It's been awhile since I've written anything from the Taste Section. I simply haven't seen any recipes that I felt were worthy of writing about. Today that changed!
I immediately fell in love with the story and the recipe for an Italian Jam Tart.
The story and the recipe come from Elizabeth Karmel. She went to Italy, took a cooking class and came away with this amazing recipe. It's simple, easy and versatile. It's something that we would make for a family get together, Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving....... and even a dinner party with friends.
She said "As I learned in Italy, the real secret to this tart is "using the best quality jam that you can find". "I look for jam made with only a bit of sugar and I prefer fig, apricot, cherry, strawberry and raspberry." "The thing I love about switching up the jams is that you can add extracts and seasonings to match your jams. When making a fig jam tart, I add a touch of cardamom to the crust; when I make cherry, I use almond extract instead of orange blossom. You can even make the chocolate crust with the addition of 1/2 cup of cocoa powder."
Italian Jam Tart:
13 TBS (1 stick plus 5 TBS) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C plus 1 TBS sugar
1/4 tsp orange blossom water or vanilla extract (see above note for variations)
1 1/2 C flour
1/8 tsp sea salt
Generous 1/2 C ( about 6.5 oz.) fig, apricot,cherry or berry jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Position an oven rack in the center of oven.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer with the whisk attachment to beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is very light in color, 3 or 4 minutes.
Add the orange water or extract and blend well
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix by hand just until the dough is thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.
Measure out a scant 1/2 C of the dough and smooth it out on a small plate , then place it in the freezer.
Meanwhile, press the remaining dough evenly into and up the sides of a 9" tart pan with removable bottom. If the dough is too soft to work with, chill it briefly. Refrigerate the tart for 15 minutes.
Once the tart has chilled, spread the jam evenly in it, starting from the center and leaving a border of about 1/2 inch around the edges. The jam should be thinly spread and not resemble a filled pie. Remove
the reserved dough from the freezer and crumble it into small pieces over the jam.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping is a beautiful golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool completely.
Remove the tart from the from the sides of the pan and cut into wedges.
Peace in the Kitchen!