Calling all Italian cuisine lovers! This easy jam tart recipe (Italian crostata di marmellata) is the perfect Italian dessert. With the easiest olive oil shortcrust pastry, this tart recipe comes together in less than 20 minutes and you don't even have to roll out the pie dough. Perfect for the holidays, especially Christmas!
This Italian pie recipe can be baked in a tart pan or a pie plate. It's so easy, that's ideal if you want to involve your kids in a fun baking project. And they can also take a slice with them at school the next day!
The crust, called pasta frolla in Italian, is basically a sweet shortcrust pastry which you can make in just 5 minutes. It's very similar to pate sucree except that it uses olive oil instead of butter, something that makes it very soft and easy to work with.
For more recipes like this you can visit my pies and tarts category where you'll find delicious Mediterranean inspired desserts like this fruit tart with easy olive oil crust and the most popular fall dessert, this easy, one-bowl apple crumble pie. And if you prefer something that doesn't involve baking, try these no bake mini white chocolate tarts with Oreo crust.
😍 Why I love this recipe
These are some of the reasons why I love this Italian jam crostata:
✓ Easy: No mixer or food processor needed, just a whisk (or fork) and a bowl. Also, you don't have to roll out the pie dough, just press it with your hands into the tart pan 😎 .
✓ Simple: You probably already have all 10 ingredients in your kitchen.
✓ Olive oil: A great butter alternative full of healthy fat and with wonderful results when used in baking.
✓ Twist: Add your personal touch and decorate it however you want. If it's Christmas, cut out star-shaped cookies or small Xmas trees. If it's spring, make flowers. If it's Valentine's Day, cover it with hearts!
For this easy jam tart recipe you'll need the following simple ingredients:
Oil: It should be extra virgin olive oil.
Sugar: White caster sugar will dissolve more easily but if you don't have it, you can also use granulated sugar. Just make sure to stir it well with the olive oil until almost dissolved.
Jam: In Italy, apricot jam and strawberry jam are most commonly used, while raspberry jam crostata is especially favored in the USA. With that being said, I suggest picking whatever jam you love. This easy, small-batch peach jam with less sugar and no pectin is my personal favorite!
Vanilla, ground cinnamon and lemon zest: You can use all three or pick two of those. Orange zest is also nice.
Here are some variations for this Italian crostata di marmellata recipe:
With Ricotta cheese: Combine some ricotta with vanilla, sugar and eggs and use that mixture as a filling on top or under the jam. This Marmalade Ricotta Crostata recipe from TheLemonApron is a nice example.
With fresh fruit: Instead of jam, use fresh fruit with some sugar for added sweetness. For an apple crostata (similar to a galette) you can use the filling from this easy apple crumble pie.
Lemon curd: I've come across recipes that use lemon curd as a filling for the tart. However, I haven't tried this variation myself, so I can't tell how it will turn out.
Mini jam tarts: Make individual tartlets by using a regular or a mini muffin tin.
Gluten free: This recipe has been tested with a 1-to-1 gluten free flour with very good results. The only difference is that the gluten-free jam tart is a bit more crumbly and the surface doesn't brown as much. I use store-bought GF flour but you can also try this DIY Best 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend from MinimalistBaker.
Follow this simple step-by-step guide to make a perfect Italian crostata with jam every time:
Step 1: Transfer the olive oil, the sugar, the vanilla, the cinnamon and the lemon zest to a large bowl and stir well until homogenized.
Step 2: Add the egg and mix well until the egg is fully incorporated into the mixture.
Step 3: Mix the flour with the baking powder and stir. Then, add the flour to the olive oil mixture.
Step 4: Mix well until you get a soft dough. Then knead by hand until all of the flour is incorporated and you get a soft dough.
Step 5: Take approximately the two thirds of the dough and transfer it into the tart pan. Press it with your hands to spread and cover the bottom and the sides of the pan (you don't have to go all the way up to the sides, half an inch is enough). Level the surface with the back of a spoon and then fill it with the jam.
Step 6: Take the remaining dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll to about ¼ inch thick and cut out shapes using a cookie cutter. Transfer the dough on a sheet pan and chill in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Once the dough is chilled, transfer the decorations to the surface of the tart. You can knead the scraps and roll them again to make more decorations.
Step 7: Bake the tart and place it on a rack to cool. You can sprinkle it with icing sugar before serving.
👨🍳 Expert Tips
✤ For an even easier Italian pie recipe, put the dough for the topping in the freezer for 10-15 minutes and crumble it with your hands over the surface of the tart. You can also use the coarse side of a box grater to shred it.
✤ Place the decorations on a sheet pan and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes before transferring them to the tart. This will help them hold their shape better.
✤ For decorations with sharper edges, slightly reduce the amount of baking powder.
✤ For a more golden brown surface, brush the crust with egg-wash before baking.
This is an older jam tart with stars of different sizes which is brushed with egg-wash.
Hungarian Tart is a soft tart with a biscuit-like texture which is filled with jam and then topped with a crumbly layer of dough. Jam tart is very similar except it is topped with thin ribbons of dough instead of the crumb topping.
This jam tart will last for two days at room temperature and for at least 4-5 days when stored in the fridge inside an airtight container (or tightly wrapped with plastic wrap).
🍳 More Italian desserts:
If you tried this easy Italian Crostata Recipe (Jam Tart) or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Easy Italian Crostata Recipe (Jam Tart)
- 1 9-inch (22cm) tart pan or pie dish.
- ½ cup (110 g) extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup (100 g) sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest or orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 2 ¼ cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (use 1 ¾ teaspoons if you want sharper decorations)
- 1 cup (340 g) jam of your choice (such as strawberry, cherry, peach, apricot, quince)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease and line with baking paper a 9–inch (22cm) tart pan.
- Transfer the olive oil, the sugar, the vanilla, the cinnamon and the lemon zest to a large bowl and stir well with a whisk or a fork until homogenized.
- Add the egg and mix well until the egg is fully incorporated into the olive oil mixture. You will notice that the mixture will slightly thicken.
- Transfer the flour and the baking powder to a bowl and stir to mix. Then add the flour to the olive oil mixture.
- Mix until the flour is absorbed. Then knead by hand until you get a soft, pliable dough. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle with some extra flour.
- Take approximately the two thirds of the dough and transfer it into the tart pan. Press it with your hands to spread and cover the bottom and the sides of the pan (you don't have to go all the way up to the sides, half an inch is enough).Level the surface with the back of a spoon and then fill it with the jam.
- Take the remaining dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll to about ¼ inch thick and cut out shapes using a cookie cutter. Transfer the dough on a sheet pan and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.Once the dough is chilled, transfer the decorations to the tart (a small offset spatula or a butter knife is great for this). You can knead the remaining scraps and roll them again to make more decorations.
- Bake the tart for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Take it out of the oven and place it on a cooling rack to cool.Optionally, sprinkle it with icing sugar just before serving.
- If you prefer the tart crust more browned, brush it with some egg-wash before baking (to make the egg wash, whisk one egg yolk with 2 tablespoons milk and a pinch of sugar).
- For an even easier jam tart recipe, put the remaining dough (for the topping) in the freezer for 10 minutes and crumble it with your hands over the surface of the tart or use the coarse side of a box grater to shred it.
- Any leftover dough makes delicious crispy cookies that keep very well for a lot of days.