One of my favourite memories of Italy is called merenda.
Merenda is an afternoon snack, nothing as fussy as afternoon tea, just a simple, sweet snack to tide you over to dinner time. The time for merenda is usually about 4 ish and you can eat anything from fresh bread with jam, biscuits, budino or crostata if you are lucky enough that someone had the thought to make one. Normally washed down with a fruit tea, juice or espresso.
Crostata is basically a tart, a big tart.
Made with a base of pasta frolla and covered with your favourite jam, in this case I used the Apricot jam we bought back from France last week.
The quantity of pastry given here is enough for two crostata so I have frozen the other half for next week’s dopo scuola merenda.
The beauty of a crostata in the house is it’s good for merenda, as already mentioned but also good for a slice with a cup of tea whilst watching tv in the evening like husband and I did last night. It’s good for breakfast instead of toast and it’s good for elevenses too.
Make one and tell me when you enjoyed a slice, here’s the simple recipe which I am also submitting to Mummy Mishaps Great Bloggers Bake Off Week 5 which follows the GBBO on the TV, this week was pies and tarts so Apricot Crostata here you go. Head over to her blog for lots of other fantastic ideas.
- 300 g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 150g butter
- 130g sugar
- zest of one lemon
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 800g apricot jam
- egg to brush the pastry with
- Place the flour, salt and butter in a mixer and whizz until it's like a breadcrumb mixture.
- Turn into a bowl and add the sugar, lemon zest and eggs.
- Mix well together with your hands until a pastry is formed.
- Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- Take your pie dish (I have a removable bottom one) and coat the insides with butter and then flour to prevent the pastry sticking.
- Roll out the pastry until ¾ mm thick, roll it around your rolling pin and transfer over the pie dish.
- Push gently into place making sure it's not stretched and trim the edges for a neat finish.
- Prick the bottom a few times with a fork and then cover with the jam spreading evenly over the base.
- With the remaining pastry cut long strips about 1cm thick to make the lattice pattern on top.
- Place your strips about 3cms apart first one way and then go over the top in the other direction.
- Trim the edges and push to the top of the jam for a neat edge.
- Brush with eggwash and place in a preheated oven at 180C for about 45 minutes