With tender, melt in the mouth lemon pastry and a sweet apricot jam filling, this Italian apricot jam tart, crostata alla marmellata, makes a delicious breakfast or brunch treat, as well as being a tasty accompaniment to coffee, or a beautiful dessert.
What is a Crostata?
Crostata is an Italian tart, and a classic Italian dessert. With a delicate shortcrust pastry, ‘pasta frollo’ and sweet jam filling, topped with a pretty lattice pattern in pastry; it is simple, rustic, and totally delicious!
Why we love this tart recipe
- Easy but impressive dessert you can also serve as part of afternoon tea, with coffee, or even for brunch!
- Great recipe to make ahead – it is as delicious the day after baking as it is on the day you make it.
- Made from store cupboard ingredients – there are no hard to find ingredients in this recipe.
- Flour – plain flour (AP flour if you are the USA)
- Butter – unsalted butter.
- Apricot Jam – use the best quality jam you can. I like to use Bon maman.
- Sugar – white granulated sugar.
- Egg – a whole egg plus an egg yolk. Adding an extra egg yolk to the pastry makes it soft and flaky once cooked. And that slightly soft pastry is a classic characteristic of a crostata. Use the leftover egg white in these Italian almond biscuits (halve the recipe)
How to make crostata from scratch
(For the full recipe, please see the recipe card below. These images are to help you.)
- Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and lemon zest.
- Add the butter.
- Mix together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the beaten egg.
- Mix together to form a smooth dough. Rest.
- Roll out on a lightly floured surface.
- Line the baking dish with pastry.
- Prick all over with a fork.
- Spoon over the apricot jam and spread in an even layer.
- Cut the remaining pastry and lay in one direction over the jam.
- Lay more strips of pastry the opposite way to form a diamond pattern. Bake.
This Italian jam tart is best kept at room temperature, but if the weather is warm, I would store it in the fridge.
A galette originated in France, and a Crostata in Italy. A galette is free form whereas a crostata can be free form, but it can also be made in a dish, as shown in this recipe.
You can serve the crostata at room temperature, or make it 2-3 days ahead and keep at room temperature in a cool room. You can also make the shortcrust pastry 3 days ahead, and then assemble the crostata and bake on the day you want to serve it.
Whilst it is best to use plain flour to make pastry, you can use self raising flour if that is all you have in.
My Recipe Tips
- Use cold butter in the pastry.
- Make sure you chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
- To make the dough easier to roll after it has been in the fridge, knead it gently with your hands for a couple of minutes to warm it slightly.
- Jam – you can use homemade jam, or a high quality bought jam. Other flavours to try: strawberry jam is a classic filling, or try raspberry or plum.
- With ice cream – plain vanilla ice cream, or I love the zing from this passionfruit ice cream
- Cream – whipped or pouring cream.
- Or enjoy, with a fork (or eat it with your hands 😉 ) as is.
- Room temperature (in a cool room): for 2 – 3 days.
- Freezer: cool completely, then freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature.
- Pastry: you can make the pastry up to 3 days before you bake the crostata. Wrap it well in clingfilm/wrap and keep it in the fridge.
More delicious Italian recipes
Apricot Jam Tart (Crostata di Marmellata)
- 23 cm / 9 " round pie dish
- 250 g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 80 g sugar
- 1 lemon zested
- 125 g butter cubed
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 250 g apricot jam
- milk to brush the pastry
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and lemon zest together.
- Add the butter and rub into to form breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg and egg yolk and mix, then bring together with your hands to form a dough. Knead lightly until the dough is smooth then wrap it in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan / 200˚C / 356˚F convection / 392˚F.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, knead it a couple of times to help it soften so you can roll it, then divide it into 2.
- Roll out one half of the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of ½ cm/ ¼ inch and transfer to your baking dish.
- Prick the base all over with a fork.
- Spread the apricot jam over the base in an even layer.
- Roll out the other piece of dough to a thickness of ½ cm / ¼ inch and cut strips 2 cm / ¾ inch wide. Lay them in a criss cross pattern over the jam, making sure the edges touch the edges of the pastry.
- Brush the pastry with milk.
- Bake 25-30 minutes until lightly golden.
- Let the crostata cool before slicing and serving.