This is the base of all tart shells in Europe. From Italy to France to Germany if you are making a pie or a small tartelette pasta frolla is what you are going to use.
Pasta frolla is a sweet dough perfect for pies and tarts. But you can also make crunchy biscotti with it.
It takes 5-10 minutes to prepare this dough, plus it should rest in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. While it rests you can make the filling for your pie ;)
This is a staple in my kitchen so it deservers its own post. There are many variations of the recipe for pasta frolla but I tried many and this is my absolute favorite, I am very reluctant to change it.
Ingredients – for a large pie with lattice top
- 1 1/2 cup + 2 tbs all-purpose flour (250 gr)
- almost 8 tbs butter (100 gr)
- scant 1/2 cup sugar (100 gr)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tbs brandy or other favorite liquor (optional)
Ingredients – for a large pie without lattice top, or a small pie with lattice top
- 200 gr all-purpose flour
- 80 gr butter
- 80 gr sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 egg
In a large bowl sift the flour. Add the butter cut in small chunks and let soften just a little at room temperature (picture 1).
With your fingertips mix the butter with the flour, until there aren’t chunks of butter anymore, the mixture should be homogeneous with a texture similar to sand (picture 2).
Add the sugar and stir.
Make a well in the center to form a bowl of dry ingredients for the wet ones. Add the egg, the egg yolk, a pinch of salt and (optional) half a tablespoon of liquor. Knead the dough quickly and form a ball (picture 3). Wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for 20-30 min. Chilling the dough is very important to be able to roll it out quickly.
Your sweet dough is now ready! You can roll it out and cut nice cookies (I will post this recipe soon) or you can use it for pies.
If you want to make a pie, cut a circle of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom of the pan plus a couple of inches for the sides. Roll out your pasta frolla as large as the circle and line your pan (picture 4).
If your dough feels sticky, roll it on some parchment paper or on the plastic wrap you used for wrapping the dough when putting it in the fridge. Remember to remove the plastic wrap before baking the dough!
There are two baking methods depending if the filling needs to be baked with the pie dough or if it does not require baking, I will cover the methods in the specific recipes.
I often prepare two slight variations of this recipe. The first one is a slightly softer pasta frolla, and the second one is a chocolate pasta frolla.
Soft Pasta Frolla
This dough raises a little with the help of 1/2 tsp of baking powder. Just add the baking powder to the flour when preparing the dough and continue as described above.
Chocolate Pasta Frolla
This second variation is perfect for pastry cream filled pies but also for strawberry and raspberry pies. To make this variation add 3 tbs of dark cocoa to the flour and use 8 1/2 tbs of butter (120 gr) instead of 7.