Shortcrust pastry and jam. That's it.
The kids call it "Crostata con la marmellata". I call it an evergreen of the Italian pastry. And I am not just talking about the pastry chefs. Every Italian mother and grandmother knows her stuff when it comes to tarts.
Today's recipe is a reinterpretation of the shortcrust pastry recipe I learnt at the baking school. Usually the classic recipe foresees a 2:1 ratio between flour and butter, but being a lover of soft and smooth shortcrust pastry, I added a bit of butter (the quality of the butter you use is essential) and reduced the amount of sugar. If you prefer a crunchier pastry, you can increase the amount of sugar and reduce the butter.
I chose an apricot jam for the filling, very classic, but the possibilities are endless: custard and fresh fruit, ricotta cream and chocolate chips, hazelnut cream... I'll stop here, I could go on and on.
In the coming days I will publish an article entirely dedicated to shortcrust pastry, stay tuned Berlin Pie Bakers!
PREPARATION: 1,5 h of preparation + 6 h of resting time / SERVING SIZE: 24 cm diameter cake tin
333 g of weak flour
200 g of bio butter
90 g of raw cane icing sugar
70 g of egg yolk
30 g of honey
2 g of salt
½ of bio lemon zest
1/2 tbs of vanilla pod
250 g of apricot jam
Start by making the shortcrust pastry, which will need to rest in the fridge 6 hours (even better overnight) to allow the sugars to dissolve and bind to the dough.
You can knead the shortcrust pastry either with the planetary mixer (leaf hook) or by hand, the important thing is to be very quick in your movements. If you use the planetary mixer, mix at low speed. If you are kneading by hand, work the dough in a bowl with a fork and only when you have added the flour, turn it over onto the board.
Mix the sugar and butter (cold but plastic butter). Add the flavourings (lemon and vanilla), honey, and lastly the salt mixed with the egg yolks. Add the sifted flour to make a uniform, non-whipped buttery mass. At this point, knead the dough as little as possible, mixing just enough to absorb the flour evenly but without overheating it.
Shape the dough into a rectangular piece about 3 cm thick, and place it in the fridge to rest, wrapped in greaseproof paper and placed in a container, so that it doesn't get dry.
After the resting time, dust the work surface with flour and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Ideal thickness: 0.5 cm. But it's up to taste :)
Carefully place the shortcrust pastry in the buttered and floured cake tin. Trim the edges by passing the rolling pin over the cake tin to obtain a clean, even cut. Prick the base of the tart with the prongs of a fork. Fill with the jam.
Cut strips from the remaining shortcrust pastry. It is important to create a grid of lozenges so that the jam does not burn during cooking.
Finally, create a 2 cm diameter stick of shortcrust pastry and place it around the entire circumference of the tart. Crush it with a coffee spoon to obtain a decoration.
Bake the tart in a conventional oven at 165° for 40 minutes on the lowest shelf. When it is golden brown, take it out of the oven and let it cool down before removing it from the mould, otherwise the still soft shortcrust will break.
1. There is only one rule to follow for a good shortcrust pastry: do not overheat the dough.
2. When you take the dough out of the fridge, it is important to work it while it is cold, otherwise the shortcrust pastry will be harder to work with (due to the butter in the dough). You can hit it a couple of times with the rolling pin to make it more plastic.
3. I recommend using a cake mould no higher than 3 cm.
4. Use conventional heating mode for baking. Don't be like me who accidentally used the fan mode and burnt the edges (to make up for the damage I covered it with icing sugar!).