Crostata, probably the oldest Italian pie!

Crostata is an open fruit tart and it is probably the most popular pie in Italy! Extremally easy and fast to prepare, can be a fantastic idea for a dessert. If you haven’t known it yet that’s the right moment to know it!


It is not sure who and when invented this pie. It seems that it can even be traced back to the pre-Christian era (!), becoming the oldest dessert in the Italian pastry tradition. Not sure origins of that pie created the popular beliefs on what was the birth of this dessert. Its origins certainly fall into the history of savoury pies. Then, at the beginning of the XI century, in Venice was introduced a recipe that came from the Middle East and which used cane sugar. So who is the inventor of crostata? Many attribute the invention of crostata, as we know it today, to a nun from the convent of San Gregorio Armeno. However, the first time when the word crostata appeared in the Italian dictionaries was in the 1612 and then in the 1617 dictionary “Il memoriale della lingua italiana”, in which crostata was defined as a type of pie. Then it became super popular in whole Italy and nowadays it is common in every region of the country. It has already become a national dessert!


The name crostata comes from the Latin word crustāta, the feminine past participle of crustāre (to encrust), and from the noun crusta (crust). The French term croustade derives from it, from which the English term custard derives. (source Wikipedia)


  • It is said that the strips of shortcrust pastry on the surface of the cake recall the grates behind which the cloistered nuns attended religious services.
  • A legend says that crostata managed to make Queen Maria Teresa of Austria smile, Ferdinand II’s wife. It seems that it was a really big event, cause Maria was called “the queen who never smiles“.
  • Crostata has also a dedicated national day which is September 9th.


The preparation of crostata is extremely easy and fast. I’m sure you will love it! 🙂


  • 300 g of flour
  • 120 g of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g of butter
  • jam
  • q.s. of salt

Mix the flour with a pinch of salt and sugar. Add the cold butter into small pieces and mix it with the flour until you obtain large crumbs. Shell the eggs in the centre of the flour and work quickly until the dough is compact. Wrap the pastry with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a 24 cm tart mould with butter.

After the 30 minutes rest, roll out the dough for to a thickness of about 1-2 cm. Then wrap it softly on the rolling pin and unwind it on the mould, letting it overflow. Then cut away the excess part of the dough and prick the bottom with a fork. Then, spread a layer of jam you prefer inside the pastry shell. With exceeding dough prepare thin stripes for decoration of crostata. Then preheat oven to 180° C and bake your crostata for 30 – 35 minutes, until it becomes golden. And that’s all! Your crostata is ready!


p.s. For sure you still have some exceeding dough. My suggestion is to prepare some extra biscuits with it! It is enough to roll out the dough for to a thickness of about 1 cm and then with cookie-cutter cut off your biscuits (I use a simple glass cause I don’t have a professional cookie-cutter). Then put all your biscuits in a buttered baking tray and bake them for 20 minutes in 180°C. Voilà, your biscuits are ready! They are fantastic for breakfast with coffee or milk or for an afternoon break with tea! 😉


Buon appetito!


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