The Oven has baked its last loaf. This blog is no longer being updated.

My cooking videos appear at

I write on food at

Daring Bakers: Pasta frolla & crostata

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I don't know if a crostata must be made in a round tart tin to be authentic, but I just got myself a rectangular loose-based tart pan (35cm x 13cm) from Australia and simply had to use it for the latest Daring Bakers' challenge.

I have been looking for this tin for a long time now, but it wasn't until I was in Sydney recently that I found it.

I like it because it makes cutting whatever is made in it easier and more uniform compared to a round tin ­­– I'm quite hopeless at dividing cakes up equally.

And so on with the challenge.

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.

I used version 2 of the pasta frolla, and added almond meal to the mix. The pastry was just enough for the 38cm by 13cm tin. (The original recipe and other versions can be found here.)

My oven is a bit wonky and the base of many of the tarts I have made lately have been undercooked, so I decided to parbake the crust before filling it and baking completely.

The filling is a lotus seed paste "custard". Lotus seed paste is the stuff used in mooncakes; I got it from a baking supply shop. Initially, I thought I would just spread a layer of it at the bottom of the crust and top that with pastry cream and fruit, but I decided to live up to the "daring" name and experiment. I mixed up the custard, tasting as I went along, but to be honest, I didn't know if this filling would work. As it turned out, the result was a pleasant surprise. Chalk up one for the Daring Bakers!

Bar bella!
The recipe for each component follows

1 quantity pasta frolla
1 quantity lotus seed paste custard
Crumble topping
  • Roll out the pasta frolla to fit a lightly greased 38 x 13cm tart pan. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven at 190°C.
  • Bake crust until just beginning to brown, 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • Parbaked tart shell
  • Spoon the custard into the pie shell. Sprinkle on the crumble topping. Bake at 190°C for 20-25 minutes or until the edges of the custard are firm (the centre will still be a little wobbly but will firm up as the tart cools) and the crust has browned. Place on a wire rack to cool. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Pasta Frolla
(from Simona/Daring Bakers) 
For a 38 x 13cm tart pan

⅓ cup caster (superfine) sugar
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
¼ cup almond meal
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whisk together sugar, flours and salt in a bowl.
  • Rub or cut the butter into the sugar and flour mixture until it has the consistency of coarse crumbs.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten egg and vanilla extract into it.
  • Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into mixture and then use your fingertips.
  • Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
  • 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, or refrigerate overnight.
Lotus Seed Paste Custard
2 eggs
1¼ cup lotus seed paste (store-bought)
⅓ cup whipping cream
Pinch of salt
Crumble topping
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the lotus seed paste until smooth. Add cream and salt and stir to combine.
Crumble Topping
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Large pinch of cinnamon
3 tablespoons crushed nuts
3 tablespoons cold butter
  • Mix the dry ingredients together. Rub in the butter to form a crumbly mixture.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your views are welcome and appreciated. Have a nice day!