If you love homemade strawberry cheesecake and Italian crostata di marmellata (jam tart), this is the perfect springtime dessert to make right now. One part strawberry cheesecake and one part Italian strawberry crostata, this easy dessert is a definite crowd-pleaser. There are 3 components: “pasta frolla” which is a very forgiving and easy-to-make Italian shortcrust pastry, an even easier 30-minute homemade no-pectin strawberry jam (or your favorite store-bought brand), and a simple all-natural homemade strawberry cheesecake filling. As always, step-by-step recipe photos follow.
What is Strawberry Cheesecake Crostata?
This cheesecake strawberry dessert is made from a combination of an Italian jam tart (crostata di marmellata) and strawberry cheesecake — and it’s delicious. Italian pasta frolla (or Italian shortcrust pastry) gets a thin layer of jam (“marmellata” in Italian) in this case a 30-minute homemade strawberry jam), then it’s topped with creamy strawberry cheesecake filling, a lattice design of more pasta frolla. This dessert is basically strawberry cheesecake shortcake and you’ll be happy you made it.
What is Italian Pasta Frolla (Italian Shortcrust Pastry)?
Pasta frolla is a rich and crumbly (in a good way) pastry dough that’s made with 00 flour, sugar, egg, egg yolks, baking powder, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt). This is the easiest pastry dough to make since there’s no cutting in the fat with the flour. Instead, pasta frolla is made right in your stand mixer, or using a handheld electric mixer. Head over here to learn more about this easy pasta frolla (shortcrust pastry). We make a lot of crostate (as you can see by the below photos) — it’s easy to shape and cut which makes it a good holiday dessert for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or anytime.
Why We Love This Strawberry Cheesecake Crostata Dessert Recipe
- It’s full of strawberry flavor with 2 layers of different strawberry fillings
- Pasta frolla shortcrust is ready in minutes (no cutting the fat into the flour required)
- You can use fresh or frozen strawberries
- This pasta frolla (shortcrust) recipe is really easy to roll and cut
- Strawberry Cheesecake crostata can be made ahead of time and frozen
- Actual hands-on time (including measuring out the ingredients) is just about 45 minutes and the rest is baking and refrigerating time.
All-Natural Strawberry Cheesecake Crostata Ingredients
Making this strawberry cheesecake crostata is easy. I suggest using Italian 00 flour because it has a finer texture than all-purpose flour which creates a nicely-textured shortcrust pastry, but cake flour also works well and even all-purpose can be used. I recommend using a scale to weigh the ingredients if you have one. If you don’t have fresh or frozen strawberries on hand to make this quick 30-minute homemade strawberry jam, use your favorite brand.
For the Strawberry Crostata
- Italian 00 flour (or cake flour, or all-purpose)
- baking powder
- unsalted butter
- egg/egg yolk
- pure vanilla extract
- lemon zest
- homemade strawberry jam (sub favorite brand)
For the Strawberry Cheesecake Layer
- Philadelphia cream cheese
- vanilla extract
- homemade strawberry jam (sub favorite brand)
- heavy cream (sub whole milk)
- all-purpose flour
How to Make the Best Strawberry Cheesecake Crostata (Step-By-Step Photos Follow)
Homemade crostata is typically made in a tart pan with removable bottom, but you can make this dessert in a tart pan without a removable bottom as I have, or even in a pie plate (as I’ve done in another post) but you’ll have leftover jam, pastry dough, and cheesecake filling if you use a standard 9 or 10-inch pie plate. You can make minis with any leftovers if you do use a pie plate. For this strawberry dessert recipe, I’ve used an 11-inch (28cm) tart pan.
Make the 30-Minute Strawberry Jam
- Make the Strawberry Jam. (If using store-bought strawberry jam, skip this step) In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, add the chopped strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and orange juice and stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and cook stirring frequently to avoid scorching for 25 to 27 minutes, or until the strawberries are mostly broken down and the mixture coats the back of a spoon (see photos). Remove from the heat and ladle the jam into a heatproof glass canning jar and allow it to cool to room temperature. Check out the full post here.
Make the Crostata Layer
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C & prepare an 11-inch (23-28cm) tart pan. Butter the tart pan using your hands to be sure to get into all the crevices. Add about 1/4 cup of flour to the pan and tap it around to cover the entire surface, tap out any excess flour and set aside.
- Measure out the dry ingredients. In a medium-sized mixing bowl add the flour, salt, and baking powder and whisk well to combine.
- Make the pasta frolla shortcrust. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer or food processor), cream the butter, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla extract on medium speed until lighter in color and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the egg and 2 egg yolks one at a time making sure each one is fully incorporated before adding the next one (it shouldn’t take longer than 15 seconds total to incorporate all of the eggs). Turn off the mixer, add the flour mixture, and gently stir it in using a rubber spatula until no flour streaks remain.
- Form the pastry into a disc & refrigerate it. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to a non-stick Silpat or other surface and spread it out just slightly. Add the pasta frolla and gently start forming a disc incorporating the flour as needed to form a ball that doesn’t stick to your hands when pressed. If you need just a bit more or less flour that’s ok as long as you can form it into a soft disc without it sticking to the surface or your hands. Flatten it slightly and wrap it well with sustainable cling film and place it into the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
- Assemble the crostata. Remove the chilled dough disc from the fridge and divide it into two pieces (with one piece being slightly larger than the other). Place the smaller piece of dough back into the fridge while you roll out the bottom crust. Place the disc onto a lightly floured surface and press down on it to flatten it and shape it into a round. Roll it out to 1/8 of an inch (6mm) using more flour as needed to keep it from sticking to the surface. Gently roll the dough onto the rolling pin and transfer it to the tart pan. Unroll it into the pan and press the dough into and around the pan making sure that there are no gaps between the pan and the dough (or it will shrink as it bakes). Use a knife or a rolling pin to trim the excess dough from the edges. Add the leftover trimmings to the other dough block in the fridge to keep it cold. Prick holes all over the entire crust (sides and bottom) to prevent it from puffing up as it bakes. Add the cooled jam to the tart and refrigerate while you make the cheesecake layer.
Make the Strawberry Cheesecake Filling
- Make the cheesecake Filling. Using a whisk, handheld mixer, or stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), cream the sugar, cream cheese, and salt until light and fluffy about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, and vanilla extract to a small bowl and lightly whisk with a fork just until incorporated. With the mixer running, add the egg mixture to the cream cheese mixture and blend for a few seconds until no egg streaks remain. Stir in the strawberry jam and cream until combined. Then add the flour using a rubber spatula just until no traces of flour remain. Do not over-mix.
Assemble the Dessert and Bake
- Make the lattice top strips. Remove the smaller piece of dough from the fridge and roll it out as you did the first piece except try to form it into a rectangle instead of a circle. Cut long strips as evenly as possible using a pizza cutter or knife. You will need at least 4 or 5 strips for the bottom layer and 5 strips for the top layer. Combine and re-roll any leftover dough until you have enough strips.
- Assemble & decorate the cheesecake crostata. Add the strawberry cheesecake batter on top of the jam and smooth it out evenly. Decorate the top of the filled crostata by placing 4 to 5 dough strips equal distances apart from each other at an angle going from one side to the other and removing the excess dough from the edges. Turn the crostata slightly and add 4 or 5 dough strips going in the opposite direction at an angle to create the diamond pattern. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired.
- Bake the crostata. Bake the crostata at 350°F/180°C for 10 minutes on the middle rack of the oven. Reduce the heat to 325°F/170°C and continue baking for 25 to 30 more minutes, or until just golden on top and the cheesecake is set. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and allow it to cool to room temperature completely. Once cooled, wrap it well (or place it in an airtight container) and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight which is even better, and Enjoy!
Strawberry Cheesecake Crostata di Marmellata step-by-step recipe photos
Strawberry Cheesecake Crostata di Marmellata Helpful Tips
Make sure the dough is completely chilled before rolling it out or it will be difficult because this is a soft dough. If you’re new to making pastry, you can cheat it and just press in the dough if you want (it won’t be as light, but it’s still really good!)
If you have kiddos who are small but want to help, let them press in the dough instead of rolling it out, just be sure to chill the filled tart pan for at least 2 hours before filling it and baking it.
Don’t be tempted to skip using the lemon zest in the pasta frolla. This is part of what gives crostata its authentic Italian taste (it’s so good). The dough is delicious without the zest, but it won’t be a real Italian crostata without it.
If the dough gets too soft as you’re rolling it out, pop it back into the fridge for 20 minutes or so to help firm it back up, and then continue.
Italian 00 flour is what’s used for pasta frolla, but you may substitute cake flour or even all-purpose flour if that’s all you’ve got.
How to Store Strawberry Cheesecake Crostata di Marmellata Dessert
If you plan to make this strawberry cheesecake for a holiday like Easter or Mother’s Day, I doubt there will be anything left over. But if you’re making it just to try it, here are the best ways to store it if you end up having leftovers.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days wrapped well, or in an airtight container so it doesn’t absorb odors from other ingredients.
Store in the freezer for up to 3 or 4 months wrapped very well in sustainable cling film and placed in an airtight container or freezer bag. You may defrost individual slices or the whole cheesecake crostata in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature with all of the wrappings completely removed first (which will keep it from getting wet with condensation as it thaws). If thawing on the countertop, be sure to check it periodically to ensure it doesn’t get too warm before you eat it or refrigerate it.
Looking for More Easy Crostata and Cheesecake Recipes to Make?
Here are a few of our favorite Italian crostata recipes plus a few of our favorite cheesecake recipes you might like to try.
- Strawberry Crostata w/Homemade Strawberry Jam (Crostata di Marmellata di Fragole)
- Pecan Tassie Cheesecake with Biscoff Cookie Crust (w/Mini Cheesecake Option)
- Easy Authentic Italian Crostata di Marmellata (Italian Jam Tart)
- NYC Black and White “Cookie” Cheesecake (1/2 Milk Chocolate-Caramel & 1/2 White Chocolate-Vanilla Bean Cheesecake)
- Easy Double Biscoff Cheesecake
- Easy Classic Cheesecake w/Biscoff Cookie Crust (with Mini Cheesecake Option)
- White Chocolate Salted Caramel Cheesecake w/Oreo CookieCrust
- White Chocolate Creme Brûlée Cheesecake w/Biscoff Cookie Crust
- Reese’s Devil’s Food Cheesecake w/Oreo Cookie Crust
- Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chestnut Graham Cracker Crust
- Easy All-Natural Strawberry Cheesecake with Biscoff Cookie Crust
- All-Natural Strawberry Shortcake Scones with Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream
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