A Sweet Journey Through Greek Cuisine: Pasta Flora - The Beloved Greek Jam Tart

 Greek cuisine is a treasure trove of flavors and traditions, and among its sweet delights, pasta flora shines as a beloved classic. This delightful Greek jam tart, with its crumbly pastry and fruity jam filling, has captured hearts and taste buds for generations. Let's take a deep dive into the history, ingredients, preparation, and variations of pasta flora, offering you a comprehensive guide to mastering this mouthwatering dessert. 

Pasta flora, also known as πάστα φλώρα in Greek, has a storied history that dates back centuries. Its name is believed to be derived from the Italian "pasta frolla," reflecting its connection to Greek and Italian culinary influences. This delightful dessert has been a fixture in Greek households and bakeries for generations, loved for its simplicity and irresistible taste.

This pasta flora recipe requires the following ingredients: butter, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, cognac, and strawberry jam. Actually, you can use any jam flavor you cherish. 

The number of calories in pasta flora can vary depending on the specific recipe and serving size. However, as a general estimate, a single serving of pasta flora (one slice or square, approximately 80-100g) contains around 300-400 calories. The majority of these calories come from the shortcrust pastry and the jam filling, both of which are high in sugar and carbohydrates. If you are trying to limit your calorie intake, it's best to enjoy pasta flora in moderation as an occasional treat rather than a regular indulgence.

Today, pasta flora is a popular dessert in Greece and is enjoyed across the country. It's often served as a sweet snack with coffee or tea and is commonly enjoyed during holidays and special occasions, such as weddings and christenings. Although it is a traditional Greek dessert, variations of the recipe can be found in other Mediterranean countries and in the Middle East.

The preparation time for this pasta flora recipe is around 20 minutes and the baking time is around one hour. 

Pasta Flora (Greek Jam Tart)

Pasta Flora - Ingredients

  • 225 g of butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 500 g of sugar
  • 1 kg of flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 60 ml of cognac
  • 900 g of strawberry jam

Pasta Flora - How to Make

  1. Start this pasta flora recipe by preheating the oven to 170°C. 
  2. Beat the butter until it becomes soft and creamy. 
  3. Add the eggs to the butter and beat until well blended, approximately for around 3 minutes. 
  4. Add the sugar to the mixture and beat for 5 minutes at medium speed. 
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, vanilla, and cognac and beat on medium speed. 
  6. The mixture will be like a thick dough but should feel soft and should not stick to your hands. 
  7. Place the mixture on a 13×9-inch pan. Save some of the dough to make lace strips on top. 
  8. Spread dough on the bottom of the pan. 
  9. Place the strawberry jam over the dough to cover it completely. 
  10. From the remaining dough that was saved make long thin strips ¼-inch thick to fit the length of the pan, as far apart as you like, 3 or 4 strips long. 
  11. Repeat the same on the width side of the pan, 5 or 6 strips long. 
  12. Bake for pasta flora approximately 1 hour until brown on top, or when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 
  13. Allow to cool down to room temperature before cutting the pasta flora into square serving pieces. 
Pasta flora is a beloved Greek jam tart that embodies the essence of Greek culinary traditions. Its history, simple yet delightful ingredients, and versatility in flavor make it a dessert worth savoring. Whether you're an experienced baker or a novice in the kitchen, exploring the world of pasta flora will undoubtedly delight your taste buds and transport you to the heart of Greece.

So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a sweet journey through Greek cuisine by mastering the art of pasta flora. Your efforts will be rewarded with a delectable treat that captures the essence of Greece in every bite. If you enjoy Greek desserts, you should try this baklava recipe. Enjoy!