Pasta frolla is a basic all-purpose Italian pastry dough. I love pasta frolla because it can be used to make a variety of recipes such as Italian cheesecakes, tarts, pies, pastries, and cookies. It’s super easy to make and I always have some on hand in the freezer. Pastichiotti, a Sicilian cream-filled pastry, and cuccidati, Sicilian fig cookies, are made with pasta frolla. Don’t throw away any leftover dough scraps – you can use them to make simple cut-out cookies like the ones pictured.
ITALIAN PASTRY DOUGH: PASTA FROLLA
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Makes enough for one 10-inch lattice top crostata.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 (9 g) vanilla sugar (optional)
1 large egg yolk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon or orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
MAKE THE DOUGH: Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla sugar and process for 1 minute.
Add the egg yolk and pulse for 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time and pulse for 20 seconds each time. Add the lemon zest and vanilla and process a few seconds until smooth.
Add the flour mixture and pulse a few times just until the dough starts to come together. Turn dough out onto a flat work surface and knead lightly a few times just until a ball forms.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or preferably overnight. Let the dough rest 30 minutes at room temperature before using if it has been refrigerated more than a few hours. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 4 months.
ALTERNATIVE METHOD BY HAND: Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the butter and sugar using your fingertips until all the sugar is incorporated. Work in the egg yolk with a fork until mixture is smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix until smooth. Stir in lemon zest and vanilla. Place the flour mixture on a flat work surface and make a well in the center. Place the butter/egg mixture in the center of the well. Work the flour mixture in with your hands just until the dough comes together to form a ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough or it will be tough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate as directed above.