Friday, March 10, 2017

Crostata di Marmellata alla Sorrentina


Are you ready for Pi Day? It's coming up next week and you need to be ready with a real pie - or in this case a crostata (close enough). Of course, you all know that Pi, represented by the Greek letter π, is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, and is commonly approximated as 3.14159.
Pi Day is celebrated around the world on March 14 (March=3rd month, and the 14th day, hence 3.14), which also happens to be the birthday of Albert Einstein, whose legacy is omnipresent here in Princeton, where the Nobel laureate gave lectures at Princeton University, but mainly served as a faculty member at the Institute for Advanced Studies from 1933 until his death in 1955.
Princeton honors Pi Day with all kinds of events, from an Einstein look-alike contest, to a pie-baking contest. (The first year of the contest, I actually won second place, with "Alessandra's crostata.")
I made a couple of goofs while making this crostata, but in the end, it all worked out.
It calls for a mixture of amaretti cookie crumbs to be mixed with egg, then spread on top of the jam.
But I misread the recipe and put the amaretti cookie crumbs in first, before the jam. Whoops!

Fortunately, I was able to scoop them up before I went any farther.
So after scraping out the amaretti crumbs, I put in a mixture of jams - orange and plum. You can use only one kind if you like, or mix any others - apricot and plum are delicious too.
Now is the time to spread the amaretti mixture. I didn't have quite enough, but it was just fine. Kind of looks like peanut butter and jelly at this point, but it tastes much better.
Spread the lattice strips on top, then brush with egg.
While baking, the amaretti crumbs and eggs puff up slightly and peek through the lattice strips. 
The flavor is delicious and it slices so easily you may want to eat more than just one slice. After all, you are doing research on the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, right?
Happy Pi π Day.
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Crostata di Marmellata alla Sorrentina
from "The Southern Italian Table" by Arthur Schwartz
printable recipe here

your favorite pasta frolla recipe (pastry crust - I cheated this time and used one from Trader Joe's)
1 12 ounce jar marmalade (I used a combination of plum and orange)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup finely ground amaretti cookies (about 3 ounces, depending on the brand)

Place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the dough between sheets of waxed paper or parchment. Line a 9-inch tart or cake pan with two-thirds of the pasta frolla, bringing the pastry up the sides of the pan just to the top. Save the other third of the pastry to make a lattice top.
Mix the jams (if using two different ones) and spread evenly on the pastry.
Beat one of the eggs in a small bowl until well blended, then add the amaretti crumbs and mix well. Spread this mixture evenly over the jam filling.
Roll out the remaining pastry. With a sharp knife or rolling pastry cutter, cut it into 1/2 inch wide strips. Arrange the strips on top of the tart in a diamond-shaped lattice. Turn the edge of the bottom pastry over the edge of the lattice top.
Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl, then brush the pastry with it.
Bake the tart for 30 to 35 minutes until nicely browned. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the tart from the pan and finish cooling it on a rack.

Variation:
Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of finely chopped nuts - toasted almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts - on the bottom pastry before pouring in the marmalade or jam.
At Masseria Astapiana, Villa Giusso in Vico Equense, near Sorrento, a fifteenth century former monastery now operating as a bed and breakfast and party venue, they make a rather complex, but not difficult to accomplish, version of this tart. Instead of using 12 ounces of marmalade, use only 6 ounces. Then dip about 28 whole amaretti quickly into dry white vermouth. Arrange a layer of the cookies over the marmalade, packing them in closely and pushing them slightly into the marmalade. Now combine 2 beaten eggs with 3/4 cup toasted and finely ground almonds. Pour this over the amaretti. There should be just enough to barely cover the cookies. Arrange a lattice pastry top. Bake as above.


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15 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Beautiful! That is a gorgeous tart.

Cheers,

Rosa

Chiara Giglio said...

vorrei essere lì con te e gustarne una fetta cara Linda !Buon fine settimana

domenicacooks said...

Looks delicious, Linda. I am a fan of Arthur Schwartz's recipes. But now I'm intrigued by the idea of a PB&J crostata!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Ha! Wouldn't that be funny. I too, always enjoyed Arthur Sceartz' recipes. I miss hearing him on the radio after all those years at WOR.

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

Id' certainly love to have a slice of your crostata with my coffee. It looks irresistible. I've never made a crostata before, we just didn't eat many sweets in our house -- only for holidays. You did such a marvelous job with the lattice - it looks perfect. I believe I'll try my hand at a crostata. Have a great weekend.

Rosemary Wolbert said...

You're right -- it does kinda look like pb&j! But I'm inspired to try something a little different -- like this crostada -- for pi day.

Anna and Liz Recipes said...

THis crostata looks beautiful and bet it's delicious! Love the two flavors you blended in the one and can't wait to try this recipe- thanks Linda. Have a good weekend!

Proud Italian Cook said...

First on my list is your flan, I got the pan delivered but have yet to make it, then it will be this crostata, with the TJ's crust!

Frank Fariello said...

Your tart is a thing of beauty, Linda. Love that latticed crust... and the layers of flavor inside sound incredible.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Even with the Oopsie your crostata looks wonderful, Linda! I'd love to try this recipe.

Paola said...

I have a tin of amaretti and some home made jams that are just waiting to come together. Arthur Schwartz is an endless wealth of information, I remember listening to him on the radio when I lived on the east coast. Happy Pi Day Linda!

Claudia said...

That looks scrumptious. I love a good jam pie (and it's a great way to use all the jams I accumulate). It's funny - that no matter how many times I read the directions, I will still occasionally do things out of order. Great save!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Your crostata looks very pretty and must have smelled and tasted amazing between the almond and fruit jams filling. I listened to Arthur Schwartz years go on the radio--he was an original foodie!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Me too Pat. I loved his show on WOR.

Janie said...

I've been thinking about making a jam tart and now I have to do it! Wish I was a jam maker though I do think I have a jar of jam from Italy in the cupboard.