Medici’s Tart

Crostata de' Medici |

Medici’s Tart, a sablee shell, peaches in syrup and custard cream.
I saw something similar in a recipe of the greatest pastry chef Iginio Massari in which he was using apricots. The apricots immediately reminded me of the coat of arms of the famous Florentine Family.
Massari’s tart apart from being elegant and modern, has the apricots close to each other and one in the center. But the idea to recreate the Medici’s haraldic logo was too much fun.
I did not find the apricots so I used peaches instead.

Of course my version is more rough. The sablee shell is partially blind baked. Then filled with a layer of peach jam, peaches in syrup and finally custard cream. The cream thickens when baked in the oven.

If you stroll around Florence you will see this haraldic symbol recurring again and again: a shield with 6 balls, 5 red and a bigger blue one.

The hypothesis behind the Medici coat of arms

Some say that the balls are the dents inflicted by a giant in the shield of Averardo, an ancestor of the Medici Family.
Another theory is that the balls were in fact oranges and symbolized the Medici’s trades with the East. The Medici were also great collectors and they had something like 200 types of citrus plants.
Yet another theory says the balls were pills.
Another version, unexciting but maybe closer to the truth, is that the Medici copied the coat of arms of the corporate association they were part of: the Bankers.

Medici's Tart

Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Ingredients for a 20 cm (7.9 in) tart pan.


For the sablee pastry:

  • 210 g flour
  • 140 g butter
  • 70 g confectioner sugar
  • 15 g eggs
  • 2 g salt preferably Maldon
  • grated lemon zest ½ lemon
  • powdered vanilla bourbon the tip of a tsp.

For the custard cream:

  • 300 g milk
  • 90 g sugar
  • 45 g cornstarch
  • 90 g egg yolks
  • grated lemon zest ½ lemon


  • 150 g peach jam
  • 6 peaches in syrup 6 halves


For the sablee pastry:

  • In the bowl of the stand mixer with paddle attachment (or in a large bowl if done by hand) mix the flour with the butter. Add the confectioner sugar and work until incorporated.
  • Finally add the eggs, salt, vanilla and lemon zest. Let the mixer run until all ingredients are combined. Shape the dough into flat brick, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  • Roll out the sablee pastry on a slightly floured surface. Place the pastry on the tart pan.
  • Preheat the oven at 180° C (355° F). Pinch the pastry using a fork. Place a disc of baking paper over the pastry and fill it with baking beans.
  • Bake 180° C (355° F) for 14 minutes. Remove the baking paper and beans and let the pastry cool off.

For the custard cream:

  • Put the milk and the grated lemon zest in a small pot on medium heat.
  • In a medium bowl mix the sugar together with the cornstarch. Add the egg yolks and mix with a whisk.
  • When the milk starts to boil pour it in the bowl, passing it through a strainer. Mix with a whisk.
  • Put it back in the pot and cook on medium heat for 1 minute while stirring constantly. The cream does not have to thicken, as it will finish cooking in the oven.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.

Assembly and baking:

  • Spread a layer of jam inside the tart. Place the peaches in the tart with the flat side below. I wanted to recreate the Medici's coat of arms but placement of the peaches is up to you.
  • Pour the liquid cream inside the tart. Bear in mind that the quantity of cream in this recipe is slightly more than needed for this pan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven at 180° C (355° F) until the cream has thickened. For my oven it took 40 minutes.


Of course you can use apricots in syrup instead of peaches and match the same jam.
Baking times vary also in respect to the height of the custard cream.
Did you try this recipe?Mention @tortaoragione and tag #tortaoragione!

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