Lemon Pistachio Crostata

Lemon Pistachio Crostata


Crostate is an Italian term for pies and tarts. They can be rustic (free-form), in recipes such as, crostata di pesca, blackberry balsamic crostata and caramelized onion and fig or they may require a pie or tart pan for dolce such as, crostata di ricotta (Easter pie) and bittersweet chocolate truffle tart.

With an abundance of lemons still on the tree, even after giving them away by the bag full, I decided to make yet another dessert. This tart is reminiscent of the lemon bars that surface at many potlucks and parties. The buttery, melt-in-you-mouth crust is sprinkled with chopped pistachios and topped with a tangy, lemony filling.

Citrus fruit and pistachios are a natural pairing. I also use these little green nuts with candied orange peel in biscotti and ice cream pie.



  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted, cold (cut into small pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, dry roasted and salted


  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting on top
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar. Add the lemon zest. Using a pastry blender (or 2 butter knives), cut in the cold butter pieces until crumbly. Using your hands, mix until it comes together into a ball and looks like dough.
  2. Place the ball of dough into a buttered 9-inch tart pan and using your hands, flatten the ball while evenly pressing it into the bottom of the pan. Bake in a 350*oven for 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer (high speed) 2-3 minutes. Turn to low speed and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until blended. Blend in the lemon juice.
  5. Sprinkle the pistachios evenly over the baked crust and then pour on the filling. Bake in 350* oven (be certain it has not cooled off) for 16-18 minutes.
  6. To serve, dust cooled crostata with confectioners’ sugar.
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