Italian Jam Shortbread Tart

This is an old family recipe that I tried with Baking Free™ gluten-free All Purpose Flour and it worked famously!  My mother often made tarts, so they are a favorite of mine.  You can serve 8-10 people from a 9 inch tart.  Everyone gets a sliver because they are often quite rich and sweet.  I understand now why she would often serve a sweet or rich tart with custard.  It seems to tone down the sweetness.  And if they tart is not sweet enough, you can top it with whipped cream.  Our mothers and grandmothers were really smart women!

This recipe uses jam for the sweet filling so you can make it even when no fresh fruit is available, and is best served warm.  I have found that, for some reason, people are impressed when they are served a tart for dessert.  Don’t let on that tarts are easier to make than some cakes!  Take a bow for thinking of such a wonderful dessert and enjoy yourself with your family and friends.

Italian Jam Shortbread Tart–Fregolotta
  • 1½ cup Baking Free™ gluten-free All Purpose Flour (for best results weigh flour, 1½ cups = 186 g)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup apricot jam (or other jam of your choice)
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Position rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Place butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer with paddle pitted. Beat together on medium until mixture is light in color, about 3-4 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add almond extract and blend well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. With mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until the dough is thoroughly combined, about 30 to 40 seconds. Measure out ½ cup of the dough and set it on a small plate and place the plate in the freezer.
  4. Press the remaining dough into a 9 or 9½ inch tart pan in an even layer. Be careful that the center is not the highest point. If the dough is too sticky, refrigerate the dough for just a couple of minutes.
  5. Spoon the jam evenly over the center of the dough in the tart pan. Remove the reserved dough from the freezer and crumble it over the layer of jam, allowing some of the jam to show. Sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly over the top of the tart.
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool. If your tart pan has a removable bottom, place tart on top of a large can so that it balances and the rim of the tart pan falls to the counter. Run a large spatula between the bottom and the tart to release the tart onto a plate for presentation. Slice into wedges. Serve slightly warm topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of more almonds, if desired.