I have been a bit absent lately from the blog and I do apologize but I have been incredibly busy with Christmas shopping, baking, and trying to keep up with my crazy toddler all while fighting being sick. Let’s just say it has been rather hectic 24/7. Since I have been baking I did want to share this with you since I usually have several holiday posts up by now and this year I have been slacking. So my first installment of what I promise to be a few more before the holidays are over, is Pasta Flora. Pasta Flora is a Greek Jam Tart that you can make with almost any jam flavor, although we prefer apricot.
This tart is delicious in the morning with coffee and a great addition to any Christmas morning treats to give the kids and even set out for Santa. It is very simple to make. You can use a traditional tart pan or if you are like me and have no idea where your tart pan is located following a move, you can use a springform pan, as long as it is 10 in. in diameter.
I truly love this tart not just for how great it tastes but all of the memories surrounding it. This was the first Greek sweet I ever tried at Christmas when I first met my boyfriend over 5 years ago. It has always remained my favorite with a close second being the cookie Melomakarona. Even if you are not Greek it is something interesting to add to your table that those would not expect and I guarantee they will love. I hope you all can try this with your families and make memories of your own to cherish.
Apricot Pasta Flora (Greek Jam Tart)
- 9 oz. Butter; melted (approximately 2 sticks plus 1 tbsp.)
- 3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/3 cup Brandy
- 1 Egg; separated
- ½ tsp. Lemon Extract
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 18 oz. Apricot Jam (or any flavor you prefer)
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer, sift the flour and baking powder together. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the melted butter. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the sugar, brandy, egg yolk, vanilla, and lemon extract. Mix on low speed until mixture is just incorporated.
- Sprinkle a work surface with flour and turn dough out onto it. Gently knead into a cohesive ball, but be sure not to overwork the dough otherwise it will not be tender. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease the bottom and sides of your pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
- Preheat oven to 350°. After the dough has chilled, separate into two equal portions. Dust your work surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll out one portion of dough to about 1/3 inch thick. Carefully roll the dough up on the rolling pin and unroll it over the the pan. Gently press the dough into all spaces of the pan’s base. If extra pushes up the sides, gently trim it.
- Take a small portion from the reserved dough ball and roll between your hands into a rope about the width of your finger. Press the rope around the sides of the pan and gently press at the base to merge the sides and base together. Continue taking small portions and forming ropes until all of the sides are covered and merged with the base. Trim any excess if it pushes over the edge of the tart pan. If using a springform pan, press the rope of dough up the sides of the pan until it forms a crust that extends about 1 inch above the base.
- Using an offset spatula or back of a spoon, gently spread the jam evenly over the base, making sure to fill in all spaces. Sprinkle the work surface and rolling pin with flour and roll out the remaining portion of dough to 1/2 inch thick. Using a pastry cutter or knife, cut the dough into thin strips. Use a metal spatula to help lift the strips to the tart and arrange each strip in a lattice pattern over the jam. If the strip breaks, gently patch it back together. Once all the strips are placed, brush the strips with the egg white.
- Bake the tart for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, or until the tart is a rich golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for at least one hour before serving so that the jam can set.