Jan 13, 2020
Name, in french:
We’ve decided to use this space to share recipes with you! Some of them will be recipes we make at the store and some will just be recipes we love, recipes we want to try or anything that we realistically can’t make on a daily basis but wish we could. We have so many ideas for pastries and treats but unfortunately, we could never make them all to offer in shop. We usually narrow down our menu to the ones we think will appeal to many, the ones that will have an affordable price point, or the ones we absolutely cannot live without. But we also want to share with you the delicious pastries that aren’t on the menu, so you can make them yourselves at home! We will however be preparing these recipes in a very small batch, as a special of the week so keep an eye on this blog to find out when you can come by to try these treats in shop, if you’d rather have a taste before making it yourself.
It seems fitting that the first recipe we write out for you be Pasta Flora. Anyone who knew my nonna Sophie would agree that Pasta Flora was one of her signature treats: a dense and chewy shortbread crust baked with apricot jam. She took so much pride in making every step of the recipe. In the summer, she would prepare huge amounts of apricot jam, specifically to have enough for a year’s worth of Pasta Flora. An entire area of her kitchen was dedicated to storing apricot jam, understandably, as it is the most important part of this pastry.
By now, you must be wondering why it’s called Pasta Flora. The answer is: I don’t know. A quick Google search leads me to something called Pastafrola, a Greek sweet tart, jam-topped shortbread pastry, but a Wikipedia article about it makes no mention of apricot jam. I also find a lot of recipes called Pasta Flora, described as a Greek jam tart. They were once named “Jam Squares” by my cousin’s elementary school teacher, during a bake sale. At the time, this confused my cousin to no end so for simplicity, we will stick to what my Greek nonna called it: Pasta Flora, and ours is made with apricot jam.
The steps to this recipe are quite straightforward. You prepare the jam ahead of time (it’s also perfectly acceptable to buy a jar of jam). Then you make the shortbread dough and press it into a baking pan. Top with jam, add a lattice design with some more dough and bake it. You’re then ready to cut it up and eat it up! As much as this dessert is a lot sweeter than what I would normally like, I can easily eat an entire pan, probably due to nostalgia.
Like most of my nonna’s recipes, they weren’t vegan to begin with (unless they were vegan by default) so my mother, sister and I have spent lots of time “veganizing” the treats that we most wanted to be able to keep enjoying. The result is a delicious variation that doesn’t compromise taste or decadence. Hopefully the more you see how easy it is to veganize a classic, the more vegan food you will find is accessible to you.