From Italy with Love:
I have just come back from a wonderful trip to my parents homeland.
A large region, 1 1/2hrs from Rome.
La Campagnia, rural farmland where you have everything needed, grown and raised from the earth.
Rich soil produces wonderful berries and vegetables fragrant and full of bursting flavor.
Fruit growing abundantly on their trees, you could pick them off the trees and bushes ripe everyday.
So much abundance that it can easily be made into jam and used in desserts.
This dessert come from my Sister in law who utilizes everything from the garden, including scraps which feed their chickens and roosters!
She is so tiny, I often wondered how she managed to bring hay to the goats daily using a heavy wheel barrow!
This recipe is low in fat. A soft dough, not quite a cookie and not fluffy like a sponge cake. It is fragrant, using wholesome lemons from my Godmothers trees. It is without fuss, as so many Italian dishes are, and it so delicious.
The jam in this recipe, is made with her fathers vine grown grapes!
8 tbsp. sugar
6 tbsp. oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 envelope Pane del Angeli (leavening)
320kg flour + extra for rolling
1/2 jar your favourite jam
Confectioner's sugar: for sprinkling
In a medium size bowl mix together the eggs, sugar, oil and lemon zest and juice, until well blended and thick.
Stir in flour and leavening powder (can be found in specialty isle).
Dough will be ragged and in pieces. Scrape it out of the bowl onto a floured surface and begin to knead gently together to form a ball.
Continue to fold one end over another, it will be slightly sticky. Rub off hands using some flour and continue mixing to a soft dough.
Using a floured rolling pin, roll out 2/3 of the dough onto a 9"x9" piece of parchment paper.
This will be the bottom part of the crostata and will enable you to lift it onto the 8"x8" baking pan.
Place the rolled out dough into the baking sheet, with 1" edges up the side of the pan
Spread a 1/4" layer of jam over the crust.
Roll out the remaining 1/3 of dough to approx.
8" x 8". Cut 1" vertical strips of dough using a decorative pie wheel.
Place one strip down the centre of the crostata, then one strip on either side. Turn the sheet and continue the steps to make a crossing pattern, cutting the dough off at the edges.
Place four strips around the edges of the tart to seal in the dough.
Bake at 350F until golden brown, approximately 35- 40 min.
Allow to cool completely at room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.
Enjoy from Italy!