Friday, August 14, 2009

Recipe: Apple and Fig Jam Crostata

Remember my search for the perfect dessert?

Well here's tart No.2 from a recipe from chef Alex Herbert in this month's 'delicious' magazine - an apple crostata (I didn't have any quince paste handy so I used a luscious Lynwood Cafe fig jam instead. The crostata was surpringly light and tangy with a melt-in-your-mouth sugar pastry crust. It gets 8 1/2 out of 10. Perfect with a dollop of cream and an afternoon cuppa.
3/4 cup fig jam
2 granny smith apples, peeled,cored, and thinly sliced
Icing suagr to dust
Thick cream to serve
200g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
2 cups (300g) plain flour, plus extra to dust
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
grated zest of one lemon
1 tspn vanilla extract
2 free-range eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
For the pastry, combine chilled butter, flour, sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor and whiz until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add lemon zest, vanilla, 1 egg and extra yolk, and pulse until dough comes together to form a ball. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently but very quickly until smooth. Enclose in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 170 c and grease a loose-bottomed tart pan.
Separate two-thirds from the dough portion, then return remaining third to the freezer. (It's important to work with the pastry while very cold.) Roll out dough on a large sheet of baking paper to 5mm think and use to line the pan. Prick base all over with a fork than freeze for 30 minutes.
Line tart case with baking paper, then fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice. Blind-bake for ten minutes. Remove paper and weights and bake for a further 8-10 minutes until light golden. Cool slightly.
Meanwhile on a lightly floured sheet of baking paper, roll out remaining pastry to a 25cm x 18 cm rectangle. Cut into 1.5cm- wide strips. Carefully transfer the baking paper and pastry to a tray and freeze until needed.
Spread most of jam over cooked pastry base reserving some for glaze. Lay apple in a circular pattern, starting at the edges and working towards the centre. Arrage pastry strips in a lattice pattern over apple then trim to fit.
Beat remaining egg, then brush a little over the pastry. Place pan on tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes until light golden.
Glaze the crostata with the remaining fig jam and dust with icing sugar, then serve warm with thick cream.


  1. That looks delicious! Isn't it sad about the Lynwood Cafe closing. I saw your autograph on the door only the other week and by the time I did a story on it, it had closed down. I hope someone picks it up.

  2. Yes Lorraine@NotQuiteNigella the demise of the Lynwood Cafe is a food tragedy! My friends and I have enjoyed many a meal in front of its cosy fireplace or under the shade of its backyard trees. Let's hope someone sees the importance of carrying on the tradition! dearindira