Published December 1, 2006.
When it comes to simplicity, no one beats the Italians. A jam crostata looks elegant but comes together easily—that is, if you have the right recipe.
Since the jam filling is quite minimal in this dish, the pastry is all-important. American pie dough isn’t sweet or tender enough.
We needed to create a tender, soft, almost biscuit-like dough.
We first looked at the ingredients and determined that our desired pastry required an ample amount of butter —12 tablespoons to 2 1/3 cups of flour. One-half cup of sugar made the dough sweet, but not so sweet it competed with the filling. To keep the crust as tender as possible, it was necessary to avoid overworking the dough. While we could start the dough in the food processor, it required hand-kneading at the finish, since processing the dough in a food processor until it came together in a ball made the baked crust tough and overly crisp. For the filling, while this traditional tart can be made with any smooth jam, such as blackberry or cherry, our tasters particularly liked raspberry jam. If your preferred jam has chunks of fruit, it should be pureed in the food processor until smooth.list of recipes