Friday, November 27, 2009

Pasta Frola - Quince Tart

Growing up the house was always filled with incredible aromas from the kitchen. Mum was always pottering about making mouth watering dinners and delicious treats would always emerge without the hint of effort and always a smile... as an adult I know how much effort it actually took to make those magic moments happen!

One of the favourites that used to emerge from the oven at least once a month was Pasta Frola... a delicious quince filled tart that will leave your mouth watering. It is a real traditional afternoon tea cake which you will find in most Argentine homes - there is always one family member who makes an amazing Pasta Frola! On my recent trip back to Argentina my cousin Alejandra is the new Queen of the Pasta Frola making delicious variations and of course the classic recipe that you'll find here.

Pasta Frola

  • 2 cups of self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 125 grams of butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1/2 kilo of quince jam
  • 2 tablespoons of hot water
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (gas).
Sift 2 cups of self raising flour in a bowl and mix in 1/2 cup of sugar.
Place in 125 grams of butter (do not melt the butter). With a fork or using your fingers work the butter through the flour and sugar mixture. It will feel grainy - that's okay. Try to break it down as much as you can into the mixture until you can no longer feel large peices of butter in the mixture.
Mix in 3 egg yolks in with 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix until it becomes dough like. If the mixture is too dry add a little more milk or if too wet add a little more self raising flour as needed. Cover bowl with a tea towel or some plastic wrap and leave the dough to settle somewhere cool for 15 minutes (fridge is fine).
Take a baking tin (20cm tin should be fine for this recipe traditionally usually round - but rectangle pasta frola's are just as great!) and line with butter and flour to ensure your dough does not stick to the mould.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll flat on a well floured surface so your dough doesn't stick to the table top.
Once you have a good 1/2cm thick dough rolled out gently place the dough over your cake tin and carefully mold into the shape of the tin lining the bottom and sides. Any left over dough cut out and keep for use to decorate the top of your tart. Don't worry if your dough tears or breaks - just fill and patch as you need.
In a separate bowl take the quince jam and mix with 2 tablespoons of hot water and make into a paste.
Once the quince is ready fill your dough lined tin with the quince so that it reaches just under the rim.
With the extra dough you had left over - roll out and cut into strips and criss cross over the top of the quince and gently curl the end of the dough strip as you reach the top rim of the tin.
With the egg yolk and milk mixture gently paint the top of the dough to create that lovely golden colour.
Place in the oven and cook for 20mins or until golden brown.
Don't panic if you have too much quince or not enough dough - remember you can always make a little more! if you have too much dough left over make some mini tarts - everything can be used and modified :) don't be afraid to experiment - some of the best discoveries and treats were made when mum made mistakes or got her mixtures wrong! There were certianly always special little mini tarts or funny quince filled blobs from extra bits of dough!

You can see the live recipe on Cocina de Mama's YouTube Channel.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

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