Greek Jam Lattice-Top Tart / Pasta Flora
Pasta Flora doesn’t sound like a Greek recipe for dessert, but it is and one of the classics, too. This lattice-topped tart, adopted from my Ikaria book, is made with many of the fruit jams and preserves that are part of the Greek tradition. The most common is apricot, but it’s great with plum, tangerine or fig jam, too. You can find any of those online here.
For the pastry:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tbsp. fine lemon zest
- 9 ounces / 250g unsalted butter softened, plus more for greasing the tart pan
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp. brandy or fruit liqueur preferably orange or apricot
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups good quality plum, tangerine, fig jam or any other good quality fruit jam, as desired
- 1 egg yolk lightly whisked with 1 tablespoon water
Combine the flour, baking powder and zest in a bowl.
In the bowl of an electric mixer outfitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and continue mixing until blended. Add the brandy and vanilla and whisk to blend.
Change the whisk attachment to a dough hook and slowly add the flour, in half-cup increments, until a dough forms. Knead for a few minutes, but don’t overwork it. Remove the dough and let it rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Divide the dough into two balls, the one slightly larger than the other. Break off a golf-ball-size piece from the larger ball and set it aside.
Preheat oven to 350F / 175C.
Lightly butter a 10-inch tart pan.
Spread a sheet of parchment or wax paper on a work surface and flour it lightly. Roll out the first ball on the parchment to a circle slightly larger than the circumference of the pan. Lift the paper carefully, place with dough side down over the tart pan, and carefully peel away the paper on the back side of the dough so that it folds gently and evenly into the tart pan.
Press the edges slightly. Take a knife and skin the edge of the pan to cut away any excess dough.
Collect the excess and combine it with the smaller ball that you’ve set aside. Roll it out and cut out 4 to 6 half-inch / 1.5-cm strips. Place these over the rim of the pie all around the circle, to form the area where the lattice strips can rest once you fill in the pie with jam.
On a floured piece of parchment or work surface, roll out the remaining piece of pastry to a sheet about 10 inches square. Cut ½-inch / 1.5-cm strips of dough.
Spread the jam evenly inside the tart pan.
Take the strips one at a time and place over the tart, first in one direction diagonally and then in the other, to form a decorative latticed top. Secure the lattice strips to the pieces you’ve already pressed into and around the rim. Trim any excess with kitchen shears or a small sharp knife.
Brush the lattice top with the egg yolk and bake in the middle of the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until the pastry is set and golden. Remove, cool for at least 30-40 minutes for the jam to set, too, and serve.