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Classic Crostata di frutta with crema pasticcera (Italian Fruit Tart)

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The classic recipe is a threat Italians love and the reason is that because it has the most delicious combination of vanilla pastry cream and sweet fruits that will be the perfect dessert to impress.

Italian fruit tart is a popular dish you will certainly find at any Italian café or “pasticcerie’’. There are a million variations with fruits, jam fillings, chocolate or even plain and simple with just the cream on top.

Slice of Italian fruit tart

You will be surprised at how easy it is to make it! The crostata di frutta is an Italian fruit tart with shortcrust pastry filled with “crema pasticcera’’ which is a delicious Italian flavored vanilla cream and topped with sweet fruits. I love the combination of strawberries, kiwi, grapes and orange bits. You can add the fruits you love the most, get creative and have fun with it!

Watch how to make this recipe!

Ingredients

For the shortcrust pastry

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour type 00, sifted
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted cold butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg, ground
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the crema pasticcera (Italian pastry cream)

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch 
  • 1 large peel of an orange
  • 2 ½ cups full fat milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean for more flavor

Toppings

  • Mixed fresh fruit e.g strawberries, kiwi, grapes, raspberries, pecans, etc

Fruits on top of Italian tart

Cooking Time

  • Cooking: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Preparation: 40 minutes
  • Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Servings

  • 12 servings

Equipment

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A piece of Italian tart in the fork

Instructions

To make the crema pasticcera

  • Bring the milk, orange peel and vanilla over medium heat to just until warmed up and a little steam comes out of the pan. Remove from the heat immediately.
  • To a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, egg yolks to combine, then add cornstarch and mix well.
  • Remove the orange peel from the milk and pour slowly into the egg mixture, while whisking frequently with the help of a whisk to avoid lumps.
  • Return the pastry cream back to the pan over low heat and stir frequently with a wooden or rubber spoon until the cream has thickened, for about 10 minutes.
  • Pour the cream into a shallow container and place a piece of cling film on top. Make sure the plastic is touching the cream to avoid hard skin forms. 
  • Place in the fridge to cool until ready to use.

To make the shortcrust pastry

  • Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and combine.
  • Add the butter cubes. With the tip of your fingers, break the butter into smaller pieces to form a crumbled mixture.
  • Add the beaten egg kneading the pastry with your hands until the mixture comes together into a smooth ball. Wrap with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and no more than 1 hour.*
  • When ready to assemble the tart, preheat the oven at 350F/180C.
  • Remove dough from the fridge and roll with a rolling pin until ¼ inch (1/2 cm) thick.
  • Lay the pastry over the tart tin and tuck the sides to fit evenly. Using the rolling pin, or a knife, remove the extra dough from the edges.
  • Pierce the dough base with a fork and line a piece of parchment paper. Fill the crust with ceramic baking beans, dried rice or beans to weigh the pastry down.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown, remove from the oven and leave it at ambient temperature to cool down.

To assemble tart

  • When ready to serve, fill the crust with the cream and smooth with a spatula.
  • Arrange the fruits of your choice all over the top of the tart and serve.
  • Keep the whole tart before serving and leftovers in the fridge.

Top Tips

  • You can prepare the shortcrust pastry a day before and take the dough out of the fridge 15 minutes before using, otherwise it will be very hard to unroll if it’s too cold.
  • Make sure to use ceramic baking beans, dried rice or normal beans when preparing the blind baking to avoid any lumps forming while it cooks.

Shortcrust pastry detail

Storage

Store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Not suitable for freezing.

How long does this fruit tart last?

Keep the fruit tart in the fridge for up to 4 days, covered with a cling film or inside a pot with a lid. Not suitable for freezing.

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Slice of fruit tart

Classic Crostata di frutta with crema pasticcera (Italian Fruit Tart)

Evelyn Motta
The classic recipe is a threat Italians love and the reason is that because it has the most delicious combination of vanilla pastry cream and sweet fruits that will be the perfect dessert to impress.
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 servings
Calories 267 kcal

Equipment

  • Baking parchment
  • Baking beads or raw rice
  • Tart pan (8 inch)

Ingredients
  

For the shortcrust pastry

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour type 00 sifted
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter cubed
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg ground
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the crema pasticcera (Italian pastry cream)

  • 6 egg yolks
  • cup white sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 large peel of an orange
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean for more flavour

Toppings

  • Mixed fresh fruit e.g strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pecans, kiwi, etc.
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions
 

To make the crema pasticcera

  • Bring the milk, orange peel and vanilla over medium heat to just until warmed up and a little steam comes out of the pan. Remove from the heat immediately.
  • To a medium bowl, mix together the sugar and egg yolks to combine, then add cornstarch and mix well.
  • Remove the orange peel from the milk and pour slowly into the egg mixture, while whisking frequently with the help of a whisk to avoid lumps.
  • Return the pastry cream back to the pan over low heat and stir frequently with a wooden or rubber spoon until the cream has thickned, for about 10 minutes.
  • Pour the cream into a shallow container and place a piece of cling film on top. Make sure the plastic is touching the cream to avoid hard skin forms.
  • Place in the fridge to cool until ready to use.

To make the shortcrust pastry

  • Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and combine.
  • Add the butter cubes. With the tip of your fingers, break the butter into smaller pieces to form a crumbled mixture.
  • Add the beaten egg kneading the pastry with your hands until the mixture comes together into a smooth ball. Wrap with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and no more than 1 hour.*
  • When ready to assemble the tart, preheat the oven at 350F/180C.
  • Remove dough from the fridge and roll with a rolling pin until ¼ inch (1/2 cm) thick.
  • Lay the pastry over the tart tin and tuck the sides to fit evenly. Using the rolling pin, or a knife, remove the extra dough from the edges.
  • Pierce the dough base with a fork and line a piece of parchment paper. Fill the crust with ceramic baking beans, dried rice or beans to weigh the pastry down.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown, remove from the oven and leave it at ambient temperature to cool down.

To assemble tart

  • When ready to serve, fill the crust with the cream and smooth with a spatula.
  • Arrange the fruits of your choice all over the top of the tart and serve.
  • Keep the whole tart before serving and leftovers in the fridge.

Top Tips

  • * You can prepare the shortcrust pastry a day before and take the dough out of the fridge 15 minutes before using, as it will be very hard to unroll if it's too cold.
  • Make sure to use baking beans, dried rice or normal beans when preparing the blind baking to avoid any lumps forming while it cooks.
  • Store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Not suitable for freezing.
Keyword crema pasticcera, crostata, crostata di frutta, italian tart

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