Ditch the food processor! All you need is a fork to prepare ‘Pasta Frolla’, otherwise known as Italian sweet pastry dough. You can also use this as a tart or pie crust recipe — easy to prepare, and even easier to handle!
Pasta Frolla is used in tons of Italian desserts – crostata, cookies and pastries, to name a few. Since everyone has their own way of making it, you will see some slight variation like using vanilla extract instead of lemon zest, powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar.
This pastry dough recipe is the one that I ALWAYS use. All I need is a fork to mix it and then some light kneading by hand. Not too sweet, not too buttery and just enough crispiness to complement any sweet pie or tart filling that you have in mind.
HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN SWEET PASTRY DOUGH BY HAND
CAN I USE THIS FOR PIES OR TARTS?
Absolutely. It’s not a sticky dough so I find it easier to arrange on pie or tart tins. Just make sure you dust your counter properly with flour before rolling the dough.
WHY IS THERE A BAKING POWDER IN THIS PIE DOUGH RECIPE?
The baking powder gives the crust a nice bit of crunch once cooked.
HOW LONG CAN I KEEP THIS PASTRY DOUGH IN THE REFRIGERATOR?
I normally keep it in the refrigerator for 2 days, max. If I want to keep it longer, I place the wrapped disc in a Ziploc bag and store it in the freezer for no more than 30 days. Once I know that I will be using it, I take it out of the freezer and keep it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.
TIPS ON MAKING A GOOD PASTRY DOUGH BY HAND –
- Make sure your butter is chilled. During the height of summer, leave them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes; anything to keep them from melting right away.
- ALWAYS use a fork or some other sturdy pastry mixing tool that you are comfortable with. The less contact with your hands, the better. The warmth from our hands does not help in keeping the butter from softening (or melting).
- Dust your counter and your rolling pin with enough flour before rolling the dough.
FOR IDEAS ON WHERE TO USE THIS TART OR PIE DOUGH RECIPE, CHECK OUT MY OTHER POSTS –
- Italian Cream Filled Pastry (Pasticciotto)
- Swedish Almond Tart
- Mascarpone and Dried Apricot Tart
- Swedish Strawberry & Elderflower Tartlets
VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE PASTA FROLLA
- 264 grams flour (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick butter, unsalted, cubed and chilled
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- In a medium to large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Mix.
- Add butter and mix until you see pea-sized crumbs in the mixture.
- Make a dent in the center of the mixture and add the eggs. Mix everything.
- When the mixture looks evenly mixed, but still with pea-sized bits of mixture, use your hands to form a ball of dough. It might be easier to pour the entire mixture on a flat surface at this point.
- Flatten the ball of dough into a disc. Cover disc with a plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
- This is a single crust dough that can be used on an 8-inch to 10-inch pan.
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