Ditch the food processor! All you need is a fork to prepare ‘Pasta Frolla,’ otherwise known as Italian sweet shortcrust pastry. You can use this for pies, tarts, or cookies — easy to prepare and even easier to handle!
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Although also known as ‘Italian sweet shortcrust pastry,’ it’s not really that sweet. It’s a perfect balance of sugar, butter, and just enough crispiness to complement any sweet pie or tart filling you have in mind.
TO GIVE YOU MORE IDEAS ON HOW TO USE PASTA FROLLA, HERE ARE SOME AUTHENTIC ITALIAN PASTRIES THAT YOU CAN TRY!
- Flour – all you need is all-purpose flour for making this sweet shortcrust pastry.
- Salt – you might need to use less if you are using salted butter.
- Lemon – you would only be using the skin of the lemon.
- Baking powder – use whatever brand you have on hand.
- Sugar – regular white sugar is perfect for this pasta frolla recipe.
- Butter – unsalted, chilled, and cut into small cubes.
Start by using a large mixing bowl and combining flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and lemon zest (photo 1).
Mix all the dry ingredients with a fork until evenly combined.
Add the chilled butter (photo 2).
Continue mixing with a fork until you see pea-sized crumbs forming.
Create a slight dent in the center, then add the egg and egg yolk (photo 3).
Mix until the egg is just combined with the rest of the ingredients (photo 4).
Transfer the mixture to a flat surface (photo 5).
Use your hands to knead lightly and start forming a dough.
Form the dough into a disc (photo 6).
Wrap the disc with plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes to chill before starting with your pie (or tart) preparation.
- 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).
- When ready to use, dust your counter and your rolling pin with enough flour before rolling your pasta frolla.
- Vanilla. You can replace the lemon zest with a bit of vanilla extract.
- Using a food processor. If you are more comfortable preparing this pasta frolla recipe in a food processor, that is completely fine. You can follow these steps instead:
Step #1: Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, lemon zest, and butter in a food processor; pulse until you see pea-like crumbs formed.
Step #2: Add egg and yolk and continue to pulse — just enough to combine.
Step #3: Transfer the mixture to a flat surface and use your hands to form the dough into a disc.
Step #4: Wrap the disc with plastic and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes before using it in your pie or tart preparation.
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.
The baking powder gives the crust a nice bit of crunch once cooked.
I usually keep it in the refrigerator for two days, max.
If you want to keep it longer, place it in a Ziploc bag and store it in the freezer for no more than 30 days. Once you’re ready to use it, take it out of the freezer and keep it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.
So, give it a try for your next pastry recipe, and let me know what you think in the comment section below! 🙂
Pasta Frolla Recipe (Italian Sweet Shortcrust Pastry)
- 2 cups flour, (264 grams)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick butter, (113 grams), unsalted, cubed and chilled
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a large bowl.
- Mix with a fork.
- Add butter and continue mixing until you see pea-sized crumbs in the mixture.
- Make a dent in the center of the mixture and add the egg and yolk.
- Continue mixing, just enough to combine the eggs with the rest.
- Transfer the mixture on top of a flat surface and gather (knead) it a bit to start forming a dough.
- Form the dough into a disc and wrap it with plastic.
- Refrigerate and let your pasta frolla chill for at least 30 minutes before using.
- Cook’s Tip #1: 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.
- Cook’s Tip #2: 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).
- Cook’s Tip #3: When ready to use, dust your counter and your rolling pin with enough flour before rolling your pasta frolla.
- Cook’s Tip #4: To use a food processor instead, see Recipe Variation above.
- Cook’s Tip #5: This single crust dough can be used on any 8-inch to 10-inch form.