Hello & welcome to my Blog.
I came up with the idea of this blog as I had been writing a cookery book for my Children after my eldest Son Simon left home and would ring me for all his favourite recipes. I thought that this way it would be easier to update & where ever they were they could cook their favourite recipes. This blog is that index card box of scribbled recipes, torn out recipes from magazines, lost somewhere in the house, all brought neatly together in one place.
What I didn't expect was the thousands of people that have looked at it since its creation, from all over the World, I have even created a Facebook fanpage so that I can chat to fellow foodies who have enjoyed the blog!
I really hope you enjoy the recipes, please feel free to post comments or recipes and I just want you to know that all recipes have been cooked time & time again by myself and all photographs, where possible, have been taken by me of the food that I have cooked.
I apologise in advance for any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, I bake better than I write.
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Olive Oil Jam Tart
Having the boys come home for dinner always gives me an excuse to go over the top with the food, not that I normally need an excuse, but having all five of them at home, around the family table always inspires me to come up with a truly authentic Italian dinner, I have been known to do seven courses, completely over the top and filling, but fun and you just get to sit, chill, drink, chat and laugh, to me this is just perfect and we all get to catch up with each other.
On this occasion as the weather was so gorgeous we had already decided to eat outside, al fresco dinning is one of my most favourite things to do as anyone that knows me will tell you and I had decided that two courses with homemade focaccia would be enough as Simon had taken Oliver and Luca earlier in the day to the cinema and for a MacDonalds.
We had the ragu that I previously blogged on here from the cookery show, 'Simply Italian', and two massive wooden platters on the table piled high, one with my homemade focaccia drizzled in olive oil, garlic and rosemary and the other with grated parmesan.
For dessert I made an olive oil jam tart, now this may sound a little strange, but in Tuscany in times of hardship, butter was considered to heavy and to costly to be used in pastry, this was in both sweet and savoury pastry, olive oil was used instead and gives an intense, authentic flavour, it does not require chilling and is still crumbly and light as any pastry made with butter.
I have such a bad history with pastry, unlike bread, we just don't seem to get a long, but this pastry... well what can I say, we got on just fine and I will be making this time and time again, even Hubby loved it and that is unheard of as he just is not a pudding man.
I served mine cold with a good quality vanilla ice cream as I wanted to make it in advance, but it would work just as well with custard or cream and even served warm, be warned, not straight from the oven as the jam will be as hot as the centre of the earth! Jasmine(Gelsomina), the boys Nonna, use to make jam tarts every weekend and place them up high where the boys couldn't reach them until they were cool enough to eat, it would always make her laugh when I would sneak one whilst they were still scolding hot, I would try and nibble around the edges of the tart, but would always end up burning myself, she would laugh and tell me I was worse than one of the Children, such fond memories.
Use any jam that you like, it is traditionally made with either Fig or Blackberry Jam, sometimes done with both, one flavour on each side of the tart, I was lucky to have some of last years homemade blackberry jam left in the fridge, perfect timing to use it up as blackberry season will soon be upon us again.
It was nearly all gone in one sitting, but Hubby managed to save a piece for his breakfast the next day.
Serves 4 to 6
75ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
150g sugar (recipe didn't state what type, I used caster)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 medium free-range eggs
Zes of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon vin santo (I didn't have any, but used white wine instead)
300g of your favourite fruit jam
3 to 4 tablespoons of icing sugar (optional - to decorate)
Preheat the oven, 160C/ Fan 140C/ gas mark 3.
Grease and line a 25cm tart tin.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar and baking powder with a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre, then beat 2 of the eggs and add with the oil, lemon zest and vin santo/wine. Mix, using a wooden spoon , until it comes together, then transfer to a floured work surface.
Cut a third off the pastry and set aside, then form the rest into a ball.
Carefully roll out the pastry to a circle the thickness of a pound coin (the recipe suggested that you may need a lot of flour on your surface when rolling out as the olive oil may make it a little slippery, this was not the case with mine and it rolled out beautifully), then carefully line the greased tart tin, making sure the pastry fits snugly and any excess over hangs the sides.
Cover the pastry with an even layer of jam.
Roll out the smaller bit of pastry into a circle the thickness of a pound coin. Cut into 2cm wide strips using a sharp knife or fluted pasta cutter, then lay out on top of the tart in a lattice. Place the last few strips around the edge to finish off the decoration (I didn't seem to have enough to do this, so I just crimped around the edge using the back of a fork).
Remove the overhanging pastry with a sharp knife.
Beat the remaining egg, then glaze the pastry all over with it.
Bake for 50 minutes until biscuit brown, if it starts to brown to soon, cover with foil.
When cooked, transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely. If you want to, when cooled, dust with icing sugar.