Crostata al Limoncello by Chef Pino

We thought we would bring you something sweet and tart to start off May. Knowing how much our students love Italy and that something this fresh, with a hint of Italy's most well known liquor thrown in for good measure might easy lock down for everyone, we are proposing a delicious crostata to finish your next family meal.

YIELD​ : 8-12 servings

PREP TIME​ : 3 hours

LEVEL : Medium


Pasta Frolla/Pâte Sucrée 135g icing/powdered sugar 1 whole egg 200g unsalted butter, room temperature 335g flour Vanilla, if desired Lemon zest 2g salt -

Pastry cream

500g whole milk

100g sugar

Zest of 1 organic Lemon

60g Corn starch

50g cold, unsalted butter

50g Limoncello

4 egg yolks

2 gelatin leaves (or 5g of powdered gelatin bloomed in 30g of water)


Start by preparing the dough, while it rests in the fridge prepare the Limoncello flavoured pastry cream.


In the bowl of your standup mixed place flour, sugar, salt, butter and lemon zest (grated with à Microplane). If you have vanilla paste or you are using vanilla seeds from à pod add them now, if you are adding liquid vanilla extract add that to the egg later.

Start mixing the dry ingredients at low speed using the paddle attachment, keep going until the butter is evenly dispersed and the mixture resembles grated cheese. Stop the machine, scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, add the egg and keep mixing until the dough holds together. Flat the dough into à 2cm thick disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling it.

Pastry Cream Filling

Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for 5 minutes then squeeze well and set aside (if you use powdered gelatine bloom it in 30g of cold water).

Bring milk and zest to a boil, in the meantime whisk egg yolk, sugar and starch really well. Pour half of the boiling milk onto the egg mixture while whisking. Off heat pour everything back into the pot and cook over medium low heat until fully thickened.

Transfer the cream into à clean bowl, add gelatine, butter and limoncello and whisk vigorously until very well mixed. Ideally you should use an immersion blender to perfectly emulsify the ingredients. Cool quickly by spreading onto a large plate, let cool at room temperature. Once cold the cream is hard to spread as is, it needs to be worked with a spatula to make it smooth.

Cooking the Crust

Preheat the oven to 165°C/325°F. Prepare your tart pan by brushing it with soft butter and coating it with flour.

Roll the dough 3mm thick and line the tart pan with it. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Place à piece of parchment paper or foil on the dough, fill it with rice, beans or coarse salt and bake for 10 minutes (blind baking). Carefully remove the paper and keep cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes until the dough is golden brown. Let cool on a rack.

Assembly Place the cream in piping bag fitted with à star tip or better with à pastry tip normally used for Christmas logs (douille chemin de fer).

Pipe the cream in the tart shell and refrigerate only if the gelatine is not yet set.