Saturday, May 6, 2023

How to Make a Picture-Perfect Italian Berry Tart - Crostata di Frutta

See how easy is to make this picture-perfect tart filled with Italian custard cream and fresh berries

in your own kitchen

Who is ready to learn how you can make this berry tart?!? 
This recipe requires a few steps but it's not so hard to whip up.

I promise that if you follow my simple step-by-step directions below, you'll be able to make from scratch, right in your kitchen this delicious, summer-perfect dessert. 
And it's the perfect way to celebrate Mother's Day!

This tart is made with a traditional cookie crust (pasta frolla), creamy and velvety custard cream (crema pasticciera), and lots of naturally sweet and colorful fresh berries, arranged on top as your creativity calls out. 
So pretty and so easy, you can't mess it up!

I've actually baked this fruit tart (or as we call it in Italy, crostata di frutta) many MANY times. 
It's always a big hit. 
And so pretty that most guests assume I bought it from a bakery... even my own kids! But come on, shouldn't they know better?! 

Here are some tips and things to keep in mind when making this fruit tart.

Tart shell:
You can easily make this dough by hand, with a hand mixer (like I did today) or a stand mixer.
Mix the sugar with the eggs, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix in the butter softened at room temperature, so it's easier to mix in the dough. Add the flour and mix until the dough comes together.
You can roll out the dough on the counter with a rolling pin. OR like I did today, simply press the dough to the bottom of the pan with a spoon, your hands, or the bottom of a cup. Remeber, you can sprinkle the top with a little bit of flour if the dough sticks to your hand and make it as flat as possible.

Prick the bottom with a fork and bake! Yes, we want to bake the shell by itself.
Note: You can make the tart one or two days before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (don't fill the shell until ready to serve).

TIPS: How to soften butter at room temperature:

Remove from the refrigerator about half an hour before starting with the recipe.
It's faster to soften at room temperature if you cut it into chunks or smaller slices instead of leaving it in one big stick.

If you don't have time to wait you can cut in pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 20% power for 10 seconds. If needed add 10 more seconds.

Custard cream: 

Crema Pasticcera (or pasticciera), Italian custard cream, is a dense and velvety, rich, and delicate custard cream that is quite simple to make. 

In this recipe, I use cornstarch to thicken the cream. You can substitute with all-purpose flour, or do half and half.

You can flavor the cream with vanilla extract or vanilla paste. Or skip the vanilla and add lemon peel to the milk when heating it up for a citrusy alternative. 

Things to remember when making custard cream:

Warm the milk until hot, before adding to the other ingredients.

Keep on whisking once you bring the cream to a boil. Don't stop! The cream will quickly start to dense up as soon as it starts to simmer. Whisk and cook for a couple of minutes until you reach the desired thickness.

Pour the crema pasticcera into a bowl and immediately cover it with plastic wrap, right on top of the cream. The plastic should touch the surface of the cream so there's no thicker custard "skin" forming when cooling. Let it cool down and refrigerate if not using right away.

NOTE: The cream can be made one or two days before use. Store in the refrigerator until ready to make the tart.

The best part is decorating the top with seasonal fruit, and creating a fun and colorful design. 

I use sliced strawberries and made two circles of slightly overlapping strawberry slices. Start from the edge and work your way around. And filled the middle part with lots of raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
Note: You can use any fruit you like, but beware, some fruit doesn't work as well as others, like banana or apple slices for example. These will quickly change color once cut (unless you use lemon juice) and will not look as good.

Ready to try it too?!? Here is the full recipe!

Other Italian dessert recipes you might like:


      Video Recipe: Fruit Tart

      Printable recipe card: Pretty and delicious  berry tart with custard cream

No comments:

Post a Comment