Crostata con Confettura (Jam Pie)

6 Oct

…..The crostata is perhaps  the oldest Italian dessert.  A popular tradition traces the origin of this Italian pie to the ancient Romans. This is the first kind of baked dessert that, as little girl, I learned to make from my mother.  It evokes memories of many happy hours spent with her in the kitchen preparing delicious food. This Italian version of an American pie can be prepared by using different ingredients such as jam, fresh fruit, ricotta cheese, chocolate (kids love a Crostata di Nutella) and pudding. It can satisfy a wide variety of palates! In Italy, it is not only eaten as a dessert, but often for breakfast too, with a hot cup of espresso or capuccino, or with tea in the afternoon.

Preparation time: 1 h               Baking time: 40 min.           Servings: 6-8

300 g flour (245 g (1 ½ cups) all-purpose flour and 55 g (⅓ cup) potato starch)
5 g (1 teaspoon) baking powder

100 g (½ cup) granulated sugar
pinch of salt
130 g (½ cup + 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
grated zest of half lemon
350 g (1 cup) jam (fig, plum, strawberry, raspberry, peach and etc..)

Preheat the oven to 170°C (350 °F)
To make crostata you first need to prepare the “pasta frolla”:

  1. Cream the butter
  2. Combine all the ingredients, handling them as little as possible
  3. Wrap the dough (the pasta frolla) in wax paper and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Once the dough has rested, on a lightly floured board roll (or gently pat the pastry dough in the pan) ⅔ of the pastry dough to 4 mm (a little less than ¼ in) thickness, to line the bottom and sides of 24 cm (10 in) springform pan. 

The edge should have a slightly thicker layer of pastry than the bottom, about 5 mm (¼ in).  Prick the pastry bottom with the tines of a fork (four or five times is sufficient), then spread with the jam on the pasta frolla.  Roll the remaining pastry on a lightly floured board (3 mm), then with a sharp knife or pastry cutter cut it in strips (5 mm) wide and make a lattice top on the layer of jam. There might be some leftover pastry.

Bake the crostata until golden, about 35 minutes. Unmold the pie as soon as it is ready and let it cool on a rack. If left in the pan it will turn irremediably soggy.  It is great freshly baked but it definitely improves after a day if kept in a closed container.


Note: Usually the crostata crust is quite hard.  I prefer a tender, fluffy crust.  My recipe calls for starch,  baking powder (a leavening agent) and creaming the butter; all contribute to making the dough lighter.  A note on the jam: select a jam that is relatively low in sugar, or prepare your own.   For example the crostata in the picture has fig jam on top (see the recipe in the fig jam post).  Jams that contain a higher percentage of sugar tend to be negatively affected by the baking temperatures, turning sticky and ruining the final result.  -Paola

7 Responses to “Crostata con Confettura (Jam Pie)”

  1. Pamela Sheldon Johns October 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    I love hearing about when you cooked with your mother! Great photo!!

  2. Italian Notes (@ItalianNotes) October 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Looks lovely

    • Passion and Cooking October 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      Thank you! It is delicious too, one of my favourite pies!

      • Teresa Axtell October 17, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

        Hi Paola, I got your link from my dear friend Lorenza, who knows I love to cook, especially Italian. I enjoyed reading your blog and will make a couple recipes this week. I live in the US and will get my friends to read it as well. I love your idea of doing this. Congrats and much success!!! Can’t wait for the next blog.

      • Passion and Cooking October 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

        Hi Teresa, Thanks for your nice comment. I am glad you like my recipes and that you plan to make some of them. Please let me know how they come out. It will be really helpful to know if you have problems finding Italian ingridients.

  3. Teresa Axtell October 22, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    Hi Paola, I did indeed do a couple of recipes this weekend. You recipes are very precise and informative and I love the pictures. You and your sister are doing a great job. Keep it coming, I send your blog to my friends who are also trying the recipes. I did the crostata and it turned out beautifully. I served it as a dessert Friday night and loved it with my coffee on the weekend. Great suggestion, can’t wait to make it for my guests at Thanksgiving. I also made the desert rose cookies. What a hit with my family!!! I froze a few and will have them during the week for the kids. In fact I am forwarding these recipes to my sister in Poland. I love the measurements both in grams and ounces/cups. Very helpful. No problem finding ingredients and I can’t wait to try the risotto. It sounds similar to the one Lorenza taught me. Keep coming with new recipes, how exciting!!

    • Passion and Cooking October 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

      Hi Teresa, Thanks for your nice comment. I am glad you tried some recipes and enjoyed them. Crostata will be perfect for Thanksgiving, I love it with fig and cherry jelly. Please feel free to ask for any information you need about my recipes. All the best, Paola

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