Easy Italian Jam Tart (Fregolotta)
This buttery jam filled tart is crumbly and delicious and can be filled with any jam you have - store bought or homemade. Even though its called a tart, torta fregolotta is texturally more like a shortbread jam cookie. This rustic ‘cookie’ is quite simple to make and is made with basic pantry ingredients: sugar, butter, and almonds. This is a recipe I have been wanting to make from the Food52 Genius Desserts book for a long time. I recently made a homemade Sweet & Savoury Tomato Jam and decided it was time to make this tart. We loved it and I can’t wait to make it again with fig or apricot jam.
The Italian word for this tart is in reference to its crunchy texture and it’s often broken into pieces and served that way. There are many variations to this tart, some actually sponge cakes containing ground nuts. Many versions include cornmeal or polenta, or almond meal in the dough although once we start adding these ingredients this tart becomes a little closer to the Fregolotta’s ‘cousin’ Sbrisolona ( a similar crumbly textured treat from another region of Italy) Traditionally Fregolotta is simply made of shortbread ingredients but feel free to substitute 1/4-1/2 cup of the flour with cornmeal or almond meal for extra texture. Not all of them include jam but I think the jam is the perfect sweet addition.
The dough is a dream to work with and requires no rolling out - simply press it into the pan reserving a portion to crumble over the jam. It’s not only easy but can be made in no time - under an hour. You really can’t beat that when it comes to a desert like this. It’s super versatile. You can use using any jam in the filling and it can easily be made gluten free using a gluten free flour to substitute for the all purpose. You can also use any nut in place of the almonds too. You can also add some extra spices or flavourings to the dough if you would like - like some lemon or orange zest or even some warming spices like cinnamon or cardamom. It’s the perfect after dinner dessert with a coffee or tea or even a glass of wine. You will love it. Have fun with it and enjoy!
Servings: Serves 8-10
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup jam of your choice (I used my homemade tomato jam)
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
- Place the butter, and sugar in the bowl and using a mixer beat on medium speed until the mixture is very light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the almond extract and beat until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until dough is thoroughly combined. Scoop out ½ cup of the dough and set it on a small plate, place plate in the freezer allowing it to chill before crumbling.
- Press the rest of the dough into a 9 or 9 ½-inch tart pan in an even layer coming up the edge a little. If the dough is too sticky, just chill it briefly.
- Spread the jam in a thin, even layer over the surface of the dough.
- Remove the reserved dough from the freezer and crumble it over the jam. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over top of the tart.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool completely. 1. Remove from pan onto a plate or slice right out of the pan.
How to store
- Tart can be stored covered in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
How to make ahead
- You can make the tart ahead and freeze for up to 1 month. Once tart is made, wrap it tightly twice in plastic wrap and freeze on a flat surface – it may require a few extra minutes of baking time.
Adapted from Food52 Genius