Thursday, January 3, 2008

Crostata della Nonna / Italian Jam Crostata

This is my grandmother's crostata, it's beautiful, tasty and most of all- very easy to make. I had some friends over for dinner and since my menu was of the Italian inclination, it gave me the perfect opportunity to make it, (not that I really needed an excuse). It was sort of a last minute affair so we made a simple one dish meal of Pasta Pepperonata with Italian Sausage, a beautiful arugula and Cannellinni bean salad and for dessert I served the raspberry crostata. This was an easy and very satisfying meal which did not require a whole lot of work. I wish I would have had time to photograph everything, but eating and enjoying the food sort of got in the way! The crostata, I had prepared the day before, so it made it to the blog.

You may use any kind of jam or preserves you like, I have used apricot, strawberry and pineapple before- they all taste really yummy. I also really like that the ingredients are simple are most likely to be in my pantry at any given time. The dough for the crostata is sort of between a cake and a pie dough. The directions may sound a little odd, but this was my grandmother's recipe and I'm not going to change it. The only difference in the preparation from hers and mine is that I use a pastry blender and she used a fork. The measurements for the flour are in grams because that is how she gave them to me, when I make it again I will measure in cups after weighing and update the recipe.

Italian Jam Crostata

300 grams all purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
150 grams cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 eggs
zest of one lemon
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of your favorite jam or preserves

Preheat oven to 400 F

1.Butter a 9" springform pan and set aside.

2. Place flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the center and add the eggs. With a pastry blender or fork, start incorporating the eggs into the flour. Add the butter and work into the dough for a couple of minutes. (the dough will be in clumps).

3. Add the sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Continue to work the dough with the fork or pastry blender until is it very crumbly. At this point I start working the dough with my hands until it starts coming together, I do this is the bowl to avoid kneading it on the counter and incorporating too much flour. Once the dough comes together it will be a little sticky.

4. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough a couple of times, then make a ball and cut off one third of it with a knife. (for the lattice)

5. Roll out the larger ball of dough into about a nine inch circle and press into the springform pan. Making sure the dough is evenly distributed in the pan. Prick the dough with a fork, then add the preserves spreading evenly.

6. Make little balls out of the reserved dough and roll each one into a strip- these do not need to be all even and perfect. Place the strips over the jam, pressing lightly at the edges to adhere them to the crust.

7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. You may serve it warm with some whipped cream or ice cream, or by itself at room temperature. The crostata will keep covered at room temperature for 1 week. (mine never lasts that long!)


  1. That crust looks amazing, Gourmet Girl! What a great treat for the new year.

  2. I'm supposed to take dessert to a dinner party this coming week and this is what I plan to do.
    Great blog, by the way!

  3. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I love love love this little tart and I love that you have a special grandmother recipe - I will try this. Curious why it's made in a springform pan vs. a pie or tart pan?

  4. The reason I make it in a springform is because the pan she used to use was between a cake and a pie pan, it had straight sides like a cake pan, yet it was lower like a pie pan. So the pan of choice would have been a cake pan, but I wanted to unmold the crostata and was afraid it would stick. It seems like whenever I have used parchment before when using a cake pan to bake a pie I wanted to unmold, the bottom of the pie didn't brown as much. A tart pan would have had fluted edges which wouldn't have looked very rustic so a springform it is. Another good chice would have possibly been a ring mold. (and yes, I know that was lang winded!) :)

  5. That looks perfect Katia! lovely colors and texture:)

  6. So simple and looks delicious! Now I know what to do with all the jam I made! Great recipe, thanks!

  7. I love crostada...I have a jam that would be perfect for that!
    Yours is beautiful!

  8. Thank you for displaying this recipe. I am especially greatful that this was from your grandmother, as I am always looking for these types of receipes.


  9. made it - LOVED IT!!!!!!!!! thanks for this recipe

  10. I have already made this 4 times since finding this recipe! My boyfriend is Italian -- and his parents grew up eating real crostata in Italy (we are in high school now). The first time I brought this crostata over, his dad (who is very particular about desserts), picked up the pie pan and ate it clean! This is an awesome recipe that I will be making many more times in the future! Thank you so much!

  11. I LOVE crostada! I made your recipe and it tasted delicious BUT the texture of my tart was strange, like there were little hard bits in it. Also, my dough was SUPER doughy and sticky, I was not able to roll out pieces for the lattice. Any thoughts or tips? I really want to try this recipe again. Thanks!

  12. I love this recipe. I've tried many recipes for Crostata, and this is by far the best. My Italian husband loves it, and so to my children. It's a family favorite, thanks for sharing!


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