Crostata alla marmellata: the perfect compromise of my childhood

I was a chubby kid. When I was a baby, my cheeks were so full that, looking at my profile, you couldn’t find my nose. Though, at that point in my life, chubby was cute, and I even starred in a few magazine ads.
Yes, I was an adorable baby and toddler. But, those extra pounds became a nightmare once I grew older, and other kids started teasing me about it. My pediatrician put me on my first diet at 12 years old, and 36 years later I am still struggling to keep the extra weight off!
Why such a preamble, you are thinking? Well, this is to make you better understand why, when I was growing up, my parents were trying to keep me away from sweets. As I mentioned before, I do have a sweet tooth. And my mom has always loved to bake. Not a good combination if you want to help your daughter have a healthy weight. Staples in my family were bundt cakes and a chocolate bread cake, all of which I loved. But then, there was my mom’s crostata: a buttery tart with jelly. Simple and delicious, but I truly didn’t care for it. And that’s exactly why my mom kept baking it!
Four years ago, during one of our visits to Italy, my picky eater – my youngest child – met my mom’s crostata and it was love at first sight. He has never eaten the crust, only the center. Topped with thick jelly layer, it has always been his favorite. So, when we came back home, I was determined to make my gluten-free version of my mom’s crostata. And then, I got in trouble when I realized that now I love it too! It’s really delicious and when I bake it for Friday dinner, I always enjoy a slice for breakfast on Saturday morning with my cup of coffee.
The tart dough can also be used to bake frollini cookies. You can roll the dough out to 1/4″ thickness, and use a cookie cutter to cut out the shapes you prefer. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes. They literally melt in your mouth!
Gluten-free Crostata alla marmellata 
Simona’s Flour Mix                               2 cups (300 gr)
Baking powder                                       1/2 teaspoon
Salt                                                           1/4 teaspoon
Confectioners’ sugar                             3/4 cup (100 gr)
Lemon zest                                              from one medium lemon
Vanilla extract                                        1/2 teaspoons
Butter, softened                                     2/3 cup (150 gr)
Egg yolks                                                 3 large
Jelly                                                          13 oz jar – I used apricot
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add the butter and with your hands – or a pastry cutter, cut it into the flour mixture, until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add the egg yolks and knead until smooth.
Grease and line a 9″ tart pan with removable bottom. Pat the dough evenly into the pan and make sure to push the edges of the dough about 1/2 an inch up the sides of the pan to create a crust. If you have leftover dough, keep it refrigerated and use it later to create a lattice top for your tart. With a fork, poke the bottom of the crust. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take the crust out of the fridge.  Spoon the jelly into the crust and spread out evenly. Roll out the leftover dough 1/8″ thick, and cut into strips of varying length that you lay on top of the jam to create a lattice top.
Bake the crostata for 35 minutes, until the jelly is bubbly and the crust is slightly brown. Place on a cooling rack and let it cool completely before removing it from the pan, since it’s a very friable pastry. Enjoy!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathryn says:

    Oh, my goodness! My father was from northern Italy too, and this is the cake my aunts would make for us kids every Sunday! I am sooooo excited to have a chance to try to bake it, and gluten-free besides! You are an angel!!!

    1. Oh, Kathryn, thank you! You just made my day. I hope this cake brings back sweet memories…enjoy every bite!

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