Cakes, Pies & Tarts, Dessert

Crostata (Italian Jam tart)

Nicoletta April 15, 2020

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Crostata (Italian Jam Tart). A buttery, crumbly and tender pastry dough, with a lovely lemon fragrance, hosts a homemade jam filling secured by a lattice top. Certainly, crostata is a crowd-pleaser for kids and grown-ups, perfect for dessert, snack and, why not, breakfast. Easy to make without a stand mixer, try it now and bring to the table an iconic Italian dessert!

Song of the day: “Hey, Soul Sister” – Train

Crostata (Jam Tart)-feature

This delectable jam tart has all the flavors of my childhood. Indeed, its simple yet intriguing flavor captivates me every time and brings me back to my roots. In Italy, there is no bakery and pastry shop that doesn’t have crostata on display. Usually, with two different kinds of jam, a light one (apricot), and a dark one (amarena cherry). However, my favorite jams to use have always been the dark ones, less sweet and a bit tangier than their lighter counterparts. Here, I am using a homemade blackberry jam, perfect compliment to the buttery pastry.

[This post was first published on March 5, 2015. It has been updated for photos and writing.]

 

All in all, I don’t think there is a recipe that I’ve done as many times as I’ve done crostata. It is the dessert I’ve prepared for many Sunday lunches, family occasions, friends’ parties, or to bring to work to share with my coworkers. Furthermore, it never disappoints in its multiple variations.

Crostata recipes

To demonstrate its versatility, other than this classic and evergreen Crostata di marmellata (Jam Tart), here is a list of the different crostate I make (so many!):

The ingredients for the pastry dough

  • flour type 00 (or unbleached all-purpose or cake flour)
  • eggs, organic free-range, at room temperature
  • butter, cold
  • sugar (granulated or cane sugar)
  • lemon zest, from an organic lemon
  • baking powder (just a teaspoon), it makes the pastry a little softer, still crumbly but less “short”

Crostata (Jam Tart)-ingredients

In order to make the dough, I normally do not use a stand mixer, instead, I knead by hand paying attention not to warm up the butter. But you can use a food processor or a stand mixer, of course, to speed up the times.

Making the dough – step 1

  • Firstly, on a work surface place the flour making a hole in the middle and add the sugar, the cubed butter, eggs, lemon zest, and baking powder.
  • Secondly, mix the ingredients quickly with a fork (or a bench scraper).
  • Thirdly, start working the dough with your fingertips.
  • Fourthly, knead it lightly but do not overwork so as not to warm up the butter too much.
  • As shown above, work it just until it binds together, then shape it into a ball.
  • Lastly wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Rolling the dough – step 2

  • After the resting time in the fridge, take out and set aside about a quarter of the dough for the lattice. On a floured board and with a floured rolling pin, start rolling out the dough. You could also roll it in between two sheets of parchment paper.
  • Roll it to about 4 mm thickness.
  • Next, place the rolled dough into a tart pan, pressing the bottom and up the sides, patching any holes that might occur, and trimming the excess dough on the top edge (add it to the dough that you have already set aside).
  • Now, prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork.

Assembling the crostata – step 3

  • Afterward, spread the jam evenly on the surface. You can use any type of jam, I used homemade blackberry jam.
  • Then, with a pastry cutter (or a ravioli cutter with a zig-zag wheel), cut 1/4 inch strips of pastry.
  • Using a spatula to lift the strips, start placing them cross wide on the jam, forming a diamond lattice pattern.
  • Re-roll the scraps of dough and cut more strips to cover the surface of the crostata, then, with a fork, seal the edges of the pastry (you can also use leftover pastry to make a nice border all around).
  • Finally, bake the jam crostata in the preheated oven (180°C/350°F) for about 35 minutes.

Crostata (Jam Tart)-whole

The taste test

Not only is the pastry crumbly and tender, but the flavors are well-balanced and create the most pleasurable symphony. It’s not too sweet, with a lovely buttery flavor and a citrus undertone, this jam crostata is a crowd-pleaser, for kids and grown-ups alike, for dessert, snack, and why not, breakfast. After all, there is a jam, right?

Crostata (Jam Tart)-in the pan in the plate

Enjoy!

Song of the day: “Hey, Soul Sister” – Train

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Crostata (Jam Tart)-feature

Crostata (Italian Jam Tart)

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

A buttery, crumbly and tender pastry dough, with a lovely lemon fragrance, hosts a homemade jam filling secured by a lattice top. Crostata is a crowd-pleaser for kids and grown-ups alike, perfect for dessert, snack and, why not, breakfast.


Ingredients

  • 300 gr flour 00 (or unbleached all-purpose)
  • 2 eggs, organic free-range
  • 90 gr butter, cold, cubed
  • 90 gr organic cane sugar (or white granulated sugar)
  • 1 organic lemon, the zest
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 medium jam jar (whatever flavor you like, I used homemade blackberry jam)

Instructions

  1. On a work surface place the flour, make a well in the middle, and add the sugar, cubed butter, eggs, lemon zest, and baking powder.
  2. Mix the ingredients quickly working the dough with your fingertips. Do not overwork so as not to warm the butter, but just until it binds together. Shape it into a ball.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least half an hour.
  4. After the resting time, remove the pastry dough from the fridge, set aside less than a 1/4 of the dough and roll out the rest on a floured surface or between two sheets of parchment paper to about 4 mm thick.
  5. Place the stretched dough into a tart pan, pressing the bottom and up the sides, patching any holes that might occur, and trimming the excess dough on the top edge (add it to the dough that you have already set aside).
  6. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork.
  7. Spread the jam evenly on the crostata.
  8. Roll out the dough left aside. With a pastry cutter (or a ravioli cutter with a zig-zag wheel), cut 1/4 inch strips of pastry and lay them on the layer of jam, forming a diamond lattice pattern.
  9. With a fork seal the edges of the pastry (you can also use leftover pastry to make a nice border all around).
  10. Bake the jam crostata at 180°C (350°F) for about 35 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool and serve.

Notes

The prep time includes the resting of the dough in the fridge.

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Crostata (Jam Tart)-in the plate in the pan

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20 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Ben April 15, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    That’s what I call a dessert. I love berries in anything sweet, and I’ve been looking for a new recipe. That looks awesome.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 16, 2020 at 2:08 am

      Thank you! It is a simple delicious recipe for one of the most loved Italian desserts.

  • Avatar
    Reply GUNJAN C Dudani April 16, 2020 at 8:46 am

    Such a fabulous recipe. I would love to make it for tea time. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 16, 2020 at 9:50 am

      It would be perfect for tea time. Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Paula Montenegro April 16, 2020 at 9:36 am

    I love crostata and this one is gorgeous! Even the sound of the word is beautiful. Great list of crostata ideas, especially the savory ones, in the post too!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 16, 2020 at 9:50 am

      Thank you! It is very versatile and a great classic in Italian cuisine.

  • Avatar
    Reply Jacqui DeBono April 16, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Wonderful photos and perfect recipe! Your pastry looks divine!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 20, 2020 at 2:47 am

      Thank you, Jacqui! You know how we Italian love Crostata 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer April 17, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Talk about a perfect brunch dessert! The colors in yours are absolutely GORGEOUS! This is a must-make this weekend! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 20, 2020 at 2:48 am

      Thank so much! It would be perfect for brunch 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Aleta April 17, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! One of my favourite desserts of all time was a raspberry almond crostata that I had a few years ago – since then I have been trying to figure out what it was, and after seeing this recipe, I know for sure it was a crostata! I am so excited to make it for myself now!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 20, 2020 at 2:49 am

      Yay! So happy to hear that. Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Melanie April 17, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    So well explained with beautiful pictures, saving for later and indulge!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 20, 2020 at 2:49 am

      Hope you enjoy! Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Kushigalu April 18, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    How gorgeous is this tart. Love the flavors and the color in the recipe

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 20, 2020 at 2:49 am

      Thanks! Yes, the flavors are awesome and it presents well 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Jenni LeBaron April 19, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    This crostata looks absolutely delicious! I love blackberry jam too so that sounds ideal for this gorgeous tart! This will be perfect for breakfast or a sweet after dinner treat.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 20, 2020 at 2:51 am

      Thanks! Homemade blakberry jam is the best, especially with the wild ones my dad picked. We love it either way 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Carla October 28, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Absolutely delicious recipe!
    Nothing beats a good crostata to be eaten at any time of day.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 29, 2020 at 7:51 am

      Thank you! So happy you liked it! Crostata is so delightful!

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