pat it into the pan with your hands and it’s easy to patch up if you make a few mistakes. If you have no demons to conquer don’t bother with the lattice crust, you can simply pinch off pieces of the dough and place them randomly over the top of the tart, like a crumble. Be sure to leave a few small openings so the hot jam can bubble through. Use the best quality jam you can find. The cookie crust and jam go together perfectly.
Don’t be like me (greedy) and cut the tart too soon or all your jam will start to ooze out. The only good part about that was I happen to have had a spoon ready and scooped up all the warm goodness into my mouth.
Maggie Barretts Crostata con Marmellata di Frutta via The Wednesday Chef
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling dough
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Butter for greasing pan
- 14 ounces apricot, raspberry or other jam
Note: seperate the dough into 2 pieces. One for the bottom crust and one for the top
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high until well combined. Mix in the egg, yolk, vanilla and lemon zest, then add the flour, 1 teaspoon salt and the baking powder. Mix at medium speed just until the mixture begins to clump. Press the dough into a ball by hand, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to warm slightly. Lightly butter the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan. Press of the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan, patting it until smooth and firm. Fill the crust with jam, spreading it evenly.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining dough into a thin disk about 9 inches in diameter. Cut into narrow strips and weave into a lattice pattern on top of the pie. Note: you can also just pull off pices of the dough and lay over top of the jam. See The Wednesday Chef post.
- Bake until the pastry is light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes; watch carefully to be sure the crust doesn’t darken, which can happen suddenly. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving. Serve at room temperature.
- Serves 8