A few weeks ago I was invited to a friends’ dinner party, so I offered to bring a cake. I really felt like making a jam tart, “crostata” as we call it in Italian.
I searched my favourite food blogs and found a simple recipe on Smitten Kitchen. I bought all the ingredients, or at least I thought I did. As I struggled to find cornmeal in my local supermarket, I bought cornflour thinking it was the same thing (the English equivalent of an American name perhaps?). As it turns out, corn flour is NOT cornmeal!
Cornmeal is a coarse and flaky flour, also known as “polenta”. The English cornflour is not flour at all, it’s actually a refined starch used to thicken sauces!
Thanks to my Twitter baker friends, the confusion was cleared before it was too late. But I was left with one hour to make a cake and no cornmeal! What to do? Call your mum and ask for help, of course! And that’s how I made my first “Crostata di Lamponi”!
- 300g raspberry jam
- 330g plain flour
- 165g unsalted butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 lievito Pane degli Angeli (equals to 12g baking powder)
- pinch of salt
Shape the flour in a fountain, place the pieces of cold butter in the centre, with sugar on top. Knead the butter and sugar first, then slowly add the flour into the mix. Keep kneading, then add the egg, baking powder and pinch of salt.
Once you have a ball of smooth pastry, place it in the fridge to cool.
After 10-15 minutes, spread the pastry with a rolling pin and lay it on a baking tray. Leave some pastry on the side, which you will need for the tart decoration.
Spread the raspberry jam over the pastry. Make thick strips (about 1cm wide) with the leftover pastry and cross them over the tart, attaching them to the borders from side to side.
Bake in the oven at 180° C for 20-25 minutes.
If you have leftover pastry, don’t throw it! I used it to make 10 shortbread biscuits! :)