Cindy Mushet's Italian Jam Shortbread Tart (Fregolotta)

By Genius Recipes
December 3, 2013
52 Comments


Author Notes: The dough is one simple shortbread that you use for both the crust and the topping (which will make you wonder why you'd ever make them separately). You can make the entire thing in about an hour, including clean-up, and yet somehow it comes out looking like a Byzantine mosaic. Even though it's perfect for holidays, you should entrench this in your repertory year-round. As long as you have butter, sugar, and flour, you can use whatever jams and nuts are in your pantry. Adapted slightly from Desserts: Mediterranean Flavors, California Style (Scribner, 2000).Genius Recipes

Serves: 8 to10

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) not too sweet apricot jam (or other jam of your choice)
  • 1/3 cup (1 ounce) sliced natural almonds

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 °F. Position an oven rack in the center of oven.
  2. Place the butter, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted wtih the paddle attachment (a handheld mixer is fine; just allow a little extra time to reach each stage in the recipe). Beat on medium speed until the mixture is very light in color, about 3 to 4 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the almond extract and blend well, another 30 seconds.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and combine on a low speed just until the dough is thoroughly combined, about 30 to 40 seconds. Measure out 1/2 cup of the dough and set it on a small plate, then place the plate in the freezer (this will chill the dough and make it easier to crumble).
  4. Press the remaining dough into a 9 or 9 1/2-inch tart pan in an even layer (the edges can be a little higher than the rest, just be careful that the center is not the thickest point). If the dough is too sticky, just chill it briefly.
  5. Use a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the jam in a thin, even layer over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 1-inch around the edges.
  6. Remove the reserved dough from the freezer and crumble it into small pieces over the layer of the jam, allowing some of the jam to peek through. Sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly over the top of the tart.
  7. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the topping is a beautiful golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool completely. If your tart pan has a removable bottom, to unmold, center the tart pan on top of a large can so that it balances midair as the rim of the tart pan falls to the counter. Leave the bottom of the pan under the tart for support, or run a large spatula between the crust and the pan, using the spatula to guide the tart onto a plate. Alternately, cut wedges straight from the pan. Serve with tart whipped cream.
  8. Store the tart covered in plastic wrap, at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. The tart can be assembled ahead and frozen for up to 1 month. Assemble the tart, then wrap tightly twice in plastic wrap and freeze on a flat surface -- it may require a few minutes extra of baking time.

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Reviews (52) Questions (2)

52 Comments

janet V. August 16, 2018
Thank you Cindy for the freezing directions. I've made fregolotta's, but needed to know if they freeze well. Your recipe came up on my Google search. I would have baked it then freeze. Now I will assemble, freeze then bake.
 
Kate's K. August 6, 2017
I recently had my new oven recalibrated since it was running hot. As part of the test to see how the new calibration was working the GE repairman said to "just cook in it to see how it working". I didn't need any more coaxing so I turned to an old fav, Cindy Mushet's Fregolotta to test it out. It's working great cause this was delicious and the last time I made it, it was a little dry. I used Bonne Maman strawberry preserves this time ~ oh so good. I agree with another reviewer to use a tablespoon more of the jam than the 1/4 cup called for in the recipe is a good idea,
 
Alicia March 2, 2017
I LOVE this dish! I have made it multiple times, and as a total baking novice, I really appreciate the specificity of the instructions. It's very tasty, and I've had several people ask me for the recipe.
 
Kerry G. January 21, 2017
I've now made this several times. One version with sour cherry conserves and dark chocolate. Delicious!
 
Kaite December 2, 2016
This was amazing. Everything came together so fast. The dough was a dream to work with. I made mine with cherry jam and pecans. I love the possibility of all the different jam/nut combinations. I ended up adding slightly over 1/4 cup jam, but could still use more next time. It is a sweet treat but a small sliver is a satisfying dessert for me.
 
Jacquie November 6, 2016
Really easy and wonderful with a mini=scoop of gelato
 
Renee May 14, 2016
What in the heck is "tart" whipped cream?????
 
witloof July 27, 2017
The directions are to serve THE tart with whipped cream.
 
Drick December 28, 2015
I wanted to make for Xmas but the family all wanted the visuals. I made it 3 days after, the family was WRONG! Soooooo good! Used blackberry jam and added a little more salt. Was ready in 40 mins no longer needed in my oven
 
Drick December 28, 2015
I meant to say family wanted the USUALS not visuals, damn spellcheck
 
Jeanette F. December 16, 2015
This is my go-to recipe for workplace birthdays. It looks beautiful and is so easy! My tart pan is dark metal and the tart is always done in 30 minutes, so if you are making this for the first time you may want to check it on the early side.
 
Darilyn S. July 9, 2015
Not only was it my first recipe from this site, but it has become my favorite desert. Three berry jam, strawberry rhubarb jam, raspberry jam… love them all
 
claire M. May 22, 2015
The simplest tarts are always the best. I LOVE this recipe!
 
Kara March 23, 2015
Made this with apricot jam (homemade) and almonds. Was a total hit with deliciously crumbly pastry that I will definitely be making again. Next go will be with sour cherry jam and macadamias.
 
Cheryl March 22, 2015
I've made this fabulous dessert many times. Instead of a crumble on top, I have a used small cookie cutters for the top dough and decorate for any holiday! This is a family and colleague favorite!
 
Katherine March 22, 2015
This is the first recipe for me from this site. I made this yesterday for a potluck. It was the only thing that was completely gone at the end of the event. "F-ing delicious" was one comment. I used Chez Maman raspberry jam and the only change is to use a little bit more jam the next time around. It may be the size of the tart pan I used, but it also may just be personal preference. Still an out of the park winner. And next time I make shortbread, I'm adding almond extract.
 
Darilyn S. March 3, 2015
This was the first recipe I made from Food 52. Great recipe.
 
li February 5, 2015
Made this last night... used 4 ounces AP flour and 3.5 ounces almond in place of all AP flour and seedless unsweetened raspberry jam.. perfect! Thanks for the great recipe!
 
li February 5, 2015
oops... 3.5 ounces of almond flour...
 
Julieek December 23, 2014
I make this all of the time and absolutely love it! It is the perfect dessert to bring to a holiday party.
 
michele M. December 23, 2014
I made this last Christmas (and will be making it again this year) with tart cherry and raspberry jams. To quote my sister "This is like dessert crack - completely addictive". This recipe is super easy, foolproof, and delicious!
 
Patricia August 15, 2014
I made 4" tarts using oven-safe paper bakeware as my tart pans. 5 batches of dough made 24 tarts. I used cherry jam instead of apricot jam. I am sure these will be a top seller at the bake sale on Sunday. Beautiful and yummy!
 
Julieek July 21, 2014
We loved this! I think that this would make beautiful small/individual tarts. This would also be great to serve at a cocktail party. One doesn't go very far, so I would serve one apricot and one raspberry! So pretty. I am going to make this all of the time. I may even invest in a second tart pan so that I can make two.