Apricot jam and flaked almond crostata (Italian baked tart)

Serves Icon
Time 01 Hour 30 Minutes
Home-made apricot jam
  • 1kg ripe apricots
  • 600g sugar
  • 60ml water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Sweet pastry
  • 125g unsalted butter (cold from the fridge if using food processor – see tip in step 2)
  • 250g 00 flour – refer to note in step 2
  • 1 small pinch salt
  • 100g icing sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • 1 medium-sized egg
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lenthways and seeds removed (alternatively 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Milk for brushing sweet pastry
  • 50g flaked almonds

Requires: 24cm round, loose-bottom metal tart tin, plastic wrap (cling film), rolling pin

How to Make It
Step 1

To make the home-made apricot jam, cut each apricot in half and extract the stones. Roughly chop the apricots and place into a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cook for a further 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally and using a slotted spoon to remove any scum that rises to the surface. Allow the jam to cool completely.

Note: You may wish to complete this step days ahead and refrigerate apricot jam in a glass jar. Alternatively, use good quality bought apricot jam.

Step 2

In a food processor (with the metal blade inserted): Process the flour, butter and salt until the texture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar, egg, vanilla bean and lemon zest. Mix until the dough just starts to come together.
Alternatively, by hand: Combine the flour, butter and salt in a bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the texture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar, egg, vanilla bean and lemon zest. Mix by hand until the dough just starts to come together.

Note: 00 is a powder-fine Italian type of flour. It is made from soft wheat varieties, and is frequently used in Italian desserts and pastas. 00 flour is available in most supermarkets, Italian food stores and gourmet delicatessens.

Step 3

Turn the pastry onto a clean, lightly floured work surface and lightly knead to bring together. Gather the dough with your hands to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap (cling film) and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Step 4

Preheat the oven to 170°C conventional oven/150°C fan forced (338° Fahrenheit/Gas 3).

Step 5

Place the flaked almonds in a single layer on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake, shaking the tray occasionally, until the almonds have turned a light golden brown (approximately 5-7 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside.

Step 6

Grease a 24cm round, loose-bottom metal tart tin with butter. Turn the dough onto a large sheet of non-stick baking paper. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a thickness of 7-8mm. It should be large enough to fit the base and sides of the tin. Flour the rolling pin well and gently roll up the sweet pastry dough around the rolling pin. Unroll the sweet pastry dough into the metal tart tin. Trim the edge by running the rolling pin across the top of the tin, then gently push the pastry a little above the edge of the tin. Use a fork to prick the base all over.

Step 7

Spread the cooled apricot jam on top of the sweet pastry in the base of the metal tart tin. Sprinkle the flaked almonds on top of the apricot jam. Brush the sweet pastry with milk. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the sweet pastry is lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the tart from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack for a minimum of 2 hours.

Step 8

The Crostata (tart) of homemade apricot jam and flaked almonds can be kept at room temperature for 2-3 days – Buon appetito.

Milk for brushing sweet pastry|50g flaked almonds

Vanessa Bottaro

Author, Founder and Creative Director at Italian Spoon
In my eyes, Italian cuisine is love on a plate.

Vanessa is Creative Director of the Italian Spoon website and Author of The Italian entertaining cookbook, a collection of home-style Italian recipes and tips for entertaining in true Italian-style. In addition to cooking and taking photographs, Vanessa writes the recipes and blogs to bring the love of Italian cooking to life! The collection of recipes and blogs on the website have been inspired by travels to Italy and desire to share what she has learnt from the great ‘Mamma’s and ‘Nonna’s in her life!

Vanessa is an entrepreneur and wife to husband Simone and the mother of two beautiful kids Dante and Mia. Even so she was born and lives in Melbourne Australia, Vanessa has a deep connection to Italy. Perhaps it is the food, or maybe it is because it is the place where Vanessa met the love of her life, Simone to whom she has been happily married for so many years.
Vanessa Bottaro

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