Pasta Flora (Greek Fruit Perserve Tart)
Pasta Flora is An Easy and Satisfying Greek Dessert
Pasta Flora is one of the tastiest desserts in the Greek pastry menagerie — and one of my favorites. Despite its name, Pasta Flora doesn’t have anything to do with “pasta.” It’s actually a traditional Greek jam-filled tart with a sweet flaky crust. This pastry is also similar to Pastafrola, which is normally found in South America. So if you’re familiar with sweets from that region, this is what you’re aiming for here.
Customize the Pasta Flora Filling
This Pasta Flora recipe is adapted from one by my mother-in-law, Georgia Lyras. The best part about it is that you can make it as easy or as complicated as you want. The ability to customize this to-taste makes this recipe one of my Los Angeles personal chef clients’ favorites. You can either make your own jam, or used jam that has already been bottled. Not matter which type of jam you decide to use, just make sure that you have at least 12 ounces of it. A 13- or 14-ounce jar is also perfect. For this particular Pasta Flora I used an orange marmalade infused with aromatic Mastiha from Chios. The herbal notes from the Mastiha were a great balance to the sweetness of the crust. If your goal is aesthetics, try a raspberry or blueberry jam for their bold colors.
Make it Ahead
One 10-inch tart will feed 12 people, and 8 people very generously. It’s the perfect sweet treat for any dinner party because you can make it ahead, and enjoy the leftovers for breakfast the following day.
You can also bake the Pasta Flora ahead of time and then let it cook, wrap and freeze it. When you’re ready to serve it, unwrap it and let it come to room temperature. Crisp it up in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Let it cool/come to room temperature before you slice and serve it.
Pasta Flora Recipe
Pasta Flora (Greek Fruit Perserve Tart)
Pasta Flora is a traditional Greek Fruit Preserve/Jam Tart
2 1/2 cups AP Flour
1/2 cup sugar, extra for topping the tart (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 pound unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces jam or preserves (jarred or homemade)
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl or food processor. Add the butter and pulse or cut it into the flour until it becomes pebbly.
Beat 1 egg and 1 egg yolk (reserve 1 egg white for later) with the vanilla. Add that to the flour mixture, and blend until the dough gathers into a ball. Don't overwork the dough or it will be tough.
Segment two-thirds of the dough and one-third of the dough. Wrap separately and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Take the larger dough ball and roll it out on a floured surface to form a surface a little larger than 10 inches. Press it into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Unlike a traditional pie dough, you are basically making a pâte sucrée, and are able to patch any holes in this and it will not shrink down like a pate brisée. Refrigerate the tart pan for 20 minutes.
This pastry traditionally has a latticed crust, but in the photo, I cut out snowflakes for the season. You can do whatever works for you. For the lattice, lightly dust the remaining dough with flour and roll out between sheets of waxed paper to form a 10-inch circle. Peel off the top sheed of waxed paper and dust the dough with flour. Replace the waxed paper. Flip the dough over, peel off the waxed paper, and dust with flour. Cut the dough into 10 (3/4-inch wide) strips. Brush off excess flour with a dry pastry brush. Refrigerate strips for 20 minutes.
Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator and spread the preserves over the dough. It may seem like the preserves barely fill the shell, but the tart will rise and fill out when it bakes, giving it a fuller appearance. Remove the dough strips from the refrigerator. Place 5 strips of dough vertically and 5 strips horizontally over the preserves to lattice the top. Bruch the lattice with reserved egg white and top with a little sugar.
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the tart is golden brown. Remove tart from the oven and place on a rack to cool. Remove the sides of the tart shell and serve.
Recipe adapted on Fruit Preserve Tart — Pasta Flora by Georgia Lyras
© Christina Xenos
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