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Like everyone else my life is becoming busier and busier. But I love to bake and know that my family is eating wholesome, yummy food. Modern food can sometimes be time consuming or to cut corners, preprepared short cuts are used.
 I love recipes like this one that I found on a wonderful blog, L’emporio 21. This is Italian cooking at it’s best. Take simple, quality ingredients and produce something delicous and beautiful.
A crostata is not unfamiliar to most of us but sometimes we need to be reminded how good simple food can be.  The nonnas of old would have used this dough to make a wide variety of different crostate depending on what fruit was in season or what nuts were local. Then perhaps take the dough to be formed into various biscotti, some plain, maybe some filled or flavoured with cinnamon. Such is a good recipe… as is this one.
Let your imagination be your guide.
Apricot Crostata
(adapted from L’emporio 21)
For the pastry
400g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
180g sugar
pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten
130ml vegetable oil
grated rind of 1 lemon
For the filling
apricot jam
slivered almonds
powdered/icing sugar, to finish

On a work surface sift (or not) the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a hole in the centre, pour in the eggs, oil and the lemon rind. With a fork or your fingers begin to mix the wet ingredient taking in some of the dry. Continue until all the flour is incorporated and knead lightly and briefly. At this point if you have time wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest in the refridgerator for 30 minutes. If not use it right away.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Divide the dough in two with one being larger. Press or roll the large piece on a baking tray lined with baking paper. (I made mine round and about 25cm in diametre). Spread a generous amount of apricot jam onto the disc leaving about a centremetre of dough exposed around the edge. With the smaller piece of dough roll or press out onto a floured work surface and cut long strips. Lay the strip in a criss cross fashion over the filled crostata cutting off any surplus. Scatter slivered almonds over the crostata.
Bake for about 30 minutes in the preheated oven. If it colours too much cover the surface with a sheet of baking paper.
Once cool sprinkle with powdered sugar

This month's Daring Bakers' Challenge took us on a trip…
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