Originally by David Lebovitz, I came across this recipe from 17 and Baking, whom I found through Gratinee, when I was browsing the web for recipes of which I forgot what for, at this point. I am continuously amazed at the volume of glorious food blogs around the globe. Amazing! I am in awe with the photos. Entertained by the stories. Inspired by the food.
I am not a pie-tart-pastry kind of person. I like a bit of sweet every now and then but sweet tarts, pies.... are one of the food groups that I don't subscribe to. I mean, if they're served alongside coffee or tea and nothing else is on offer, then I might consider. But if tarts are just one of the choices, then I'll swing by the cupcakes and biscuits in a flash. In my shallow appreciation of tarts, pies and truffles, I believe it is fate that I came across an inviting challenge in David Lebovitz version of Wednesday Chef's Crostata - I ran up to the local shops to get myself a tart pan! Not immediately, but 2 days after I read the blog. (See! I'm really not that into tarts!) DL tweaked the version a bit with what came out as a simple easy-peasy, tart/pie recipe. The instructions and ingredients were easy and accessible, but the photos were what literally dragged me to share the tart connoisseur's appreciation over this sweet little things. It was simply inviting from preparation to baking, to eating. With the winter chills creeping across Sydney, what better time to try on a sweet comforting treat to accompany my coffee.
The use of polenta/corn meal gave the crust that nutty flavour. The blackberry jam was a personal choice as I wanted to see a dark filling for a light-coloured pastry. Not too good though as I didn't taste the jam before using it in the tart - it came out overly sweet. Next time, we might try strawberry jam or some marmalde (as David used in his recipe in here). Something with a bit of tangy flavour.
I used a 23cm tart pan (smaller pan that what the recipe called for) but must have used too thick base that I had little left for the top. So there is that gap in the middle.
1 3/4 cups (450g) apricot, raspberry or other jam
coarse raw sugar; known as cassonade, turbinado, or demerara sugar, for finishing the tart
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients, just until the mixture just comes together.
3. Measure out 11 ounces (300g), which is about 2/3rd of the dough if you don't have a scale, pat it into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and chill it. Take the remaining dough and roll it into a log about 2-inches (5cm) in diameter, wrap it and chill it, too
4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to room temperature slightly. With the heel of your hand, press the dough into the bottom and sides of an unbuttered removable bottom tart pan (one that's 9" or 10", 24cm), or springform pan, patting it evenly.
5. Spread the jam evenly over the dough.
6. Remove the log of dough from the refrigerator and slice in cookie-sized disks, then lay them over the jam. Top very generously with lots of coarse raw sugar, at least 2 tablespoons.
7. Bake until the pastry is golden brown. (If you don't trust yourself, or your oven, Luisa's recipe says 20-25 minutes.) Let cool before serving, and serve at room temperature.
There are more plans for our new tart pan - we'll try a quiche lorraine tomorrow! Meanwhile, I'm so looking forward to getting my hands on David's latest book - Ready for Dessert. More sweet indulgence for the winter months.