Italian cuisine: Fig and Almond Jam Pie
- WTI Magazine #121 Nov 17, 2019
Crostata is perhaps the oldest Italian dessert. A popular tradition traces the origin of this Italian pie to the ancient Romans. This is the first kind of baked dessert that, as little girl, I learned to make from my mother. It evokes memories of many happy hours spent with her in the kitchen preparing delicious food.
This Italian version of an American pie can be prepared by using different ingredients such as jam, fresh fruit, ricotta cheese, chocolate and pudding. It can satisfy a wide variety of palates! In Italy, it is not only eaten as a dessert, but often for breakfast too, with a hot cup of espresso or cappuccino, or with tea in the afternoon.
CROSTATA CON CONFETTURA DI FICHI E MANDORLE (FIG AND ALMOND JAM PIE)
Preparation time:1 1/2 hours Baking time: 40-45 minutes Servings:8
300 g flour (245 g, 9 oz) Italian Grade 00 flour or pastry flour and 55 g (heaping ⅓ cup) potato starch or corn starch
5 g (1 teaspoon) baking powder
100 g (½ cup) granulated sugar
pinch of salt
130 g (5 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut in small cubes
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
Grated zest of half organic lemon
600 g (18 oz) fig jam
3 tablespoons almond, peeled and coarsely chopped
Note: Usually crostata crust is quite hard. I prefer a tender, fluffy crust. My recipe calls for starch and baking powder (a leavening agent), all contribute to make the crust lighter. A note on the jam: select a jam that is relatively low in sugar, or prepare your own (see the recipe in the fig jam post). Jams that contain a higher percentage of sugar tend to be negatively affected by baking temperatures, turning sticky and ruining the final result. The amount of jam I used in this recipe is more than usual because there are some pieces of figs.