It happens often: when girls grow up, they start to resemble to their mothers, finding themselves saying or doing exactly those things that until a few years earlier they could not put up with. I realized this unspoken truth when, still a teenager, I took my sister for the first time to the kindergarten, my blonde tot, nine years younger than me.
Three annoying words: blow your nose. I’ve always had a running nose – you can still hear my nasal voice in the video recipes – so my mum used to pronounce those dreadful words every time she met my eyes. So irritating, yet so spontaneous: I heard those words slipping out of my lips while I was already raising a flowery tissue to Claudia’s nose. Bewildered, I left Claudia with her teachers and took the bus to school, realizing that this episode was just the beginning…
You unconsciously absorb attitudes, words and glances from your mother, tiny details you find oddly incomprehensible as a child. Then you grow up and, without realizing it, you find yourself sharing with your mother even the same liking for desserts.
Gradually the crostata, our jam tart, which usually left me dumbfounded as a child – com’on, mum, the crostata? you know I do not like it (it was true at all…) – became one of the cakes I bake more often. So simple to make, without a written recipe to be followed, it can be modified according to your inspiration, you can play with different flours, sugars, jams and decorations… and above all, it really tastes good, good as a mum’s smell.
The jam tart is definitely the cake I baked the most since the first clumsy attempts as a child: fully melted butter to make the short pastry (never ever!), caramelized jam, charred Nutella, scorched tart… all useful trials to eventually get a simple, good and reliable recipe, the one you immediately decide to bake for school parties, for your nieces’ birthdays, the one you wrap in aluminium foil for your sister’s breakfast at the university (she has come a long way from kindergarten!) or cut into sturdy slices for the afternoon tea.
Yet this is the first post completely dedicated to a jam tart… is it too ordinary? but the ordinary uniqueness lies in a common feeling, shared by everyone: who has never thanked his mother for a slice of buttery tart for breakfast? So here we are, not a recipe, but a video recipe made with TVedo.tv!
Click on AD to listen to the English translation of the salient steps
- Even though this is the first post dedicated to the jam tart, I’ve always had a soft spot for short pastry, as you can easily find out from the huge amount of recipes calling for the magic team flour-sugar-butter-one egg! Just to name a few of them: the tahini and chocolate tart, the Tuscan Nutella and meringue tart, or also an all time favourite, the rice tartlets of my childhood.
- check also the jam crostata recipe written and tested for Food & Wine by Nancy Harmon Jenkins, a writer, journalist, historian, with a special interest in food & foodways, Mediterranean cultures & cuisines… in a few words, one of the best food writer ever!
- another version, another great woman, Elizabeth Minchilli‘s crostata di marmellata, if you want points the next time you go to someone’s house for dinner, bring this tart. You’re sure to be invited back.
- Rhubarb and raspberry jam crostata, by Gourmet Traveller, serve it with vinsanto and I’m yours!
- She spent about ten years in Tuscany, yet she knows Italian and Tuscan food better than me! Emiko has two genuine recipes for jam tart: the classic crostata di marmellata, directly from the pages of the Artusi’s cookbook, and a fig frangipane tart, served with the memories of her first days in Florence as a twenty-year-old art student.
Work in progress
I showed you our summer gazebo that would have turn into my ‘hand-made’ photo studio, and here’s the result of many evenings spent with my father cleaning, painting and moving the old kitchen furniture (those who saw the beginning of my food obsession). Well, actually, my father did most of the job and I simply moved all my props, tough work, though! A few square meters where there is everything I need to take the pictures you see on this blog: finally I do not have to climb on chairs or on the table, or stand crouched in a corner to find a little spot of light even in the evening!
Now I need a proper and well furnished kitchen, but I fear I must find a sponsor for that!