Crostata is one of the best Italian desserts! This traditional jam tart recipe is easy to make and all you need is basic pantry ingredients.
Fragrant, with a crumbly yet melt-in-your-mouth texture, traditional Italian crostata is one of the classic grandma's desserts par excellence.
Growing up in Sicily, I have fond memories of waking up in my nonna’s house to find a freshly baked jam crostata ready to be devoured.
I made endless delicious crostatas over the years with both my grandma and mum, so it was just about time I shared with you my all-time favorite and absolutely fool-proof crostata recipe.
This is such a fantastic rustic dessert for the whole family. For me, it doesn't get better than a slice of homemade crostata for breakfast or snack time.
It's delicious on its own, but it's perfect served with tea, coffee, cappuccino or a glass of milk. And in summertime, try it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side!
The crostata dough is crumbly but still soft, which means that you can cut it safely without crumbling. And you can go absolutely crazy with the fillings.
Galette VS Crostata
If you're not familiar with these two rustic desserts, it can get confusing, as they have in fact a lot in common!
French galette features a simple pastry dough wrapped over a filling made of chopped/sliced fruit, and it's a free-form pie that doesn’t require a special pan.
Italian crostata is made with pasta frolla (Italian sweet pastry dough) which has eggs and citrus zest added into the dough. it is usually filled with jam or chocolate spread, topped with a pastry lattice and it's mostly baked in a tart pan.
Make Jam Tart with 2 Main Ingredients
The authentic crostata recipe features just two main ingredients: classic pasta frolla and your favourite jam.
Pastra frolla is basically the Italian short-crust pastry dough, also called pie dough. Traditionally made with flour, butter, eggs, lemon zest and sugar, it's the go-to dough for pies, cookies and tarts in Italy.
For this easy crostata recipe, all you need is:
- olive oil pastry dough
- high-quality jam (I used peach jam)
My go-to dough is my dairy-free pasta frolla, which is the best crostata dough recipe you'll put your hands on. TRUST me on this.
It's a no-butter pastry dough version made with olive oil, and it's just as delicious (if not even better) as the classic pasta frolla recipe.
The best aspect of the crostata is how easy it is to adapt it to your own taste. Choose your favourite jam, blueberry, strawberry, peach or apricot, or any other you like!
I recommend opting for high-quality jam, and even better if you have some homemade jam at hand. For an indulgent treat, you can also go for chocolate hazelnut spread.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, I promise you'll find yourself dreaming up of new filling and flavor combinations.
Crostata Recipe Step-By-Step
Let's start by making the crostata dough.
The olive oil crust comes together in 5 minutes. In a large bowl mix together extra-virgin olive oil, eggs, sugar, flour, and lemon zest. Slowly add the flour and baking powder until the dough comes together and it's soft and even.
Then flatten into a disk and store in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Baking tip: You can use the dough straight away, but it's best to chill the dough before rolling out so it is easier to handle without breaking it (especially when you'll make the strips for the top). Don't worry if it breaks, the dough is really forgiving, and while it can tear easily, it is just as easily patched back together.
Now, let's build up our jam tart!
Step 1. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, until is about 0.5 cm thick. Transfer to an 8" (20 cm) tart pan, even better if it has a loose bottom. Trim the pan of any extra dough and prick the base with the tongs of a fork.
Step 2. Spread the pastry shell with enough jam to cover the base fully and evenly.
Step 3. Use the remaining dough to form long strips or ropes about 2 cm large (2/3''), and arrange half of them over the base.
Baking tip: There are two simple ways to form the lattice. The first is to roll pieces of dough into long ropes. The second is to roll the pastry into a sheet and cut strips with a pastry wheel or long knife, as I did here.
Step 4. Use the remaining strips to arrange them over the first ones forming a crisscross pattern. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until it's golden on top. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before cutting into slices.
You can also make individual-sized jam tarts by using smaller tart pans, with this recipe you should make about 4 smaller tarts. They look super pretty and are perfect for sharing or gifting!
Make it in advance
You can definitely prepare the dough in advance. I like to line the tart pan with the dough and refrigerate until ready to bake (can be made a day in advance), but without filling, as the base can get quite soggy. Add the filling, and top with the strips just before you bake it.
Store leftovers in an airtight container, in the fridge up to 4 days. You can also safely freeze the tart. Make sure you store it in a freezer-friendly container and then thaw it completely (ideally overnight) before eating.
More Italian Desserts To Try:
Crostata - Italian Jam Tart
Crostata Dough (dairy-free)
- 140 g confectioner sugar
- 1 medium-large egg
- 1 medium-large egg yolk
- 90 ml high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
- zest of 1 lemon
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 280 g all-purpose flour or flour 00
- 300 gr high-quality fruit jam or preserve (I used peach jam)
- Whisk the sugar, eggs, olive oil, lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.
- Gradually incorporate the flour and baking powder until the dough begins to form.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface and continue to add the flour, whilst working the dough with your hands until you have a smooth even dough (you'll probably have some leftover flour, it's ok). Flatten into a disk, wrap with cling film and store in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 170°C conventional oven ( 150°C with fan option), and arrange the oven tray onto the middle shelf.
- Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, until is about 0.5 cm thick. Transfer to an 8" (20 cm) tart pan. Trim the pan of any extra dough and prick the base with the tongs of a fork.
- Spread the pastry shell with enough jam to cover the base fully and evenly.
- Use the remaining dough to form long strips or ropes about 2 cm large (2/3''), and arrange half of them over the base.
- Arrange the remaning strips over the first ones forming a crisscross pattern.
- Bake the jam tart in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until it's golden on top. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before cutting into slices.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.