Crostata di Frutta – Italian Fruit Tart

Loved by children and grown-ups, crostata di frutta (Italian fruit tart) made with pastry cream and fresh fruit is the perfect dessert for all occasions!

Full of seasonal fruit, a creamy filling, and with a crumbly yet melt-in-your-mouth texture, traditional Italian crostata di frutta is one of the most classic grandma’s desserts.

Made with pasta frolla (Italian sweet pastry dough), delicious crema pasticcera (Italian pastry cream) and fresh fruit, this super easy fruit tart is one of my go-to summer desserts.

Perfect to celebrate special occasions such as a birthday party or a holiday dinner, and easy enough to be made anytime you’re craving a sweet treat.

It’s also super easy to customize with your favorite fruit, and you can conveniently make the cream and tart crust in advance, and freeze it for later, so that whenever you need it, you can put it together in a matter of seconds.

Follow all my tips and tricks and I am sure that like my jam tart, it will become one of your favorite desserts!

crostata di frutta, italian fruit tart.

CROSTATA DI FRUTTA INGREDIENTS

This Italian fruit tart is proof that you don’t need to be a pastry chef to make a delicious dessert.

With a bit of time and minimum effort, you can put together a dessert that looks like out of a pastry shop!

Here’s what you’ll need:

crostata di frutta ingredients: pastry cream, pastry dough, strawberries, kiwi, nectarines.
  • Pasta frolla: Italian pastry dough is the base of the fruit tart, you can make it up to 2 days in advance, and store it in the fridge until ready to bake.
  • Crema pasticcera: classic Italian pastry cream is the traditional filling of Italian fruit tart, it takes just 10 minutes to make, and you can make it a day in advance if needed.
  • Fruit: I like to use strawberries, kiwi, and peaches, but feel free to use whatever you have at hand. Banana, nectarines, clementines, blueberries, grapes, and raspberries all work well. Just make it as colorful as you like!

TART CRUST SUBSTITUTION

  • Olive oil crust: You can use this dairy-free and butter-free oil pastry dough if you like. It gives you the exact same result and it’s just as delicious as pasta frolla!
  • Pâte sucrée: similar to the Italian frolla, this french pastry dough is a great alternative if you want a more basic and buttery flavor.

MORE FILLING IDEAS

My go-to filling for the fruit tart is Italian patisserie cream, but if you want to try something different, here are some other delicious fillings:

  • Chocolate spread: for a rich, chocolatey flavour, opt for store-bought Nutella or make your own homemade chocolate hazelnut spread.
  • Orange curd: for a wonderful citrusy aroma, try this rich orange curd filling.
  • Mascarpone cream: lightly flavoured with orange zest, this mascarpone cream filling is always a hit, and it’s ready in 5 minutes (bonus points if you make it with homemade mascarpone).
  • Diplomat cream: Mix in 200 ml (6.7 oz) freshly whipped cream after your crema pasticcera is ready. Diplomat cream is lighter than pastry cream, with a smoother texture.

HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN FRUIT TART

I’ve put together a quick step-by-step guide on how to make the tart crust, the cream filling, and finally how to assemble the fruit tart.

Scroll down until the end of the post for the full printable recipe.

Prepare the pastry cream:

collage of four images showing the four steps to make pastry cream, crema pasticcera.

STEP 1 – Whisk the eggs until fluffy.

Whisk the egg yolks with sugar and vanilla until you get a light, fluffy mixture.

Slowly incorporate sifted cornflour, and whisk until smooth.

STEP 2 – Heat the milk.

Heat the milk until you see the first bubbles, then remove it immediately from the heat.

Pour the egg mixture gently over the hot milk and return the pan over low heat. Do not stir.

STEP 3 –  Whisk until creamy.

The egg mixture will float over the milk surface, then sink in.

When most of the surface is covered with milk, turn the heat off, and whisk the mixture until it’s creamy, thick and smooth.

STEP 4 – Refrigerate your pastry cream.

Cover the cream with plastic wrap, making sure it touches the surface of the cream and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Top tip: Check out my guide on how to make Italian pastry cream, full of helpful tips.

Prepare the pasta frolla:

collage of four images showing steps 5 to 8 on how to make the tart crust.

STEP 5 – Mix butter and sugar.

Whip the butter, sugar, and orange zest until creamy.

STEP 6 – Add eggs.

Add one egg at a time, and mix in until incorporated.

STEP 7 – Add flour and form the dough.

Add in all the flour, and then mix everything.

If the dough is still sticky, dust it with 1 tablespoon of flour and form the dough into a ball without over-working it.

STEP 8 – Rest the dough.

Transfer the ball onto a sheet of cling film, flatten it into a disk and wrap it well. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Top tip: If you want to see all the illustrated steps and useful tips, check how to make Italian shortcrust pastry.

Prepare the Italian fruit tart:

collage of four images showing steps 9 to 12 on how to make italian fruit tart.

STEP 9 – Roll the dough.

Roll the dough to a 13-inch (33 cm) circle that’s about ⅛ inch thick.

STEP 10 – Bake the tart crust.

Place the rolled dough gently into a 9-inch tart pan (preferably with a removable bottom). With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to fit the tart pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then blind bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

STEP 11 – Add the cream filling.

Once the tart base is ready and cooled down, spread the pastry cream over the base.

STEP 12 – Decorate with fruit.

Decorate the tart with your favorite fruit. As an optional step, you can brush the surface with a bit of apricot jam mixed with water. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve.

crostata di frutta with strawberries, kiwi and nectarines.

ITALIAN FRUIT TART RECIPE TIPS

  • Do not overwork the pastry dough with your hands, because their warmth will make the butter soften faster.
  • Dust your counter and your rolling pin lightly with flour before rolling the dough.
  • To blind bake, top the base of the pastry with parchment paper, followed by baking beads or dried beans to weigh the crust down, and bake for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Assemble the fruit tart only when both the cream and the pastry are cold.
  • Fruit must be perfectly dry! Wash it first and pat dry with a kitchen cloth.
  • I usually avoid filling the tart more than 2-3 hours in advance, as the base would become a bit soggy, especially if you use fruit and cream fillings.
Can I make the pastry dough in advance?

Absolutely yes. You can store the dough disk wrapped in cling film in the fridge, or roll it out into pie or tart pan and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
I also recommend blind baking it first, and refrigerating or freezing it for later use.

How long can I keep the pastry cream in the fridge?

Pastry cream will keep in the fridge for about 5 days. Make sure to keep it covered with plastic wrap so it doesn’t form a skin over the surface. Whisk it gently before you use it.

DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE?

Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thepetitecook!

Looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!

crostata di frutta, italian fruit tart.

Print
SaveSaved!

5 from 1 vote

Loved by children and grown-ups, crostata di frutta (Italian fruit tart) made with pastry cream and fresh fruit, is the perfect dessert for all occasions!

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time15 mins

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Italian

Serving: 12

Calories: 340kcal

Ingredients

For the pastry cream:

  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • 80 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon zest of lemon, or ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 15 g cornflour
  • 250 ml fresh whole milk

For the pastry dough:

  • 170 g butter
  • 120 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 320 g all purpose flour

For the Italian fruit tart:

  • 300 g strawberries, sliced
  • 2 kiwi, sliced
  • 1 nectarine, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

For the pastry cream:

  • Whisk the egg yolks with sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Slowly incorporate the cornflour and whisk until smooth.

  • Heat the milk over low heat until you see the first bubbles, then drop the egg mixture gently over the hot milk. Do not stir.

  • Wait a few seconds, the egg mixture will float over the milk surface, then the milk bubbles will pierce the surface and will slowly incorporate it.

  • When most of the surface is covered with milk, turn the heat off, and whisk the mixture vigorously for about 30 seconds until it turns into pastry cream. Transfer it to ceramic or glass casserole dish, and cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cool.

For the shortcrust pastry:

  • Whip the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until creamy. Add one egg at a time, and mix in until incorporated. Add in all the flour, and then mix everything.

  • If the dough is still sticky, dust it with 1 tablespoon of flour and form the dough into a ball without over-working it.

  • Transfer the ball onto a sheet of cling film, flatten it into a disk and wrap it well. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

For the Italian fruit tart:

  • Preheat oven to 180 °C/ 360° F, or with the fan option on at 160 °C/ 320 °F.

  • Roll the dough to a 13-inch (33 cm) circle that’s about ⅛ inch thick.Place the rolled dough gently into a 9-inch tart pan (preferably with a removable bottom). With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to fit the tart pan. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, then blind bake in the oven for 20 minutes. STEP 11 – Add the cream filling.Once the tart base is ready and cooled down, spread the pastry cream over the base.STEP 12 – Decorate with fruit.Decorate the tart with your favorite fruit. As an optional step, you can brush the surface with a bit of apricot jam mixed with water. Serve immediately or store in fridge until ready to serve.
  • Remove the tart crust from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once the tart base is ready and cooled down, spread the pastry cream over the base.

  • Decorate the tart with your favorite fruit. As an optional step, warm the apricot jam and water, then brush the surface of the fruit tart with it, to give it a glossy look. Serve immediately or store in fridge until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Do not overwork the pastry dough with your hands, because their warmth will make the butter soften faster.
  • Dust your counter and your rolling pin lightly with flour before rolling the dough.
  • To blind bake, top the base of the pastry with parchment paper, followed by baking beads or dried beans to weigh the crust down, and bake for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Assemble the fruit tart only when both the cream and the pastry are cold.
  • Fruit must be perfectly dry! Wash it first and pat dry with a kitchen cloth.
  • I usually avoid filling the tart more than 2-3 hours in advance, as the base would become a bit soggy, especially if you use fruit and cream fillings.

Nutrition

Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 113mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 579IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

MORE TRADITIONAL ITALIAN DESSERTS TO TRY

If you liked this recipe, check out more favorite Italian desserts recipes here:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *