Italian Desserts

Crostata di Frutta (Italian Fruit Tart)

July 24, 2020 (Last Updated: August 2, 2020) by Emily

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This Crostata di Frutta is such a beautiful, classic Italian dessert. Made with flaky and sweet shortcrust pastry, vanilla pastry cream, and topped with fresh fruit and apricot jam. Fresh, light, and delicious!

An overhead shot of an Italian fruit tart filled with pastry cream

Crostata is a super popular dessert in Italy and they come in so many different varieties from a jam filling, chocolate, and fresh fruit.

This tart is filled with Crema Pasticcera (Italian pastry cream) flavoured with vanilla and lemon zest, then it’s topped with fresh fruit and a fruity jam glaze.

It’s so elegant, delicious and looks so impressive! You can top this tart with whatever fruit you like so you can get as creative and have fun with it!

Ingredients you need

The ingredients to make Crostata di Frutta are so simple and easy, see the breakdown below that tells you exactly what you need to make shortcrust pastry and pastry cream.

  • Shortcrust pastry – flour, sugar, cold butter, egg, baking powder and salt.
  • Crema Pasticcera (Italian pastry cream) – eggs, sugar, cornstarch, full-fat milk & vanilla
  • Fresh fruit – you can use a mix of whatever fruit you like from berries to kiwi fruit, banana, peaches and apples.
  • Apricot jam – this is used to brush over the fruit to give it a beautiful glaze.
An overhead shot of the ingredients you need to make a crostata di frutta (Italian fruit tart)

How to make Crostata di Frutta – step by step

To make the pastry cream

Warm the milk and vanilla in a saucepan then set aside (make sure it’s just warm and not hot).

Mix the egg yolks and sugar together until combined then add the cornstarch and mix it thoroughly (photos 1-4).

Step by step photos showing how to make pastry cream

Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg mixture whilst whisking constantly to avoid any lumps (photo 5).

Once incorporated, pour the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan and heat it on a low heat (photos 6 & 7).

Step by step photos showing how to thicken pastry cream

Stir the mixture constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture is very thick in consistency (about 10 minutes) (photos 8 & 9).

Once thickened, pour the pastry cream into a clean bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top to stop a skin forming (photo 10). Let the mixture cool then place in the fridge until ready to use.

Two photos showing how thick pastry cream should be

To make the pastry

Sift the flour into a large bowl then add the rest of the dry ingredients, stir to combine (photo 1).

Add the egg and butter and cut it into the flour mixture with a spatula or pastry scraper to form rough crumbs (photos 2-4).

Step by step photos showing how to make shortcrust pastry

Start to bring the mixture together with your hands to form a dough. Knead the pastry until all the flour is fully absorbed and it becomes a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes-1 hour (photos 5-8).

Step by step photos showing how to bring pastry together

After the dough has chilled remove from the fridge and roll out using a rolling pin until ¼ inch (½ cm) thick (photo 9).

Step by step photos showing how to line a tart pan with pastry

Lay the pastry over a tart or pie tin tucking in the sides until it fits evenly. Roll the rolling pin over the tart case to cut the edges (you can also trim the edge with a knife). Prick the base with a fork (photos 9 -14).

Two photos showing how to prepare a tart base for baking

Fill the tart with baking beads or raw rice to weight the pastry down and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Let the pastry case cool completely (photo 15 & 16).

To assemble the fruit tart

Fill the cooled pastry case with the pastry cream and smooth the top with a spatula then arrange your fruit of choice all over the top of the tart (photo 17 & 18).

Step by step photos showing how to assemble a crostata di frutta.

Heat the jam and water in a saucepan until the jam has melted, let it cool for a minute then brush over the fruit.

Keep the tart in the fridge until ready to serve.

Top tips and recipe FAQs

  • Making pastry – See our in-depth guide for making Italian shortcrust pastry complete with video, instructions and tips.
  • Blind baking – You can use baking beads or raw rice to blind bake your tart crust it’s important to weigh down the pastry while it cooks.
  • The filling – Let the pastry cream cool completely and thicken before using.
How long does this fruit tart last?

The tart will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days, make sure to keep it covered. Do not freeze the tart as pastry cream tends to split after freezing.

A slice of tart filled with pastry cream and fresh fruit

More Italian desserts you might like

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Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!

Crostata di Frutta (Italian Fruit Tart)

This Crostata di Frutta is such a beautiful, classic Italian dessert. Made with flaky and sweet shortcrust pastry, vanilla pastry cream, and topped with fresh fruit and apricot jam. Fresh, light, and delicious!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 290kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 2 cups flour 00 flour or unbleached all-purpose (250g)
  • ½ cup caster sugar golden or white (80g)
  • 8.5 tbsp cold butter cubed (120g)
  • 1 large egg
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the pastry cream

  • 5 egg yolks large eggs
  • cup sugar (70g)
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch (60g)
  • peel of one lemon (kept whole not grated)
  • 2.5 cups full-fat milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla paste or extract

Toppings

  • Mixed fresh fruit e.g strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mandarins, kiwi fruit
  • 2 tbsp Apricot jam
  • 1 tbsp water

Instructions

To make the pastry cream

  • Warm the milk, lemon peel and vanilla in a saucepan then set aside (make sure it’s just warm and not hot).
  • Mix the egg yolks and sugar together until combined then add the cornstarch and mix it thoroughly.
  • Remove the lemon peel then slowly pour the warm milk into the egg mixture whilst whisking constantly to avoid any lumps.
  • Once incorporated, pour the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan and heat it on a low heat.
  • Stir the mixture constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture is very thick in consistency (about 10 minutes).
  • Once thickened, pour the pastry cream into a clean bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top to stop a skin forming.
  • Let the mixture cool then place in the fridge until ready to use.

To make the pastry

  • Sift the flour into a large bowl then add the rest of the dry ingredients, stir to combine.
  • Add the egg and butter and cut it into the flour mixture with a spatula or pastry scraper to form rough crumbs.
  • Start to bring the mixture together with your hands to form a dough. Knead the pastry until all the flour is fully absorbed and it becomes a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes-1 hour.

Blind bake the pastry

  • Pre-heat the oven 350F/180C.
  • After the dough has chilled remove from the fridge and roll out using a rolling pin until ¼ inch (½ cm) thick.
  • Lay the pastry over a tart or pie tin tucking in the sides until it fits evenly. Roll the rolling pin over the tart case to cut the edges (you can also trim the edge with a knife).
  • Prick the base with a fork then top with a piece of baking parchment. Fill the tart with baking beads or raw rice to weight the pastry down and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Let the pastry case cool completely.

To assemble the fruit tart

  • Fill the cooled pastry case with the pastry cream and smooth the top with a spatula then arrange your fruit of choice all over the top of the tart.
  • Heat the jam and water in a saucepan until the jam has melted, let it cool for a minute then brush over the fruit.
  • Keep the tart in the fridge until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Making pastry – See our in-depth guide for making Italian shortcrust pastry complete with video, instructions and tips.
  • Blind baking – You can use baking beads or raw rice to blind bake your tart crust it’s important to weigh down the pastry while it cooks.
  • The filling – Let the pastry cream cool completely and thicken before using.
  • Storage – This tart will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days. Do not freeze.

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 234mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 572IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We’d love you see what you’re getting up to in the kitchen!

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