This recipe for cherry crostata, or rustic pie, is filled with a homemade almond filling called frangipane. I'll teach you how to make the best cherry crostata or cherry galette.
With a buttery pastry crust and juicy fruit, it is one of the best fresh cherry desserts. You can use frozen cherries too!
Your new favorite cherry crostata recipe
Known for it's rustic appearance, a crostata recipe involves folding pastry dough around the edges of a filling. No pie tin needed!
I love a good rustic pie and have a few crostata recipes you'll want to try:
With a flavorful almond base and sweet cherries on top, this cherry crostata is the bomb. This is the way to eat cherry pie!
Buttery pastry crust, an anise-flavored almond frangipane and juicy fruit. Holy smokes this is an exceptional dessert. Great for the summer fruit season or the holidays and Thanksgiving.
Easy fresh cherry desserts
Cherries are such a delicious fruit and have endless possibilities for desserts. One thing I love is that cherries bake into desserts so well fresh or frozen.
What to make with cherries:
- Cherry and Pistachio Yogurt Bowl - so good it can be dessert.
- Tart Cherry Lime Ice - Make this homemade granita with sour cherries.
- Cherry Coconut Cookie Balls - the best way to use preserved cherries.
In this cherry crostata recipe, I use sweet cherries. Typically in season during the summer months of June and July, fresh sweet cherries are juicy, yet not too juicy to bake with.
The genius thing about my single layer cherry crostata is that frozen sweet cherries are perfect to use, making it easy to bake this rustic pie any time of year. Thanksgiving is an ideal time!
Crostata vs galette
You may have heard the terms crostata, galette, and tart used for recipes that look almost the same. The truth is, a galette and crostata are essentially the same thing. Crostata is an Italian term and Galette is a French term. Both refer to a rustic pie or free-form pie.
A tart can be sans pan or baked in a pan. It's really not the same thing as a crostata or galette, but occasionally the term can be used.
This recipe could totally be called a cherry galette because I use a filling with a French name! Frangipane, an almond custard cream, is originally from French roots, but now there are a variety of desserts that us it, so I felt I could be a little free with it.
Frangipane almond cream filling for a rustic pie
Almonds, butter, sugar and eggs come together to make an irresistible filling for baked tarts, pies and even cookies.
Frangipane, a French term, uses ground almonds (not almond flour) and sugar to create a sweet filling. The almonds are not toasted, so the flavor is very mild.
Butter and eggs are added to make a paste-like cream that bakes into a sugary custard. It's truly amazing.
I added anise seeds to mine and I think that's the only way I'll ever make the frangipane, ever!
How to make crostata dough
Crostata dough is pastry. You can make a butter pastry like a pate brisee, or an American pie pastry crust that includes shortening. I love my basic pie crust recipe, it's perfect for this rustic cherry crostata.
Use your favorite pie dough as the crust for this cherry crostata. Yes! You can even use a circle of store-bought, prepared pie dough. Although I don't suggest it, the flavor just isn't the same.
How to make the crostata
• Make the crust: Simply cut cold butter into a mixture of flour, a little salt and a bit of sugar.
• Stir in water until the dough comes together. Wrap and chill, then roll out into a circle.
• Cover the center of the circle with frangipane filling, and top with cherries.
• Fold the edges of the crust over and bake until golden brown.
- Serve with a homemade eggless Vanilla Ice Cream recipe.
- Make Mini Apple Tarts.
- Try Cherry and Pistachio Breakfast Parfaits.
Almond and Cherry Crostata Recipe
Anise Almond Filling
- 1 cup almonds sliced or slivered
- ¾ tsp anise seeds (not fennel seeds)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- ½ recipe Perfect Pastry Crust prepared
- 2 cups fresh or frozen sweet cherries pitted and cut in half
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Toasted almonds for garnish
- Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream for serving
- Heat oven to 400°F. Make the filling: In a food processor, combine almonds, anise seeds, sugar, 1 egg, vanilla, and salt. Blend until a paste forms. Add the butter and blend again. Set aside.
- To make crostata: In a large bowl, toss the cherries with sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
- On a sheet of floured parchment, roll out the pastry dough to a 13-inch circle. Transfer dough, while still on parchment, to a rimless cookie sheet.
- Spread the almond paste onto the pastry circle, leaving a 2-inch border. Scatter or arrange the cherries on top, covering all of the almond paste. Fold the dough up and over the cherries around the edges, pleating the dough as needed.
- In a small bowl, beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water to make an egg wash. Brush crust's edge with egg wash and sprinkle crust generously with extra sugar.
- Bake until cherries are cooked and juicy, 40 to 45 minutes. If crust starts to get too brown, lightly cover with foil. Remove crostata from oven, cool slightly, and sprinkle with extra almonds. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.
Delicious Pie and Tart Recipes
Photography by Ty Mecham.