Crostata – Italian Jam Tart


A crostata, ‘Italian style’  or jam tart as we know it, is one of those really easy  desserts that takes no time (or much skill) to make and is always lovely to have on hand in the kitchen.  While they are readily available to buy in Italy, baking your own crostata is much more satisfying and obviously offers ‘homemade’ deliciousness! A crostata can be made to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee, or made for dessert accompanied with some good quality vanilla gelato.  In Italy a slice of crostata is often enjoyed for breakfast.

I don’t make a crostata very often, because there is a great risk that I will eat the whole thing….. in one day!  It just begs for me to cut a slice every time I walk past, and I have little self control.  I like my crostata with one of my favourite jams which is fig, but you can follow the recipe and add whatever flavour jam or marmalade you prefer.  You can choose to cover it in the traditional way, with criss-cross strips of pastry, or use shaped cutters.  You may also decide to make mini jam tarts instead of one big one…. Once you’ve made the pastry, the choice is yours.

CROSTATA – Italian Jam Tart

  • 250g flour ’00’
  • 110g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 30 -45ml (2-3 tablespoon) chilled water
  • 500g Jam of choice
  1. In a food processor, process flour, sugar, butter and a pinch of salt until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. With food processor motor running, add chilled water to flour mixture. Process until mixture begins to form large clumps, stopping machine before mixture forms a ball.
  3. Turn pastry out on to a lightly floured surface and knead gently to bring together.
  4. Divide pastry into two parts, one larger than the other. Form the larger part into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate preferably overnight or for at least 2 hours.  Roll out the smaller part of pastry between two pieces of baking paper and refrigerate.
  5. Remove large disc of pastry from refrigerator and roll out to fit tart or pie dish. (I used a 22cm diam round tart tin).  Line the tart dish, cutting off excess.
  6. Fill with jam of choice. Using the rolled out pastry, cut out pastry shapes or cut strips for a traditional crostata decoration and place on top of the jam.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for circa 45minutes until the pastry is golden.
  8. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cut with a sharp knife and try to limit yourself to a slice a day…. I bet you can’t!