Pasta Flora Athens Style
All-purpose flour (or more)
Orange (grated rind only)
Lemon juice (optional)
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.