madonna del piatto

Italian family cooking

crostata

24 Comments

crostata

crostata with homemade figs jam

CROSTATA, a pastry tart filled with jam, custard or ricotta is is found in all bakeries here in Umbria and prepared frequently at home. The home version is definitely better than the bought one. The secret is a high proportion of real butter in the dough – not margarine! – and homemade jam.

Umbrians love their crostata, their mums always make the best. Sometimes they might even acknowledge that their wife makes a decent one. Any garden party will display at least 4 or 5 of these tarts. The competition among the local ladies is ruthless. Opinions are vigorously split among those who prefer more crust and just a dab of jam, those who want hardly any crust and only eat the jam,  and everything in between.  My recipe has a thin crunchy base and a thin layer of jam. With this version I have won a few followers. I guess it’s a good sign.

Recipe

For pastry dough:

  • 125 gr cold unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 250 gr 00 flour or pastry flour (1 and 2/3 cup) not self-rising
  • 125 gr (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups fruit preserves

To make the pastry dough, cut the butter into 6-8 cubes and place in the bowl of a food processor together with the flour, sugar, vanilla extract and  salt. Using the blade at high speed, blend until most of the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 2 minutes. Stir in the egg and blend until the mixture forms a dough, one more minute. It is important not to overheat the butter in the dough, so do not overwork.

Roll the dough into a 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) thin disk and transfer into a 10 inch ( 25 cm) buttered tart pan so to make a case with shallow side. Spread a 1 cm (1/2 inch) layer of preserves over the pastry case. If you do not have homemade jam, make sure to find fine quality jam, with a high content of fruit.

With lightly floured hands roll the rest of dough into several 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick ropes.  Carefully arrange the dough ropes over the tart in an open lattice pattern. It is not necessary to weave the lattice. Transfer in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 an hour and up to half a day. Up to this point the crostata can be frozen. Before using, defrost overnight in the refrigerator and bake.

Preheat oven to 180° C/ 350° F. Bake the crostata in middle of the oven 45 minutes, or until the lattice is golden. Cool the crostata in the pan on a rack.

Serves 8

Author: madonnadelpiatto

Former scientist, I now run B&B and cooking school Alla Madonna del Piatto in Assisi, Umbria, central Italy, together with my husband Ruurd, daughter Tea and truffle dog Google. We love good food and wine, travel, beautiful handicrafts like textiles and pottery. We feel fortunate to be able to share our magical mountain with many friends from all over the world.

24 thoughts on “crostata

  1. looks so goooooood!

    thanks

    Like

  2. Thank you recipe man, nice blog!

    Like

  3. This smells so good. Yes, I can smell it.

    Like

  4. yes indeed, it smells like September ripe figs baked in butter…..

    Like

  5. Very interesting — I haven’t seen many Italian recipes that actually call for butter (not that I’m an expert, of course!)

    I never order dessert in Italy, usually I stroll after dinner and perhaps get a gelato. But the next time I see crostata on the menu, I must give it a try!

    Like

  6. Ciao Sandra, I am a strong supporter of butter in cakes and tarts. Of course it is not good for you, but it’s very good for the soul. I really hope you can try the first crostata here and may be I can convince you to make it!

    Like

  7. I shouldn’t look at this when I’m hungry! wonderful!

    Like

  8. Kathy this is a wonderful excuse to use that jar of homemade jam in your cupboard. I am sure you have one!

    Like

  9. Pingback: crostata al cioccolato « madonna del piatto

  10. Pingback: the limoncello factory leftovers « madonna del piatto

  11. Dear MDP
    I had a delicious jam crostata in Umbria, near Trevi.
    The crust was made with olive oil, v tasty with a soft crumb. Have you even done that?

    Mary

    Like

    • Hi Mary, thanks for visiting!
      I have never made a crostata with olive oil instead of butter but I guess you could just use my recipe and substitute the butter with a delicate extra virgin. In the summer I don’t have a lot of time for experiments but if you try please let me know how it works.

      Like

  12. Pingback: The Persimmon Problem » Brigolante Guest Apartments

  13. Pingback: my articles elswhere: crostata the healthy way | madonna del piatto

  14. I’ve just made and eaten up (all gone) the crostata base with a fresh strawberry & fresh ricotta and fresh mint filling! It was fabulous!
    Thank you Leti!

    Like

  15. Pingback: savory cauliflower crostata | madonna del piatto

  16. Pingback: Cooking school and writer's retreat in Umbria | Taste For Travel | My Travel Blog for Curious Women|Destinations|Travel Books|Food & Tips

  17. Im just about to make my first crostata ever, with ricotta, and raspberry or apricot conserve. I fear the biggest problem will be battling to leave enough for my family.

    Like

  18. Here I go… About to make my first ever crostata and conquer my fear of making pastry. I can make Greek filo no problem any time, but other pastries – never! I will use apricot conserve for the filling. I’m sure your recipe will be a success

    Like

  19. Pingback: chunky Italian-style sweet orange marmalade | madonna del piatto

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,287 other followers