Chef Mark Leslie is in the kitchen once again, and this time he's making a delicious dessert your whole family will love! Here's how to make Mark's recipe for Jam Tarts.
To prepare the pan:
For the crust:
2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grappa * (brandy, lemon juice, milk or water may be substituted)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
For the filling:
¾ cup plum, apricot, peach or mixed berry preserves (homemade fruit preserves are preferred—use your favorite one)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour a 10-inch non-stick tart pan with removable bottom. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt, using a fork to mix. Add the butter in small pieces, lemon juice, grappa and egg to the dry mixture. Using a fork, stir the ingredients together, incorporating the butter until the dough just starts to come together as a whole. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball, and knead it slightly in the bowl until all the flour has been worked into the dough. Do not overwork the dough. Wrap the finished dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap and divide the dough into thirds. Re-wrap one-third of the dough in the plastic wrap and place back into the refrigerator, this will be used later for the top lattice crust.
Using your fingertips, press the remaining two-thirds dough into the prepared tart pan, evenly distributing and forming the dough to fit the pan, going up the fluted sides to form the crust. Spread the preserves evenly across the bottom of the crust.
To form the lattice crust, remove the reserved one-third dough from the refrigerator and unwrap onto a rolling surface. Break off a quarter of the dough and form it into a cigar-shape between the palms of your hands. Place the cigar-shaped dough on the surface and, using your fingers, gently, but quickly, roll the dough back and forth, stretching it out from the middle, to create a "rope" that is roughly the size of your little finger. (Note: Because of the amount of butter, the heat of your hands will soften the dough. Do not become discouraged if the rope breaks or if it gets too sticky. Simply pinch the broken ends together and continue gently rolling. This is a rustic tart, so the ropes do not have to be perfect. They are supposed to look handmade.)
Evenly space 4 "ropes" along the top of the jam, pressing the ends to connect to the dough at the sides of the pan. Give the pan a quarter turn and repeat by placing another 4 "ropes" across the top of the first "ropes," creating a lattice pattern. Secure the ends by pressing into the dough at the edge of the pan.
Bake for 37 to 40 minutes, until the edges and top crust are golden brown.** Place the tart pan on a wire rack to cool. When cooled, remove the outer ring and gently slide the tart off the bottom pan onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.
This makes 8 standard servings.
*Grappa is an Italian liqueur made from the leftover skins, stems and leaves of the wine making process.
**Note: The bottom crust will have a tendency to get an air "bubble" around 20 minutes into the baking process. Using a fork, puncture the bubble down through the bottom crust to release the trapped air. Repeat if any additional "bubbles" occur.
Mark Leslie, recently seen on NBC's Today Show, loves to cook for anyone with an appetite, vacations in Italy every year and lives to eat his way through every plate of pasta and cone of gelato placedMore>>