Italian Desserts

Italian Crostata (Jam Tart)

June 7, 2020 (Last Updated: July 27, 2020) by Emily

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Crostata is a super popular Italian jam tart made with shortcrust pastry (Pasta Frolla) and a fruity jam filling. It’s super easy to make and tastes delicious! Serve your Italian jam tart for breakfast with a cappuccino or for dessert!

An overhead shot of a jam crostata with a slice cut

When it comes to popular Italian desserts your first thought may be a classic tiramisu, cannoli or even panna cotta but you’ll be surprised to know that crostata is up there at the very top of the list.

This rustic jam tart is super popular and is eaten all over Italy for breakfast, as a snack or a dessert after dinner. What’s even better is that it’s super easy to make and lasts all week long.

Ingredients you need

The ingredients are super simple and basic, all you need is; flour, cold butter, sugar, egg, lemon, baking powder and salt and fruit jam (I used strawberry). See the photo below that shows all the ingredients you need!

An overhead shot of the ingredients you need to make crostata

Step by step recipe instructions

Sift the flour into a large bowl then add the rest of the dry ingredients including the lemon zest, stir to combine (photos 1 & 2).

Add the egg and butter and cut it into the flour mixture with a spatula or pastry scraper to form rough crumbs (photos 3 & 4).

Step by step photos showing how to make pastry dough from scratch

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 to 1 hour (photo 5-7).

After the dough has chilled remove from the fridge and roll out using a rolling pin until ¼ inch (½ cm) thick (photo 8).

Step by step photos showing how to bring pastry dough together and roll it out

Lay the pastry over a tart or pie pan tucking in the sides until it fits evenly. Trim the edges of the tart making sure to leave around 1/2 an inch (1 cm) overlap so you can fold it over later (photos 9-11)

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

Prick the base with a fork then add the jam into the tart and spread it over the base evenly (photo 12 & 13).

Roll the scrap pastry back into a ball and roll back out until 1/4 inch thick. Cut out strips for the top of the tart using a knife or pastry cutter (photo 14).

Step by step photos showing how to fill a jam tart and top with pastry

Lay the strips of pastry over the crostata in a criss-cross pattern (or however you like) and fold the pastry edges around the tart over (photos 15-18).

Step by step photos showing how to prepare and bake a crostata

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until golden brown, leave to cool completely then serve (photos 19 & 20).

Other filling options

You can fill your crostata with any kind of fruit jam you like; strawberry, raspberry and apricot are my favourites and some of the most common flavours you’ll find in Italy.

Other than jam or fruit preserves hazelnut chocolate spread (Nutella) is another super popular option (just follow the recipe as directed but replace the jam with Nutella).

And if you love Italian pastry cream then it makes such a beautiful filling option. You can follow our recipe for Torta della Nonna or you can make our Crostata di Frutta (a beautiful tart with pastry cream with fresh fruit).

An overhead close up shot an Italian jam tart

How to serve it

I love to serve a slice of crostata with a cappuccino for breakfast. You can also make individual sized tarts by using smaller tart or pie pans they look super pretty and are perfect for breakfast.

Other than breakfast you can serve crostata for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or as a quick snack with a cup of tea or coffee.

A close up of a slice of Italian crostata cut in half

Top tips and recipe FAQs

  • If measuring in cups it’s important to spoon the flour into the cups but do not level it off. For accurate and best results when baking use a kitchen scale.
  • Butter – make sure you use cold butter straight from the fridge.
  • Texture of crostata dough – the dough will seem dry at first but as the butter incorporates into the flour it’ll come together into a soft ball. If you measured the flour with cups there’s a chance of over-measuring the flour so if the pastry doesn’t come together add 1 tbsp of water at a time until it does.
  • Chilling the dough – it’s important to chill the dough before rolling out so it gets a chance to rest and stiffen up. If you don’t chill the dough it’ll be much harder to work with.
What’s the difference between a Galette and a Crostata?

Galette and crostata are essentially the same thing, Galette being French and Crostata Italian. You’ll more often than not see an Italian crostata topped with a pastry lattice whereas a galette is often left without.

Can I prepare this in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the pastry in advance and store it in the fridge. I don’t recommend filling the crostata in advance because the pastry can become soggy but you can certainly cook the tart in advance and store it in a sealed container for up to 1 week.

Can you freeze crostata?

Absolutely, it freezes really well. You’ll need to thaw the tart completely (ideally overnight) before eating.

More Italian desserts you might like

If you tried this Crostata (Jam Tart) or any other recipes on the blog please be sure to leave me a comment below to let me know how you got on, I love hearing from you. You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKINSTAGRAMPINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

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!
A square photo of an Italian crostata
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5 from 1 vote

Crostata (jam tart)

Crostata is a super popular Italian jam tart made with shortcrust pastry (Pasta Frolla) and a fruity jam filling. It's super easy to make and tastes delicious! Serve your Italian jam tart for breakfast with a cappuccino or for dessert!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 263kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

For the pastry (Pasta Frolla)

  • 2 cups 00 flour or unbleached all-purpose (250g) *see note 1
  • 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 filling

  • 1 cup strawberry jam (320g)

Instructions

How to make the pastry (pasta Frolla)

  • Sift the flour into a large bowl then add the rest of the dry ingredients including the lemon zest, 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 to 1 hour.

How to prepare the crostata

  • Pre-heat the oven to 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 pan tucking in the sides until it fits evenly. Trim the edges of the tart making sure to leave around 1/2 an inch (1 cm) overlap so you can fold it over later .
  • Prick the base with a fork then add the jam into the tart and spread it over the base evenly.
  • Roll the scrap pastry back into a ball and roll back out until 1/4 inch thick. Cut out strips for the top of the tart using a knife or pastry cutter.
  • Lay the strips of pastry over the crostata in a criss-cross pattern (or however you like) and fold the pastry edges around the tart over.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until golden brown, leave to cool completely then serve.

Notes

  1. If measuring in cups it’s important to spoon the flour into the cups but do not level it off. For accurate and best results when baking use a kitchen scale.
  2. Butter – make sure you use cold butter straight from the fridge.
  3. Texture of crostata dough – the dough will seem dry at first but as the butter incorporates into the flour it’ll come together into a soft ball. If you measured the flour with cups there’s a chance of over-measuring the flour so if the pastry doesn’t come together add 1 tbsp of water at a time until it does.
  4. Chilling the dough – it’s important to chill the dough before rolling out so it gets a chance to rest and stiffen up. If you don’t chill the dough it’ll be much harder to work with.
  5. Filling – you can use any kind of fruit jam you like to fill the crostata.
  6. Leftovers – the crostata will keep well for up to 1 week stored in the fridge or can be frozen and thawed as needed. When freezing make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap (cling film) and aluminium foil.

Nutrition

Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 191mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 268IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 18mg | 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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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Angela
    June 9, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Mmm you’ve got me dreaming of Italian pastry shops again! Delicious light and crisp pastry filled with your favourite jam and I love your pretty criss-cross top! I must try making this! The step by step photos will really help! Thanks!5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      June 11, 2020 at 9:46 am

      So happy you find the step by step photos helpful, I hope you get a chance to try it it’s so easy and delicious!

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