Pasta Flora – Greek Jam Tart (Πάστα Φλώρα)
Pasta Flora has a lemony cookie crust and rustic jam filling. Lattice-work topping makes Pasta Flora look like it takes a lot of effort. In reality, it goes together quickly because it’s shaped free form on a baking sheet. Any kind of jam may be used for Pasta Flora; I’ve successfully made it with almost every variety. Fig, raspberry, and apricot are favorites, and I have wistful memories of Black Currant Pasta Flora I once made with homemade preserves. If using store-bought preserves, buy the best quality available.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon peel
3/4 cup cold butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (or cognac)
1 cup jam (see recipe for Fresh Fig Jam)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp. cognac (optional)
Make the Crust: Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and lemon peel together in a food processor. Cut butter into 3/4” squares, add to food processor, and pulse five or six times to break up and distribute butter. When you’re done, butter pieces should be size of small lentils. Whisk together egg, egg yolk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Add egg mixture to food processor and pulse to mix. Pinch together some of dough to see if it holds together (it should). If it doesn’t, add small amounts of very cold water, pulsing to mix, until dough holds together when pinched.
Dump dough onto piece of plastic wrap and press dough together. Separate out 1/3 of dough and shape it into flat disk, then shape remaining dough into flat disk. Wrap two disks in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Make the Filling: Mix together jam, lemon juice, and cognac (if using), until smooth.
Assemble the Pasta Flora: Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out large disk of dough on well-floured pastry cloth until it’s about 3/8” thick and forms 13-14 inch circle. Trim off ragged edges of dough, but don’t worry about shaping it into perfect circle. Use rolling pin to lift dough and place it on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Making sure to leave 1-inch border around edges, spread filling evenly over dough.
Roll out small disk of dough on well-floured pastry cloth until it’s about 3/8” thick. Cut into 5/8” strips. Carefully lift strips and place them over filling in lattice-work pattern. Trim off any strip ends that overhang tart’s edges. Fold over edges to enclose strip ends and decoratively crimp it with your fingers or a fork.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cooked through.