Remember my post about my homemade olive oil bundt cake that my grandmother used to make? Well, I thought of her when remembering her orange-colored pasta flora and thinking it would be the perfect colored tart for a Thanksgiving weekend brunch. Pasta flora is a traditional, call it even old-fashioned, pie or tart made with a soft crust and a variety of marmalades on top, with a lattice crust on top. My friend Pauline tells me it reminds her of the Italian crostata she used to enjoy back in the 90s, when she lived in Rome. But for me, these jam-topped treats are strictly Greek, straight from my grandmother!
When I was a child, we always had peach marmalade at home, because one of my aunts came from Véria, a region in Greece famous for its peaches. Every summer we'd get the most amazing peaches, bags and bags of them. We'd preserve them and eat peach marmalade for breakfast all winter long! No wonder, my grandmother and mother would always whip up a pasta flora for a quick treat and that peach-flavored tart is the taste of my childhood.
To be honest, though, those childhood flavors are always a little sweet, so since I discovered the amazing handmade marmalades from Citrus Scent of Memory, I've started making a tarter pasta flora (no pun intended!) that feels tangier and more refreshing. The orange color is perfect for your fall weekend brunches, too! You can use any marmalade but give it a try with one of my suggestions below and let me know what you think.
1 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp cognac
1 tbsp lemon or orange zest or vanilla or other flavoring of your liking
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Using a mixer or beater, blend well the butter with the sugar until you get a clear-colored & fluffy mixture. Then, while still mixing, add the yolks one at a time, then the cognac, then any other flavoring.
Stop the electric mixer and add the flour, one cup at a time, mixing with your fingers. You want to blend in the flour but not over-mix - just enough until the the flour is absorbed and you obtain a soft and fluffy dough.
Spread out 2/3 of the dough along the bottom and up the sides of a 9" or 10" pie plate. Add your marmalade, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
Use the rest of the dough to make long strips that you will criss-cross to decorate the top of the pasta flora.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the dough is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool. Do not cover the tart or your leftovers with a glass or plastic lid as it will become very moist. Enjoy!
PS You can keep it for a week without the need for refrigeration.
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