Crostata with Fig Jam

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In the intro to the meatloaf recipe, I wrote about the remarkable collection of jars with pickled food in my new pantry. I could say the same about jam; my homemade jams, those made by neighbors and friends, the artisanal ones with innovative flavors that I received from producers, together they take up an entire shelf. Suddenly I remembered a tip from my Italian cleaning heroine Maria: Whenever she has unexpected visitors she quickly bakes a crostata filled with a jar of jam, because almost everyone has a jar of jam at home. Same applies to butter and flour. The result: a smart and easy dessert, and one that will please most, especially if you tell them the jam is “homemade by my neighbor!” That way, a simple pie suddenly becomes fascinating.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour, plus extra
  • 9 tablespoons (125 g) cold butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Juice of 2 clementines, 1 orange, or 1 lemon (adjust to the type of jam)
  • 1 jar (12¼-ounce/350 g) fig jam or another kind of jam
  • Granulated or confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Method

Combine the flour and salt with the butter until you get coarse crumbs; preferably pulse in a food processor: That way the butter stays the coldest. Drop by drop, add just enough clementine juice for the dough to come together. Shape into a flattened ball, wrap in plastic, and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

On a flour-dusted counter, roll out the dough into a thin slab. Grease a shallow 8½-inch (22 cm) pie pan and press in the dough. Neatly trim the edges. Fill evenly with the jam.

Sweep together all of the dough trimmings, roll out again, and cut out little shapes. Place on top of the filling.

Bake the crostata for 25 to 30 minutes; it should lightly brown. Once it has cooled off, dust the crostata with sugar and serve.