||Pasta Flora, Athens Style
1/2 lb Sweet butter
1/2 c Granulated sugar
6 tb Cognac
2 c All-purpose flour (or more)
1/4 ts Salt
1/2 ts Baking powder
2 c Stewed apricots
4 Dried figs
1/3 c Raisins
1 Orange (grated rind only)
1 c Apricot jam
1 tb Lemon juice (optional)
2 ts Cornstarch
1/3 c Orange juice
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy and
gradually add the sugar, 1 egg and an egg yolk, and 3 tablespoons of the
Cognac, beating thoroughly after each addition. Sift 2 cups of the flour
with the salt and baking powder and add slowly to the batter, while
beating on medium speed. Remove the beaters and finish by hand, adding
only enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead. Cover and refrigerate for
at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the apricots into uniform pieces and place in an enameled
pan. Soak the figs and raisins in the remaining Cognac until swollen,
then mince and add to the apricots along with the orange rind, jam, and
lemon juice and stir into the apricot mixture, then cook over medium heat
until thick, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cool.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and set aside about one-third for
the latticed top. Using your fingers (the dough will be too soft to
roll), press the larger portion of dough into a buttered 9 x 12 x 2-inch
baking pan, pressing evenly about 1/4-inch up the sides. Pour the filling
into the dough-lined pan.
Divide the remaining dough into walnut-sized balls and roll each ball into
1/2-inch strips. Using the strips, make a lattice over the top of the
pastry. If using a glaze, beat the remaining egg white slightly with a
fork and brush on the dough stips. Bake in a moderate oven (350 F) for 45
minutes, or until golden in color. Remove and cool in the pan on a rack.
To serve, cut into 1-1/2-inch (or smaller) squares with a sharp knife.
Note: You may prefer to use peaches and peach jam, strawberries and
strawberry jam, and so on, instead of apricots; also diced candied peel
adds a colorful note when substituting for figs; and slivered almonds may
be added to the filling.
From: "The Food of Greece" by Vilma Liacouras Chantiles. Avenel Books,
Typed for you by Karen Mintzias