Pasta Flora: Greek Jam Tart

Fruit tart
Eleonora gall / Getty Images
  • 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 1 tart (serves 8-12)
Ratings (10)

In Greek: πάστα φλόρα, say: PAH-stah FLOH-rah

A common sight in Greek bakeries and pastry shops, Pasta Flora (proper name is pasta frola) jam tarts can be made in all sizes, from small individual tarts topped with jam and a decorative piece of fruit to large tarts, most often decorated with a latticework made from the dough.

This recipe for Greek jam tarts offers several options for making the tart shell using butter, margarine, or corn oil.

Pasta Flora is easy to make as evidenced by the photo of a tart made by a team of young cooks (preschool and elementary schoolers). Fabulous!

What You'll Need

  • For the Filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups of jam
  • Tart Shell Made With Butter: 
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter (at room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon of grated orange peel (or lemon peel)
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 3 tablespoons of brandy
  • 3 cups of flour (all-purpose)
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • Tart Shell Made With Margarine: 
  • 3 cups of flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup of margarine (melted)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of grated orange peel (or lemon peel)
  • 3 tablespoons of brandy
  • Tart Shell Made With Corn Oil:
  • 1 cup of corn oil
  • 1/3 cup of orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons of brandy
  • 1 tablespoon of grated orange peel
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups of flour (all-purpose)
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder

How to Make It

This recipe calls for a 12- to 13-inch tart pan or equivalent baking pan.

For all tart shell options: Sift flour with the baking powder before starting. (Tip: Don't overwork the dough. It just needs to be smooth and soft.)

  • Butter Shell
    Cream the butter, adding orange or lemon zest, then sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then brandy, and beat until fully combined. Beat or mix in flour until combined. Use hands to form into a smooth dough.
  • Margarine Shell
    Place sifted flour and baking powder in a deep mixing bowl. Beat in melted margarine, egg yolk, sugar, grated orange or lemon peel, and brandy to create a soft dough.
  • Corn Oil Shell
    In a deep mixing bowl, beat together the oil, orange juice, brandy, and grated orange peel until well combined. At low speed (or by hand) add flour in slowly until fully combined. Use hands to form into a soft smooth dough.

Make the Tart

 

  1. Roll out half the dough to fit in the bottom of the tart pan. Roll out about 1/3 of the remaining dough to make a strip (about a small finger's width and height) and place all the way around the raised sides of the tart pan, pressing gently to cover evenly and join with the base.
  2. Spread the jam evenly over the base of the tart shell.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  4. Roll out the remaining dough to about 1/4 inch thickness (or more) and cut into strips. For a decorative touch, use a fluted pastry wheel to cut the strips.
  5. Optional: If young cooks are making this tart, walnut-sized pieces of dough can be rolled by hand into ropes (see photo).
  6. Place the strips in a latticework (criss-cross) pattern across the top of the tart and bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.

Leftover Dough? Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more (up to two days), then make into cookies: roll out and cut into shapes. Bake at 350°F (175°C) until golden - about 12 to 15 minutes.