Pasta Frolla (Italian Sweet Shortcrust Pastry)

May 13, 2020 Updated: May 13, 2020

This is the basic recipe for pasta frolla that I learned from my mum years ago. She would use it to make crostate or biscotti, and I often do the same, finding comfort in following a reliable path. You’ll need to make it at least a few hours in advance, or the day before you plan to use it, to give it time to rest.

Makes enough for one 10-inch tart

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of 1 organic lemon
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1 1/8 stick) softened but cold butter, cubed
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, beaten together

In a large bowl or on a wooden board, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and grated lemon zest. Add the cubed butter and use your fingertips to rub it into the other ingredients, until they form fine crumbs, similar to grated Parmigiano Reggiano. You can also use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to do this.

Add the beaten egg and egg yolk, and use your hands to quickly incorporate all the ingredients, until the dough just comes together. It will still be slightly sticky and not completely homogeneous, but the flour should all be incorporated, with no visible streaks. Flatten the dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap, then stash it in the fridge to rest for a few hours, or better, until the next day.

What to make with pasta frolla? Try these recipes:

RECIPE: Crostata alla Marmellata (Jam Shortcrust Tart)

RECIPE: Occhi di Bue (Italian Sandwich Cookies)

RECIPE: Crostatine alla Frutta (Pastry Cream and Fresh Fruit Tartlets)