A crostata is an Italian baked tart or pie, also known as coppi in Naples and sfogliata in Lombardy.[1] The earliest known use of crostata in its modern sense can be traced to the cookbooks Libro de Arte Coquinaria (Book of the Art of Cooking) by Martino da Como, published circa 1465,[2] and Cuoco napolitano (Neapolitan Cook), published in the late 15th century containing a recipe (number 94) titled Crostata de Caso, Pane, etc..[3]

Crostata di albicocche.jpg
Crostata with honey and apricots
Place of originItaly
Main ingredientsPastry crust, jam or ricotta, fruit
VariationsCrostata di frutta, crostata di ricotta, many other sweet or savoury variations

A crostata is a "rustic free-form version of an open fruit tart"[4] that may also be baked in a pie plate.[5]

Historically, it also referred to an "open-faced sandwich or canapé" because of its crusted appearance,[2] or a chewet, a type of meat pie.[6]


The name derives from the Latin word crustāta, the feminine past participle of crustāre (to encrust), and ultimately from the noun crusta (crust).[7] The French term croustade derives from it, from which the English term custard derives.[7] The word crostata appeared in the earliest Italian dictionaries, included in the 1612 dictionary Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca (compiled from 1591 to 1608)[8] by the Accademia della Crusca and the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa,[9] and the 1617 dictionary Il memoriale della lingua italiana: ridotto in ordine d'alfabeto per commodità del lettore by Giacomo Pergamino, in which it was defined as a type of torta.[10]


Traditionally, a crostata consisted of a base, usually three layers, of friable dough "flavoured with clarified fat and butter".[11] Today, shortcrust pastry is used instead. It is differentiated from a torta by its filling: a crostata has an inconsistent chunky filling, whereas a torta has a consistent filling made of blended ingredients.[11] There are "endless variations"[12] of both sweet and savoury crostata,[5] the sweet ones usually being served as a dessert.

Sweet variations use fruit preserves as a filling, typically apricot, cherry, peach or nectarine, or berries.[12] The crostata can also be blind-baked and then filled with pastry cream (crema pasticciera) topped with pieces of fresh fruit; this is called crostata di frutta. In his 1570 cookbook Opera dell'arte del cucinare, Bartolomeo Scappi included a recipe for a crostata of plums and sour cherries,[11] and others for quince, and pears. A modern version is crostata alla nutella, which has Nutella as the filling.[13]

Ingredients for a savoury crostata may include meat, fish, or vegetables,[11] which are pre-cooked.[5] Opera dell'arte del cucinare included a recipe for a "crostata of crabmeat and shrimp", and also stated that to instead make a torta, the shrimp and crab should be crushed.[11] A popular sweet variant, especially in central Italy, is crostata di ricotta, made with ricotta mixed with sugar and lemon zest, and which may additionally include cocoa or raisins.[14][15][16]

Scappi included many recipes for crostata in Opera dell'arte del cucinare. For meat and seafood based crostata, there were recipes using pork jowls or prosciutto,[17] crayfish, anchovies, or oysters. Other savoury crostata recipes included a crostata with creamy cheese referred to as a butirata,[17] those with truffles or field mushrooms,[18] one with artichoke or cardoon hearts,[18] and one with "the viscera of any sort of turtle".[19]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Capatti & Montanari 1999, p. 60–61.
  2. ^ a b Scappi 1570, p. 252.
  3. ^ Scully 2000, p. 65.
  4. ^ Corley 2011, p. 129.
  5. ^ a b c Adams & Rivard 2002, p. 122.
  6. ^ Weekley 1967, p. 402.
  7. ^ a b Skeat 1911, p. 125.
  8. ^ Sessa 2001.
  9. ^ Accademia della Crusca and Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa 1612, Crostata.
  10. ^ Pergamino 1617, p. 145.
  11. ^ a b c d e Capatti & Montanari 1999, p. 60.
  12. ^ a b Worthington 2012.
  13. ^ Giallo Zafferano: Crostata all Nutella.
  14. ^ Cushing.
  15. ^ Rocco.
  16. ^ The Foodellers: Crostata with ricotta cheese.
  17. ^ a b Scappi 1570, p. 254.
  18. ^ a b Scappi 1570, p. 463–464.
  19. ^ Scappi 1570, p. 523.


External linksEdit