Quince Pasta Frola
Pasta frola is a type of sweet tart featuring a simple shortbread crust and a jam or dulce de leche filling, found throughout Argentina. Pasta frola sounds Italian - that’s because it is. Pasta frola comes from the Italian word for the shortbread crust used to make Italian crostate (jam pies). Yet another Argentinian dish connected to extensive Italian immigration.I think the best time to enjoy pasta frola is at afternoon merienda (afternoon tea).
My grandma used to make pasta frola often, and I’d watch the whole process (dutifully tasting all that was around me as she went). Lucky me that I grew up with her! Every Sunday, we’d wake up after asado and subsequent siesta to mate and pasta frola. Because after a big meal and a nap, we needed more food! My grandma would always hide the pasta frola from me before nap time, because she knew that I couldn’t resist a bite. That’s the thing about baked goods, you can’t hide the evidence of bites! So I’d always have to wait until afternoon. It was worth the wait.
1 3/4 cup quince paste (membrillo) - You can make quince jam by hand, but it is a ton of work. I tried it, now I buy it. You can find it in high end grocery delis or cheese stores.
11 tbs butter
1/4 cup sugar (2.5oz)
2 egg yolks
1 1/3 cup harina flour (13 oz )
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tablespoons water
Making the Dough
Making the Tart
- Mix butter and sugar in a mixer or mixing bowl.
- Add egg yolk and keep mixing.
- Add vanilla extract.
- Add flour and keep mixing.
- Add water and keep mixing until it forms a dough.
Just Bake It
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Set aside little more than 1/2 cup (6 oz) of dough to make strips.
- Flatten the dough with your hands in a round 9" buttered pan with a detachable bottom.
- Spread the quince jam in the center.
- Roll out the remaining dough. Cut tiritas / strips out and weave them on top.
What the Quince?
- Bake at 325 for 15 minutes, take it out of the oven and brush on an egg wash (whole beaten egg).
- Continue baking at 325 until golden - about half hour to 45 min.
- After it cools, for added flare, you can sprinkle powdered sugar around the edge.
Dulce de membrillo (quince paste) filling is very common in Argentina. Most Americans aren’t very familiar with quince. It’s somewhat rare in U.S. groceries, but you can find quince paste in some upper crusty ones (pun intended). Quince looks like the ugly progeny of an apple and a pear. The photo below is very flattering - they are usually spotted and bumpy. They are completely inedible when raw (do not put in your mouth), but when you stew them in sugar and a little water or wine, they become delicious and very fragrant.