I think I am just making it in time for the LeftOverQueen’s Joust again!!! I’ve tried hard to find the three «magical» ingredients which are: lime, almonds and raspberries.
I went to several big supermarkets and of course almonds are easy to find, limes were more difficult to find but eventually found some but there is no way to find fresh raspberries in Greece. I looked in the section for frozen products but did not find any and was very disappointed.
However, yesterday when I visited Nuria’s blog I saw that she used raspberry jam and I was so excited, as it clicked to me immediately that it was time to make Pasta Flora.
Pasta Flora is a cake my mother used to make quite often and she usually used strawberry jam. The word «pasta» does not have the meaning all of you know but pasta in Greek is synonymous to «a piece of cake». Although I have been meaning to make this cake for a long time now, I kept postponing it. Although my mother made it often, I did not have a recipe for it. I searched the net and I made the first one I found, as I was in a hurry and did not have much time to look at various recipes and make up my mind which one to choose.
The recipe I found was a very simple one. I followed the basic instructions, but added the zest of the lime and two spoonfuls of lime juice, as I know that baking soda needs acid to react. If lime was not one of the key ingredients of the joust, I would have probably added vanilla essence or lemon zest. The almonds of course were my twist to the recipe.
When I finished the procedure I lined a 28cm diameter spring form tin with parchment paper and emptied 2/3 of the mixture in the tin. I tried to spread it with the silicon spatula but it kept sticking on the spatula and would not spread. I tried to spread it with a spoon, still the same problem and tried with my fingers as well but I was sticky and the parchment paper would move every time I tried to spread it.
Eventually, I returned it back into the mixer bowl and added some more flour. I kneaded it by hand until it would not stick any more (I added about another cup of flour) and this time, although it gave me some trouble it spread into a pastry about 2 cm high. Again I reserved 1/3 of the pastry for the cords. I was afraid it would become a flat cake but eventually it did rise and the taste was very good.
I am submitting this recipe to Jenn, the LeftOver Queen for this month’s Joust. You still have another day to submit an entry if you have not done so yet, so hurry. You might be the winner and win the Joust apron.
Pasta Flora (see the original recipe here).
Makes about 16 pieces.
- 130 gr butter
- 240 gr sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 500 gr self raising flour (plus 1 cup)
- 6 Tbs raspberry jam
- Zest of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 10 blanched almonds , split in the middle
Beat the butter until it begins to lighten in color and add the sugar, eggs, baking soda, lime zest and lime juice and finally the flour; knead well into a dough, adding the extra cup of flour until it does not stick on your hands.
Line a 28 cm tin with parchment paper. Reserve 1/3 of the the pastry and spread the remaining evenly in the tin. Spread a layer of jam over the pastry and use the remaining pastry to form 1cm thick stripes and arrange in a criss-cross pattern over the jam.
Decorate with blanched almonds.
Bake at 180° C for approximately 45 - 55 minutes. I baked mine for 55 minutes. When I make it again I will glaze the cords with an egg yolk before baking, as it will give it a better colour.