The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Italian jam tart

manuela's picture

Italian jam tart

This is a very simple yet very good traditional Italian jam tart, made with pastafrolla--Italian-style shortpastry. The original post is from my blog


From the original recipe by Pellegrino Artusi
In: La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene” , 1891–Italy


2 cups (250 g) AP flour, unbleached
1/2 cup (125 g) unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup (110 g) sugar
1 medium egg
1 yolk
1 cup (260 g) fruit jam (such as apricot, plum, or sour cherry)

If the granulated sugar is coarse, it is preferable to process it briefly in a food processor or coffee grinder. Mix flour and sugar, then work the butter in with the tip of your fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the egg and yolk and work briefly until the dough just holds together.
It is important not to overwork the dough (do not knead it) or it will harden when baked.
A food processor works perfectly to make the dough: start by placing flour and sugar in the work bowl, process for a few seconds to mix, then add the butter and pulse a few times until the mixture looks like wet sand. Add the egg and yolk and process a few seconds more until the dough forms. Do not overprocess.

Wrap the dough in wax paper and let it rest in a cool place for at least 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured board roll 2/3 of the pastry dough to a 1/8-in (3 mm) thickness, and line with it the bottom and sides of a 9-in (23 cm) tart pan with scalloped edges and a removable bottom. The sides should be lined with a slightly thicker layer of pastry than the bottom, about 1/4-in (0.5 cm). Fold back in the dough that is hanging over the sides to make a thicker lining along the sides. Cut of excess. Prick the pastry bottom with the tines of a fork in a few places, then spread with the jam. Do not use a deep tart mold.

Roll the remaining pastry on a lightly floured board slightly thicker than 1/8-in (3 mm), then with a sharp knife or pastry cutter cut it in strips 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) wide and make a lattice on top of the jam layer. There might be some leftover pastry. I usually make a few cookies with it, or tartlets.

You can see how the lattice should look here.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and bake the tart until golden, about 25 minutes. Unmold the tart as soon as it is ready and let it cool on a rack. If left in the pan it will turn irremediably soggy. It is great freshly baked but it definitely improves after a day or two, if kept in a closed container.

A note on the fruit jam: select a jam that is relatively low in sugar, 38% to 40% content of sugar is best; jams that contain a higher percentage of sugar tend to be adversely affected by the baking temperatures, turning sticky and ruining the final result.



weavershouse's picture

I wish I could pick it up and take a bite. I have to try this even though I don't have a food processor.  I'll check my jam for sugar content first. Great job, thanks.                                                      weavershouse

manuela's picture

If you are making this by hand, I thougt to add some extra tips:

  1. briefly beating the yolk and egg together before adding them to the sugar-flour-butter mixture is best
  1. if the dough seems too dry, depending on the flour for instance, add a little of the remaining egg white 1 tsp at a time (you don't want to end with a dough that is too wet) OR add 1 tsp at a time of white wine.

Italian flour (the one called 00) is much weaker than American AP so the liquids might be absorbed differently.

Personally, however, I prefer to make this with American AP flour, I like the final texture of the pastry much better, so I never use Italian flour for this, just regular unbleached AP American flour


zolablue's picture

Manuela - That is my kind of dessert! In every way. I can't wait to try it not only because I love this type of dough but anytime I see apricot anything it just takes me back to my grandmother and her incredible, yet very simple, apricot sweet rolls. I'm trying to figure out her recipe now and am sure hoping I can replicate them.


Anyway, your photo is quite beautiful and I just about can't keep from trying to take a bite from my screen. Thank you so much for posting this.


Oh, and I just ordered some Italian 00 type flour from King Arthur and it is like velvet. I used it for the first time last night to make homemade pasta. Wow, it was incredible. I'm anxious to find the perfect bread to use it in but as you note for this dessert I'll use AP flour.


browndog's picture

I agree that this is the sort of post that makes one want to take a bite through the screen. Looks so delicious, Manuela. It's on the to-try-very-soon list now.

manuela's picture

Zolablue and Browndog!


Zolablue, as far as I know in Italy 00 flour is only used for pasta, pastry, and cakes. The closest to bread that comes to my mind are some kinds of traditional quickbreads, usually leavened with baker's ammonia or a mix of baking soda and cream of tartar. Each region has its own, often with differences among towns and even among families.

If you are interested in this type of quick breads, I will be happy to write here the recipes I know.


As for the apricot jam, that is also my favorite. This tart is even better when apricots (or any other fruit) are in season. Then the filling is made by cooking about 1 lb of fresh apricots with a little bit of water, sugar to taste and a little lemon juice if necessary to give the proper balance between sweetness and tartness. Once the fruit reaches the consistency of jam, it is left to cool and then used to fill the tart.

zolablue's picture

On King Arthur's site they say, "...Our American clone of Italian 00 flour is perfect for pizza, focaccia, and grissini..." They also post a recipe for a quick pizza dough. That's about all I know about the flour but I'm just in love with the texture and how silky smooth it made my pasta dough.


I would be thrilled if you wanted to share any recipes for quick breads using the 00 flour if you have the time to post them.


I also browsed your site but want to take more time to look around. I am really interested as well in your beautiful semolina desserts. I found a recipe a while back for a semolina raisin pudding cake that I need to make for my husband since he loves raisins so much. I just love the flavor and color of the semolina flours and so I'm always interested in new things to bake with it.


KipperCat's picture

This looks so good! The only jams in the pantry with a low enough sugar content are hot pepper jams.  I don't think I'm ready to try that just yet.

Thegreenbaker's picture

Would a jam made from fruit and concentrated fruit juices work?

We only buy St Dalfour jam as we all enjoy them and they are very low in processed sugar. I can imagine that this would be fact, I wonder, what about rehydrated and sweetened (perhaps not) apricots put through a blender?

I used to buy dried apricots and then boil/simmer them in a small amount of water then when they were all plump and juicy I would mush them up and put them through a sieve and then feed it as is to my daughter when she was in that pureed food stage or mix it with yoghurt for her. Do you think that would work rather than jam? Perhaps I'll have to experiment :)


thanks for posting this. I have been drooling over it since you posted it and visited your website and the drooling continued and I was joined by my daughter.

I am going to make your semolina cake as well and there were soooooo many more I just cant think of them right now, I will get fat just trying it all!



manuela's picture

I have at least two recipes that I really like and that are really very nice. I will make one during the weekend and post the recipe with a picture of the final result. And I wil post the second as well of course.

I am going to write soon other recipes with semolina which are also from the same Artusi book.

Thanks! :) 

manuela's picture

The jam you mention would work fine, I have tried it too. Also there is one kind of organic preserves made by Trader Joe's that works wonderfully. It is called "reduced sugar, organic apricot preserves".

Also using nice dried apricots as you say would work very very well, as you can adjust the amounts of sugar (if any) and tartness (with lemon juice) to taste. I have tried this also with prunes, and it is really a nice filling.

Yeasr ago I tried a dried apricots butter but I cannot remember the brand, unfortunately!



manuela's picture

I would not be ready to try a hot pepper jam filling either! :) :)

turosdolci's picture

This looks so beaurtiful.  I have Artusi cookbook but happy to have it translated in English. I will definaltly make this.

turosdolci's picture

Thank you for the recipe. I've never made this and have always wanted to try it.  Your recipe just might get me to give it a try.  



thihal123's picture

Wow, this reminds me of a jam tart that my mother used to make over two decades ago now.