The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.
When I first read that we were making pasta frolla I did a double take, pasta? really? that’s not baking… As I read on I discovered that pasta frolla is a sweet short pastry used in Italian deserts such as pies and tarts. Pasta Frolla is not limited to sweet fillings it is also a crust for savory tarts and quiches.
After discovering that I was making pastry not pasta I was a little relieved but terrified as I can’t seem to make a pastry to save my life! They end up being tough, crumbly, dry….you name the disaster, my crust has done it. But this is called the DARING bakers so I was up for the challenge.
I have to say this was by far the BEST pastry I have ever had, let alone made. It was sweet, tender, tasty, absolutely perfect and the best part, it was so easy!
1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1 and 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (frozen), cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
Making pasta frolla with a food processor:
1. Put sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest in the food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
2. Add butter and pulse a few times, until the mixture has the consistency of coarse meal.
3. Empty food processor’s bowl onto your work surface
4. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it
5. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
6. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
7. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.
Forming the dough.
I find it easiest to roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. This way it does not stick to the counter or rolling-pin. Also, you are very easily able to flip it over for easy shaping. When you have rolled it to desired thickness peel top layer of parchment off and slide it onto a baking sheet.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
3 large apples, sliced very fine
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, heaping
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
1. For the filling, peel, core, and thinly slice the apples
2. Toss the with flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Cover the tart dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
3. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle.
Tip: use the parchment paper to help you fold and pleat the dough.
Pull up on the parchment
peal the parchment back down, turn and repeat
Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This crostata was a HUGE hit, everyone loved it! I have actually made 3 more of the exact same. I will never again complain about making pie, this will definitely be my “go to” crust. I can see many crostats in my baking future
Thank you so much Simona for such a wonderful challenge!