food. family. life.

magozino di limone italiano: {italian lemon crostada}

It was my first trip to the Amalfi coast in Italia. The train ride from the north was wonderful.

There really is nothing like a European train ride with stunning views along the way.

The southern coast if Italia was shockingly different from the northern regions, from the coastal villages with brightly painted structures to ancient villages built into the rocks and mountains that during the day were invisible, but by night would light up the coastline like a scene from a Fellini movie.

I immediately fell under the spell of these areas Sorrento and Positano to name a few, with their southern influenced local dishes filled with fresh seafood and fish, wine, lemons (and limoncello) as well as the people i met along the way.

My last stop was the hidden gem island of Capri, just a few moments off the main coast near Sorrento.

I took a ferry boat to this famous island and did not want to leave. it had a very typical island feel with gorgeous trees and flowers mixed with the strong aromas and feel of the real Italia. It was a the perfect combination of relaxing escape and stunning resort island in this country I adore.

One this trip, I enjoyed a dolce crostata (tarte) that was made with the very famous limone (lemons) of the region.

These lemon trees fill the coastline and when the wind blows the aroma of the lemon fruit and leaves wafts down upon you like a warm summer wind filled with the perfume of lemon oil showcasing the essence of southern Italia.

I am not a dessert person, but I do love a bite of something slightly sweet with espresso or cordials after dark. This is the best combination of tangy, sweet lemons mixed with the crisp bite of a buttery rich crust.

The addition of the dark cioccolata drizzled on top of this crostata or tarte was masterful, a flavor filled evening I will never forget.

Here is my best attempt at recreating this dolce, I hope you find it filled with the same taste and texture pleasures that I enjoy. This recipe transports me to a place and time that I will forever keep safe in my heart and memories.

magozino di limone italiano {italian lemon crostada}


for the crust:

8 tbsps. unsalted organic butter, softened (room temperature)

2 cups unbleached organic flour (you can replace this with rice or coconut flour for unique change in taste)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 whole organic egg, slightly beaten to brush onto crust for golden color

freshly grated zest of one lemon

milk or cream, if needed

Using a food processor, add all the ingredients except for the egg into the processor bowl. Begin to pulse this mixture until a soft dough begins to form.

If the dough is too stiff, add a touch of cream or milk, too soft add a bit more flour until it come together in a clump.

Remove the dough from the bowl and work the dough for a minute or two until well combined; wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for about 5 minutes or so.

Using a round pie plate or tin, roll the dough (dust with four lightly when rolling) and place into the pie plate and crimp the edges all around by hand for a rustic feel to the crust.

Using a fork poke the bottom of the crust and sides a bit for better baking.

Place in a preheated oven set to 350 degrees on the middle rack, bake until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature.cucinadmammina_limone crostada-03Add


for the limone (lemon) filling:

4  whole organic eggs (beaten well)

3/4 cup or so of fine granulated sugar

2 fresh lemons, juiced and zested

4 tbsps. melted unsalted organic butter

Using a double boiler, bring the water to a soft boil and add the beaten eggs and sugar to the top portion of the double boiler and begin to whisk together until well blended and smooth.

Add the melted butter, lemon juice and zest and continue beating with a whisk over the heat until all is well combined and smooth and begins to thicken.

Continue whisking and remove from heat when the consistency is of a thick pudding.

Let rest and cool for a minute or two.cucinadmammina_limone crostada-11

NOTE: If your lemon filling is a bit lumpy or not as smooth as you would like, you can use a hand mixer to break it up and smooth it out OR use a strainer to remove the lumps etc.


Add the filling to the cooled crust keep the filling as smooth and even as possible. Set aside.

to make the dark ciocolatta ganache:

1 to 2 high quality dark ciccolatta (chocolate) bars broken into pieces

3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream

1/2 tbsp unsalted organic butter

Using the double boiler, add the chocolate pieces and butter and begin to whisk as it melts over the boiling water.

Add the cream and mix over the heat until well blended and allow to reduce a bit until thickened.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool; cover with plastic wrap letting it touch the surface of the chocolate so a skin does not form.

Prior to serving, chill the lemon crostata in the refrigerator until slightly cooled (or you can enjoy at room temperature, it a matter only of personal taste. In Italy this was served room temperature and I found it stays true to the flavors of the lemons this way.)

Drizzle a very healthy dose of the chocolate ganache over the surface of the crostata and slice into serving size pieces and enjoy!cucinadmammina_limone crostada-16

Note: Photography by Annette Venditti
Buon Appetito!




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