Cranberry Crostata is an Italian twist on a pie. A crostata is a jam tart made with a shortcrust pastry (pasta frolla). Serve this delicious Italian jam tart for dessert or even better, for breakfast! If you can’t find cranberries, fill it with your favorite jam.
I have been craving more savory foods lately. I am feeling ready for a change. I think we baked more cookies than we normally do these last few weeks. And I’m really not complaining.
I haven’t even had the chance to post all the recipes yet. The New Year is just a couple days away. I’m sure you all are ready for something lighter. Maybe you are facing a few extra holiday pounds like we are? Maybe you want a nice and light fruit salad or maybe a healthy soup?
I really do! It’s true. All I’ve been wanting is crisp and organic greens and clear broths (filled with light noodles, of course). But until I get to those lighter posts, there are still a few recipes that need to be shared from these festive weeks.
I sort of overdid it with cranberries this season. For fear of running out of them, I made sure to pick up a bag whenever I saw one. I now have enough bags to make cranberry sauces and desserts for the next few months.
My 5 year old took this photo of me. He was intent on taking some photos for me. He took several of me holding the crostata. Most were of the crostata and my feet. I kneeled down to help him out. Then he wouldn’t give me back the camera.
Here I am pleading in the background for him to give me back the camera. The shots turned out better than I thought.
What is a crostata?
You may have seen some free form crostatas…but a crostata is an Italian tart made with a shortbread crust and usually filled with a fruit jam (and sometimes with a chocolate cream), and topped off with a lattice design of the pasta frolla. It is REALLY popular in Italy. Pretty much every mamma and nonna make one.
What is an Italian pasta frolla dough?
Pasta frolla is basically a standard pastry crust that instead of being moistened with ice water is moistened with eggs. So the proportions are not same as the ice water traditional American pie dough.
My typical pie dough is 3 parts water, 2 parts butter and 1 part water. A pasta frolla dough is almost same amount of butter as flour, plus the addition of sugar that fills that other portion of flour.
What does a pasta frolla dough taste like?
You may think it tastes like an Italian cookie. It’s really not like your typical pie flavor and texture.
What’s the difference between a Galette and a Crostata?
Galette and crostata are pretty much the same thing, Galette being French and Crostata Italian. A big difference is a crostata is usually always with a lattice topping and a galette is free from and more rustic looking (no lattice topping).
How do you make an Italian cranberry crostata?
Here is all you need to make this delicious dessert:
Pasta Frolla (the pastry crust)
- pastry flour (you could sub all-purpose flour_
- unsalted butter
- fresh or frozen cranberries
- fresh orange juice
- zest of one orange
- sweet orange marmalade
Can I prepare a crostata in advance?
Yes, you can prep the pastry in ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. Best NOT to fill it and store it, as you will get a very soggy crust. You could prep the crostata and bake it. It will keep in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in the fridge for up to a week.
Can you freeze crostata?
Yes, it is fine to freeze a crostata. Simply let it completely cool down before wrapping it with plastic wrap and foil paper. Thaw it overnight before eating.
More Italian desserts you might like
- Strawberry Crostata
- Sicilian Savoiardi Cookies
- Cuccidati-Sicilian Fig Cookies
- No-Bake Limoncello Cheesecake
How do you make an Italian cranberry crostata?
Crostata di Cranberries-Cranberry Crostata
Pasta Frolla recipe
300 grams (10.54 ounces)pastry flour
200 grams (7.025 ounces) unsalted butter
100 grams (3.512 ounces) sugar
1 whole egg and 1 yolk ( 60 grams eggs)
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
zest of one orange
1/2 cup sweet orange marmalade
3/4 cup sugar
In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour and sugar and process a few times to mix together. Next add the butter and pulse a few times until the
mixture looks like wet sand. Add the egg and yolk and process a few
seconds more until the dough forms (this should be about 5-7 more pulses). Be sure to not overprocess the dough.
Dump the dough from the food processor bowl onto a lightly floured counter. Form the dough into a disk and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Bring all the filling ingredients to a boil in a heavy medium pot. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue boiling about 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries begin to pop. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Don’t worry if every single cranberry does not completely pop. Set the sauce aside to cool.
baking the crostata
For some nice step-by-step photos on how to roll out the dough, check out this ricotta crostata I made last year.)
Preheat oven to 375°F with a foil-lined large baking sheet on middle rack.
When dough is nicely chilled, remove from the refrigerator. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap into a 13-inch round about 1/8 thick.
Spray an 11-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom with baking spray. Gently wrap the dough over the rolling pin and place it over the tart pan; release the rolling pin and let the dough fall into the tart pan. Press the dough softly into the bottom of the tart pan. If some of the dough breaks while you press it into the tart pan, that’s not a problem. Simply piece the dough together. Press the sides of the dough about 1/2 inch up the side of the tart pan. The rim of the tart should be lined with a slightly thicker layer of pastry than the bottom (about 1/4-inch thick). Cut off the extra dough from the sides and keep these excess pieces to make the lattice topping. Place this tart pan in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes (or even longer if necessary) to chill.
When the dough is chilled and ready to fill, remove the tart pan from the refrigerator and prick the pastry bottom with a fork a few times.
Spread filling in chilled shell and arrange 5 strips 1 inch apart on filling.
Arrange remaining 5 strips 1 inch apart diagonally across first strips to form a lattice with diamond-shaped spaces. Trim edges of all strips flush with edge of shell.
Carefully place the crostata on top of the baking sheet.
Bake for about 40-50 minutes at 375 F, or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool completely before removing from tart pan. Best eaten the first day but makes a lovely breakfast the next day.