This rustic dessert is found throughout Italy, and is best with a homemade jam that is not too sweet, such as marmellata di amarene, sour cherry jam. While walking in Umbria in June, there were trees laden with amarene cherries just waiting to be picked.
Adapted from a recipe by David Lebovitz.
- 8 tbs (4 oz., 112 gr) butter at room temperature
- ½ cup (100 gr) sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ -2 cups (190-250 gr) flour
- ½ cup (60 gr) toasted almonds, finely ground
- ½ tsp (3 gr) salt
- 2 tsp (10 gr) baking powder or pane degli angeli leavening
- 2/3 cup (8 oz, 225 gr) tart jam such as amarene (sour cherry)
- 1 tbs sugar for topping
Beat the butter with the sugar fluffy. Add egg, yolk and vanilla extract and mix well. In another bowl, combine the minimum amount of flour, ground almonds, salt and baking powder or leavening agent. Add these dry ingredients by thirds to the butter mixture and mix until combined. If dough is too soft, add some of the reserved flour.
Shape 2/3 of the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Shape the remaining 1/3 of dough into a cylinder, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Let dough rest in fridge from 2-24 hours (you can make dough 1 day ahead of baking.)
Press the dough into a 10” glass or dark metal tart dish, (I find this works better than light aluminum for cooking the bottom crust in my oven), using first the heel of your hand and then your finger tips, making the dough go up the sides of the pan as well as coating the base. Try to make the dough an even thickness, but don’t worry if it isn’t perfect.
Spread the marmellata di amarene (sour cherry jam) or other jam that is not too sweet over the surface of the dough. If the jam is very thick, dilute it first with a bit of water and/or lemon juice. If it doesn’t look like there is enough jam, add a bit more.
Remove the cylinder of dough from the fridge, and cut it into disks about an 1/8 thick. Place the disks over the jam, leaving a bit of space between them. Sprinkle 1 TB of sugar onto the disks of dough. Bake in preheated oven at 350° (180° C) for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool before serving at room temperature. Tart keeps well for several days and is great for breakfast or to take along on a picnic while walking in Umbria.