Happy Mother's day to all! This past week, I made a Crostata di Marmellata (jam tart) for a special dinner Vincenzo was cooking. I knew our guest of honor that evening was from Scotland, so I decided to make the bottom of the crostata an oatmeal shortbread crust and topped it with some of the most delicious raspberry jam I could find (Trader Joe's has one of my favorite all time). My mom (Irene) is Scottish, so I love to add a few traditions from this area of the world to my cooking. Shortbread is one of them! To add a little color and crunch on the top, I added sliced almonds.
This was a huge hit and so I thought I'd post the recipe as it is a variation of the crostata di marmellata recipe in the book. In Italy a crostata di marmellata is served at the end of special dinners and is a staple as an ending to a home-cooked meal.
Enjoy this with your favorite jam on top as well as crunchy nuts to add some texture and break up the sweetness of the jam. Happy baking everyone!
Crostata di Marmellata
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup oat flour (if you can’t find oat flour, simply place whole or quick oats in a food processor and blend until a fine flour forms)
¾ cup white sugar
1 stick of butter, or 8 tablespoons (chilled)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of one lemon (variation, you can use orange zest or lime zest depending on the jam that you choose for the filling)
1-2 cups of your favorite fruit jam (warmed)
2 teaspoons vanilla or liqueur
1/2 cup of chopped nuts for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the flours and sugar in a large bowl or in the bowl of a food processer. Cut the cold butter into the flour and sugar by pulsing the processor or, if using hands, rub the butter into the flour until you get a crumbly mixture and there are no more visible butter pieces. Add the vanilla and citrus zest at the end as the mixture is coming together.
Place the dough into a 9- to 10-inch pie or tart pan that has been buttered or sprayed with oil. Simply press the dough into the bottom and sides of the tart pan. Bake the shortbread crust for 5-7 minutes.
Next, top the crust with 1-2 cups of your favorite jam that you have warmed in a saucepan for a few minutes. This will give you a very jammy tart. I sometimes like to add a little booze to my jam as I am warming it. If you are feeling extra spunky, you can add 2 tablespoons of brandy, Grand Marnier, or other liqueur to go with your jam.
Top the crostata with chopped nuts to add another element of taste and crunch. Use about 1/2 cup of chopped nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. The jam will be bubbly and the nuts will be roasted and crunchy on the top. Let cool, cut into small triangles and serve alone or with whipped cream or ice cream.