Friday, May 3, 2013

Amaretti Crostata

This may look like a drab, brown tart, but I assure you, once you try it, you'll be licking the plate clean. You're familiar with the crostata - a tart made with jam that's a standard dessert in any Italian housewife's repertoire. This one takes it a step further, adding amaretti cookies and almonds and some liqueur to the mix. The recipe comes from my friend Lilli, who got it from a cookbook that came with a kitchen apparatus called a "bimby." 

Years ago, she bought one of these super-duper machines in Italy. You can use it to make anything from risotto to sorbet. All you do is dump the ingredients into the machine, press a button and it does the work for you. It mixes, it cooks, it knows when everything's done - nearly as good as having your own chef in the kitchen. It's an expensive item so you won't find it on every kitchen counter, the way you do a toaster. As fate would have it though, Lilli's "bimby" broke after a few years, but the recipes she made with it still work. It just takes a few extra steps to do the mixing by hand.

Make it in a pie plate or a tart pan, whatever you have on hand. The recipe calls for a pan with a diameter of 30 centimeters, or about 12 inches. You may not have that large a pan, so just adjust to the size you've got. Don't use the entire recipe for pasta frolla, for example if your pan is not that large. Even if it is, you'll have extra. Save what you don't use and freeze it. Cut back on the marmalade too if your pan is smaller. 

Then again, you might want to go out and buy a larger pan. Because you're going to want to eat every last morsel.

Amaretti Crostata

for a pan of 12" diameter

Pastry - pasta frolla 

This makes enough dough for a large tart, with leftover, or for two smaller tart shells.

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 t. vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 or 3 T. ice water, if needed

Place the dry ingredients in a bowl or food processor, add the butter and mix until it looks like coarse sand. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the water) and mix only until it holds together. If it's too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of cold water until the mixture comes together. Do not over mix or your dough will be tough. Bring together into a ball.


200 grams (about 7 ounces) plum jam

200 grams (about 7 ounces) apricot jam

200 grams (about 7 ounces) amaretti cookies

1/4 cup sliced almonds

a tablespoon of butter


a little cognac or brandy

a little amaretto liqueur

Mix the plum and apricot jams with the brandy cognac. Roll the dough into a disc and place into a tart pan that's been buttered. Spread half the jam mixture over the pastry, then place a layer of amaretti cookies over the top. Sprinkle with a bit of cognac, then add another layer of the jam mixture. Finish with another layer of amaretti cookies, sprinkling with amaretto liqueur.

Spread the almonds on the top. 

Bake in oven for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

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  1. I love Amaretti cookies and almond flavoring in general so I know I'd love this crostata, Linda!

    I am intrigued by the "bimby" machine! I wonder why we don't have something like that in this country, or do we?

  2. I find it looks really tempting. A marvelous tart! Wish I had a slice right now...



  3. Although delicious this is a step above the usual version of a crostata.

  4. There's one thing I know for family would love this dessert on their next sweet table reunion...coming soon ;o)

    Thanks Linda.

    Ciao for now, Claudia

  5. I do love a jam crostada for breakfast. Aside from the amaretti (always a good addition) I love the two jams in the tart. Looking at my collection of jams now - wondering which will combine beautifully. It's snowing. Comfort and sweetness is called for.

  6. I like Pat, am intrigued by teh Bbbbbbbbbbimby. I ahve never heard of it, but it looks like a very cool gizmo. The name sounds like a robot.

    The tart looks fantastic, my kind of dessert, the kind where, as they say, resistance is futile. I am going to have to try it. I bet I will consume the entire dessert. Thanks, Linda!

  7. The tart looks yummy. Linda how many grams is 1 stick of butter? We have a machine similiar to bimby in Australia. Cost nearly $A1000.00, but you do not need any other appliance in your kitchen.

  8. It doesn't look drab to me. Quite the contrary, yummy and rich! Into my recipe box ASAP.

  9. This looks so good! I'm so glad the recipe has been converted for those of us without a Bimby :)

  10. con gli amaretti non l'ho mai mangiata, deve essere squisita, buon viaggio cara, un abbraccio !

  11. I thought you were going to use amaretti in the base but noooo, it's in the filling! I'm "all in".

  12. Grazie per la ricetta!

    Baci Baci J&J

  13. Oh Linda, I am certain that this is delicious . . . what most Americans don't understand is that some finished recipes that may not have the 'looks' that are desired will be surprisingly outstanding in flavor . . . sort of like what we've done to tomatoes!!! But Italians know that looks often sacrifice flavor and know to go ahead and dig right in for the goodness beneath the 'rough'.!!! And now I'd love for you to let me know how to get my hands on a 'bimby'! Once again, you've educated me!!!

    Grazie Linda,

  14. Oooh, yum! I will make this! I love the sound of the flavours! What an intriguing recipe!

  15. A bimby? I never heard of it!
    As far as I'm concerned,this would be the perfect Mother's Day treat. I want...
    Happy Mother's Day Linda!