Crostata di Marmellata di Visciole e Mandorle

Sour Cherry Jam and Almond Tart

Jam-filled tarts are very popular throughout Italy, but this sour cherry jam crostata is a Roman favorite. The recipe is from Miriam Piperno and was part of a series of Italian Jewish menus called Le feste ebraiche, published in Rome in 1987. Usually these jam tarts have a lattice top. I find it’s faster and easier to roll out the crust, spread jam over most of it, and roll up the sides to make an overlapping galette-style crust. You may, however, want to roll up only a slight edge and make lattice strips, as they look so pretty. In that case, you will need to divide the dough in half and roll the halves separately for the top and bottom crusts. Visciole are a variety of sour cherries, but any sour cherry jam will work here. If you can’t find sour cherry jam, apricot or orange marmalade can be used.

Ingredients

For the Pastry

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons ( sticks) chilled margarine or unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons cold water or sweet wine

For the Filling

  • 2 cups sour cherry preserves, or as needed
  • 1 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream or water, for egg wash (optional)
  • Vanilla sugar

Method

To make the pastry, in a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Add the egg, lemon zest, and water or wine, and stir and toss with a fork until the mixture just holds together. Remove the dough from the bowl and gather it into a ball. (The dough can also be made in a food processor, pulsing to cut in the butter and processing to bring the dough together.) Flatten it into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry disk into a round about 15 inches in diameter and inch thick. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

To make the filling, spread the cherry jam evenly over the round, leaving a 3-inch border uncovered. Sprinkle the jam with the almonds. Fold the uncovered border up over the filling, pleating it as necessary to make a galette edge. If desired, glaze the pastry edges with the egg wash.

Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and, keeping the tart on the parchment, carefully slide them together onto a rack to cool. Transfer the tart to a serving platter, and sprinkle with a dusting of vanilla sugar.