The classic of classics and maybe one of the oldest desserts in Italy - crostata (pie) with jam that is made in all homes in Italy, just changing the jam with the season. I live in a rural part of Tuscany and in August we have our patron's procession, the priest blesses the wine harvest and people dress up in Medievel costumes. The procession also includes Medieval music played by local musicians and races, all followed by lunch. Every family cooks something, we lay out tables in the garden in the middle of the village and eat together (about 150 people). I learned this crostata with one of the ladies in the village and, as it was August, we used fig jam for the filling. The Crostatas were baked in a wood oven and it was the most amazing crostata I had ever tried. 4 years have gone by and we keep making the same crostata for our party in August. I bake it at home with my Fig and Grappa Jam and sometimes serve it with vanilla ice cream or with some cream. —Maria Teresa Jorge
Sift the flour with the icing sugar and salt. Add these ingredients in a food processor, add the cold butter in small cubes and the lemon zest. Pulse a few times to cut up the butter into the flour mixture. Add the egg and lemon juice. Pulse until the dough forms.
Gather the dough on a marble top, divide the dough into a ball with 1/3 of dough and another with 2/3 of dough. Form each piece into a ball and flatten into a disk. Put each piece in plastic film and let rest for 1 hour in fridge.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Start with the large piece of dough and roll it out between 2 parchment pieces of paper to 1/8 inch thick or less. Make sure it is all the same height all over.
Remove the top parchment paper and turn over the pastry into a 8" pie pan (preferably with removable bottom). Press all around to adjust the dough into the pie pan. Remove the parchment paper and cut the excess dough, trimming with a knife so that it is flush with the top rim of the pie pan. Prick the dough with a fork all over the bottom.
Cover again with the parchment paper and refrigerate while you roll out the second dough.
Shape the smaller disk into a rectangle and roll it out between 2 parchment pieces of paper to 1/8 inch thick or less. Make sure it is all the same height all over.
Remove the top parchment paper and cut strips the same width. Depending on how close you want to make the lattice you will need 8 or 10 strips.
Remove the pie pan from the fridge, fill with the Fig/Grappa Jam and make the lattice on top. Moisten the ends of the dough with some water and press the ends down to adhere to the pie crust. If you want the lattice to be shiny, brush with lightly beaten egg yolk or milk.
Bake tart until crust is golden, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
This is a rustic tart so we serve it as is but you can serve it with vanilla ice cream, crème anglaise or with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.
You can make the Crostata the day before, keep it in the fridge overnight and bake it the next day.