Sweet orange jam brings the citrus flavour and scent of Gargano, Italy, back to me in this cocoa costata.
- 320 g (11¼ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 100 g (3½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 50 g (1¾ oz/½ cup) unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 2 scant tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 150 g (5½ oz) chilled butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp milk
- 300 g (10½ oz) sweet orange jam (recipe here) (see Note)
- icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting (optional)
- mascarpone, to serve (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need to begin this recipe one day in advance, or 3 days if making the sweet orange jam.
- Place the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and whisk briefly to combine and remove any lumps. Add the butter and process until the mixture is crumbly, then add the egg and milk and mix on low speed until it forms a stiff cohesive dough. Do not overmix. Gently form into a ball, wrap in plastic film and allow to rest in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and line a 25-cm (10 in) tart tin with a removable base.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and cut into two portions – you need two-thirds of the dough for the base and side, and one-third for the lattice top. The dough should be easy to roll out once it warms up slightly. Roll out the larger portion of dough between two sheets of plastic film to a thickness of 3–4 mm (⅛ in), to form a circle large enough to line the base and side of the tin. Carefully lift the pastry into the prepared tin, using your fingers to gently flatten it onto the base and side, cutting off the excess with a sharp knife.
- Spoon the jam on top. Place the tart in the fridge while you roll out the remaining dough to a thickness of 3–4 mm (⅛ in). Cut the dough into strips (mine were just under 1 cm/½ in wide), then arrange the strips in a lattice over the jam, gently pinching the ends to attach them to the pastry rim.
- Bake for 40–50 minutes until the pastry is golden and cooked through. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then carefully remove the crostata from the tin and dust with icing sugar (if using) while it is still warm. Eat at room temperature, with or without a dollop of mascarpone on the side. This crostata is even nicer the next day.
• You can make your own jam or use a good store-bought one. I would advise against a bitter marmalade, opt for apricot jam instead.
Recipe and images from Adriatico by Paola Bacchia, Smith Street Books, RRP $55.00