Fruit Crostata With Crumb Topping

This fruit crostata with crumb topping makes quick use of the summer’s bounty of berries, cherries, apricots, or apples. Streusel does double duty as both the base and topping and the whole thing is crowned with a sprinkling of sugared walnuts. Don’t mind if we do.

Pieces of fruit crostata with crumb topping, each filled with different fruit, lined up next to each other on a marble surface.

Adapted from Erin Jeanne McDowell | The Book on Pie | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020

The brilliant combination of a crumble base and topping act as bookends to a jammy filling of any fruit you desire. The streusel crumble is tamped down to make the crust, fruit is piled on top and it’s all crowned with another layer of streusel and candied walnuts. Use any in-season fruit you desire (or even frozen!) for an utterly delish dessert.–Jenny Latreille

CAN I MAKE THIS AHEAD OF TIME?

You bet you can. This crostata is perfect for taking somewhere, like a picnic or someone else’s backyard barbecue. It keeps well for up to 3 days at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Even if you’re not planning on venturing out, our testers also thought it made a great breakfast – so you’re all set for a satisfying morning. 

Fruit Crostata With Crumb Topping

Pieces of fruit crostata with crumb topping, each filled with different fruit, lined up next to each other on a marble surface.
An easy workhorse of a recipe that can carry you through all the seasons. It’s great for breakfast, dusted with powdered sugar, or packed in a lunchbox for an afternoon snack, or even as an easy dinner party dessert served with whipped cream. I particularly love it with rhubarb, stone fruit, and/or berries.
Erin Jeanne McDowell

Prep 30 mins
Cook 50 mins
Total 2 hrs 30 mins
Dessert
American
10 servings
421 kcal
5 from 1 vote
Print RecipeBuy the The Book on Pie cookbook

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Ingredients 

For the streusel

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons (6 oz) cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch (1-cm) cubes

For the crostata

  • Butter for the pan
  • 2 pounds fruit pitted and/or peeled, if needed and chopped if large, or frozen fruit, thawed and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions
 

Make the streusel

  • In a medium bowl, stir the oats, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together to combine.
  • Drop in the butter and mix with your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture forms large clumps, 3 to 4 minutes.

Make the crostata

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the middle. Lightly butter a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan.
  • Divide the streusel into two portions: two thirds (about 3 1/2 cups) for the crust and the remaining one third (about 1 3/4 cup) for the topping. Press the larger amount of streusel evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan—it should be about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick all over.
  • In a large bowl, toss the fruit with the lemon juice and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together to combine. Add this mixture to the fruit and toss well to combine.
  • Pour the fruit mixture into the crumb crust and press firmly into an even layer. Crumble the remaining streusel evenly over the top. Sprinkle the nuts, if using, evenly over the streusel.
  • Bake until the crust is deeply golden brown, the fruit is tender, and the juices are bubbling, 45 to 65 minutes. If the top of the crostata starts to darken too quickly, tent it with foil. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.
5 from 1 vote
Print RecipeBuy the The Book on Pie cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 421kcal (21%)Carbohydrates: 68g (23%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 16g (25%)Saturated Fat: 9g (56%)Trans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 38mg (13%)Sodium: 335mg (15%)Potassium: 190mg (5%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 37g (41%)Vitamin A: 718IU (14%)Vitamin C: 3mg (4%)Calcium: 53mg (5%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Genius. There's no other way to describe this crumble, crostata, whatever you want to call it, tart! I'm the kind of person who makes double the amount of crumble required for the fruit I have because I love a high crumb to fruit ratio. So, putting crumble under and on top of fruit in this fruit crostata with crumb topping- it's nothing short of genius! This is the kind of crumble you make for dinner guests... at least, you should make it for a crowd, if you don't just know you'll be eating it all yourself!

I'm pretty sure I just found my new go-to summer fruit dessert. Crumb topping is basically the best part of anything it's a part of, so I'm surprised it has taken so long for someone to repurpose it into a crust as well, where here it delivers a crunchy oatmeal cookie texture that defies all odds in holding its shape and not falling apart. The fruit crostata with crumb topping is a no-brainer to assemble, coming together in about 20 minutes before it goes into the oven.

I went with blueberries (no peeling and cutting in sight) and was delighted to end up with a dessert where blueberries were front and center. Oftentimes they are bogged down with spices or additional sugar, but here they shone as is, with a mix of collapsed and intact yet tender berries for a nice textural contrast. Everyone who ate it was both fascinated by the crust and enamored with the flavor, and I can't wait for fresh apricots to make it again. Personally, I'd suggest holding off on the chopped nuts unless you're using a more dominant fruit. Blueberries have a subtleness that I think the chopped walnuts occasionally overwhelmed. They would be right at home with most stone fruits or other berries.

This is a delicious dessert that is simple and easy enough to make any time but "fancy" enough for guests. I made this fruit crostata with crumble topping with mixed berries because I had some in the freezer. Using the frozen berries eliminated time for cleaning, seeding, peeling, or whatever might be necessary with fresh fruit. Even adding time for that, this is quick to put together.

Being able to use frozen fruit is convenient because you can have it available anytime, but I think it might be even better with fresh fruit. I was skeptical that the streusel would hold together well as a crust, but it was perfect. Be sure to let it cool completely before removing it from the springform and trying to cut it. I will definitely be making this again, and I am anxious to try it with other fruit. I served it with vanilla ice cream on the side but it would also be a nice breakfast item.

This is an excellent recipe for a fruit crostata with crumb topping and one every home baker should keep in their back pocket. The streusel topping, used as a crust as well as a topping here, is a very nice alternative to rich pastry. The inclusion of old-fashioned oats gives this crostata a distinct granola bar vibe that pairs beautifully with the jammy fruit filling. I used mostly thawed, frozen blueberries but also included some thawed, frozen cherries, and red and black currants. The fruit filling had subtle floral notes, reminding tasters of warmer summer days.

I love this! I could nibble on this fruit crostata with crumb topping all day. Since it’s strawberry season here that’s what I used. Perfect choice but I think any fruit would be just as delicious. I did use pecans on the top and they added a nice subtle crunch. The streusel made a really nice crust and topping. I was worried I wouldn’t have enough crust on the side but by putting 2/3 of the mixture in the pan it was the perfect amount for the bottom and sides. It’s hard to stop eating this.

This recipe for fruit crostata with crumb topping was an awesome way to build a deep-dish style crumb-topped pie without any rolling pins or pastry fuss. Now go ahead and roll your eyes: I'm one of those people who thinks all food looks better in a cast-iron skillet. This is probably not the only reason I'm not working as a social media influencer, which sounds like the coolest easiest job: get free stuff while living a life equal parts organized, glamorous, and effortless, and all you've gotta do is post a quick daily snap! Well, dream job or not, at least one of us needs to try making a skillet fruit crostata for all of us who have no springform pan - and I'm here to report - IT WORKED GREAT. Whether you're an influencer or not, if you don't have a zillion pots/pans/bakeware options, you probably have a 10" cast-iron skillet, and that thick black matte edge is the perfect frame for a rustic dessert, am I right?

The crust and topping, made just as described, worked perfectly; I found it liked to be squeezed a little bit in your hands while pressing it into the bottom and sides. For the filling, 5 mixed-variety apples were peeled and sliced about 1/4" thick, which piled above the top when raw, settling nicely during the bake. I skipped the nuts and substituted 3 tablespoons of flour for the 3 tablespoons cornstarch, both out of pantry necessity and at Joy of Cooking's recommendation for thickening apple pies; once fully cool, the pie cut into neat slices, without runny goo or dry fruit. Without the removable springform sides, I was worried about a sloppy presentation but found the parchment circle I placed on the bottom unnecessary, and next time I'll bravely count on the pastry crust to crisp and release on the bottom as well as it did on the edges.

Maybe due to the thicker pan, I baked longer than directed for bubbly filling and crunchy, browned crumbs, about an hour. One of my favorite things about this recipe was how balanced the sweetness was; neither the crust nor filling was too sugary or bland. Definitely worth repeating, I can't wait to present this dessert with apples, cranberries, or pears on a holiday table, or with peaches, blueberries, or strawberry-rhubarb at a summer cookout. No matter the filling, or how cliche the presentation, you can count on it: I'm bringing this in cast-iron.


Originally published May 25, 2021

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