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Pasta Frolla

Ingredients

2 cups King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut into bits

1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon white vinegar

3 tablespoons cold water

2 tablespoons apricot jam

Directions

Use a food processor or your hands to make the dough. Pulse the flour, sugar, salt, and butter together in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade, or blend the ingredients together in a large bowl with a fork or pastry blender until the butter is in small bits.  The whole idea here is to coat the four proteins with the butter to prevent gluten from forming which would make tough pastry dough, so be sure the butter is very cold.

Beat the egg and the vinegar together in a small bowl with a fork. Add this to the food processor with the motor running (or to the bowl if you are making this by hand), and process or blend until a rough-looking dough starts to form. Slowly add in enough of the cold water for a ball of dough to form that holds together. The dough does not need to form a complete ball of dough but you should be able to gather it up without it crumbling.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or overnight to make it easier to roll.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Lightly butter a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and set aside.

Flatten the dough with a rolling pin and roll it between 2 sheets of wax paper into a 12-inch circle. Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour, then fold it in fourths. Lift the dough and position it with the point of the fold in the center of the tart shell. Unfold the dough and fit it into the pan allowing the excess to drape over the sides. Trim the edges even with a scissors and press the dough even with the top of the pan. Poke holes in the tart shell with a fork to allow for air to escape during baking. Place a sheet of foil over the top of the dough and weigh it dough with dried beans, rice or ceramic pie marbles; this will help prevent the tart shell from puffing up as it bakes.

Bake the tart shell for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and bake the tart 2 or 3 minutes longer, or until it is light golden brown. Let the tart shell cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.

Heat the apricot jam until it melts. Cool slightly then brush the jam over the base of the shell; this will seal it and prevent it from becoming soggy when the pastry cream is added.

The shell is now ready for filling.  This may be a pastry cream topped with sliced fruit, fresh fruit topped with a glaze or whipped cream, or whatever your imagination comes up with!

This recipe is featured on show 2226 – More Umbrian Cooking / Piu’ Cucina Umbra.

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