This traditional Greek jam tart recipe, known as Pasta Flora, is a real childhood favourite for many. I didn’t actually try it until I visited the remote island of Ikaria, my father-in-law’s birthplace. To this day I get so excited when the postman delivers us the occasional box full of my father-in-law’s homemade Ikarian jams, reminding me of the natural bounty of that island!
My husband’s aunt can make a Pasta Flora in a matter of minutes - so it’s a recipe I had to master! It’s a brilliant dinner party dessert, but it’s so easy you could make it everyday (but beware, if you make it everyday it gets eaten everyday! At least by my children, who seem to never tire of it)! This is the perfect recipe for when you have a glut of jams, too - here, I used the deliciously fragrant quince jam my father-in-law sent. Good quality jam is a must for this recipe.
Use cold butter and cut it in small pieces. Add it to the mix and beat in low speed until the mixture gets crumbly.
Continue by adding one beaten egg, brandy and the zest of half an orange (or lemon), and mix until well combined.
Move the dough to a lightly floured surface, cover it with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Place the dough in the pan and using your fingers, press it along the bottom and up the sides of the pan to spread it evenly.
Using the ⅓ of the dough you set aside, cut small pieces, roll them into cords and place them over the jam in what ever shape you want.
It’s possible that once all ingredients are mixed, the dough could be a bit more crumbly than needed. If so, just knead it slightly in a floured surface before you refrigerate.
Once baked, let Pasta Flora cool completely for the jam to firm up before you serve.
If you end up with an excess of dough, shape them into small biscuits and bake them for 20 minutes at 170º C.
A mixer will speed up the process but this is a dough that can also be made without one. Just use a large bowl and mix everything up by hand.