Like lots of Italians, I like a good jam-filled crostata tart. It is a simple, authentic, yet incredibly satisfying treat. A few tricks can make this tart amazing. You may encounter many different recipes, but they all use one dough with countless fillings. So, let’s get started.
This recipe always turns out well. It’s a crowd-pleasing treat and is easy to make. You will feel definitely proud of yourself. Making a pie crust, or Italian crostata, is easy; making it perfect will take some practice and guidance. Today, we are going to prepare a perfect pie together. Are you ready?
This tart means a trip down memory lane for me. It reminds me of the simple and healthy snack my mom used to give me when I went to school: a small jam “crostatina” by Mulino Bianco, a very famous Italian brand. Of course, my mom’s tarts were far better!
When can you eat crostata?
This tart makes a perfect breakfast for the whole family or a delicious snack in between meals. Delicious on its own, it goes well with a cup of milk, coffee, or even some fresh juice. There are no Italian birthday parties without a good crostata with jam or one topped with fresh fruit.
It is a good recipe to make in advance: prepare it and cut it into single-serve slices. It keeps fresh for some days at room temperature and can be easily brought anywhere: to school, to your office, or on a picnic in the countryside or at the beach.
What is the difference between a crostata and a galette?
The origin is the only difference; a crostata is Italian, and a galette comes from France.
A jam-filled crostata tart is the most classic of the classics: a fragrant shortbread pastry with a scrumptious jam filling. You may encounter plenty of variations; they are all very similar and delicious. My favorite? I would probably pick strawberry or the more elaborate ‘stracciatella’ crostata with ricotta cheese and chocolate chips.
What is the difference between a crostata and a pie?
A crostata uses jam as a filling and is much thinner than a pie, which uses fresh fruit as a filling.
Why is crostata so delicious?
The crunchy, fragrant shortbread pastry is deliciously paired with the soft tasty filling which lies on top without overflowing. The lattice top of the crostata allows the crostata to keep its shape and be sliced easily. You can eat it without getting your hands dirty—no plates, no breadcrumbs!
Keep in mind these four key points:
- Leave the butter at room temperature 1 hour before using it (if you live in a hot place 30 minutes is enough)
- Combine the ingredients fast;
- Use a stand mixer; your hands will warm the dough too much;
- Refrigerate the pie crust for at least one hour; then fill it and bake it.
- 250 gr flour type 00 (pastry flour or patent flour) + some to roll the dough
- 50 gr cornflour
- 150 gr organic butter
- 130 gr caster sugar or powdered sugar or 100 of sugar and 30g of honey
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- a Pinch salt
- 300-400 gr jam
- Half a vanilla pod or vanilla extract (extra)
- A pinch of baking powder for a more tender shortbread (extra)
- Sift the flour onto a pastry board or in the bowl of the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment;
- Add salt, sugar, the diced cold butter, and mix until a crumbly texture;
- With the mixer running, slowly add the slightly beaten whole egg and the yolk;
- Add the lemon zest (grate at this time),
- Transfer the dough on the pastry board and knead it quickly until it starts to come together. Watch out: it must not become too sticky, elastic or compact. If it is sticky, add some more flour. Knead until a smooth ball forms;
- Wrap it into cling film and refrigerate for two hours or overnight in the lowest compartment of the fridge;
- Butter and flour a round baking pan;
- Roll 2/3 of the dough; a cold marble board would fit this operation the best, but if you don’t have one, roll the dough on a sheet of parchment paper;
- Sprinkle the surface and roll to 1/8’’ thickness,
- Gently roll the dough onto the rolling pin and transfer it to the baking pan;
- Press the dough to the sides of the pan;
- Trim the dish of extra dough;
- Prick the dough with the tongs of a fork;
- Evenly spread the jam in the shell; level it with a spoon. Watch out: do not fill it until the top of the shell, otherwise the jam will unpleasantly overflow;
- Let the shell sit in the fridge;
- Make a lattice pattern to decorate: knead the remaining dough and roll it out. Make sure the shortbread is cold and compact, then cut strips with a pastry wheel. If the dough is too soft or warm, refrigerate it for 20 minutes otherwise the strips will fall apart;
- Cut from 6 (3+3) to 9 (4+5) 1(1,5) cm thick stripes;
- Place the strips onto the shell: form a bottom layers of evenly spaced strips and then criss-cross with more strips. Gently press together and trim away the extra strips;
- Pre-heat the oven at 180°C (356°F); in the meanwhile let the cake sit in the fridge again; it will keepsits shape more easily;
- Bake for about 30 minutes until golden: it mustn’t get too dark,
- Let it cool down (no less than 20 minutes) and remove the crostata from the baking pan;
- Serve it completely cool when all the flavors have combined evenly.
- 380 gr all-purpose flour
- 3 yolks from XL eggs
- 180 gr granulated sugar
- 180 gr butter
- 400 gr jam to taste
- Quickly mix all the ingredients in the stand mixer: they must not warm up;
- Dice the butter and set aside until it gets to room temperature; if you are short in time, warm it into the microwave for a few seconds, it must keep its solid texture;
- In the bowl of the mixer, combine yolks, sugar, butter and then flour until a crumbly mixture. Do not worry if the dough doesn’t hold together perfectly because the pie must turn out to be quite rustic after baking;
- Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it into cling film;
- Refrigerate in the lowest part of the fridge for about one hour;
- Butter and lightly flour a baking tin;
- Place 1/3 of the dough into the pan and roll it out with your lightly floured fingers; prick the surface with the tongs of a fork;
- Evenly spread the jam;
- Make a lattice pattern to decorate: place the remaining dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out until very thin. Add a little flour in case it gets too sticky; cut the dough into stripes and place them onto the pie: decorate to your taste;
- Pre-heat the oven at 180°C (356°F) and bake for about 40 minutes.
How can you store crostata?
Crostata keeps fresh up to two weeks in a cake container at room temperature; it may also be frozen up to 2 months.