The quince pie takes me back to when I was child. When we would spend the winter holidays or long weekends at our family farm. I can see my grandmother sitting at the head of the long table, in charge of toast, and us, the kids, filling up the table on each side having pasta frola. Being happy, enjoying the company, and especially the quince pie. It took we a while to develop a recipe of quince pie I was happy about. This is it. I’m sharing it with you. It’s truly delicious.
What is a quince pie (pasta frola)?
The quince pie is a tart made with short crust pastry filled with jam (mermelatta in Italian). It’s an Italian dessert that has been adapted in some south American countries, like Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay where the jam was replaced by quince paste. Over there it’s called pasta frola. You can use any jam you like best to make this quince tart.
How to make pasta frola dough
Making quince pie crust is very straightforward. It’s the same procedure you need to follow to any short crust pastry:
- Mix the powdered sugar with the butter until fully incorporated and has a soft consistency.
- Then add the liquid ingredients (in this case, milk and eggs), 1/3 of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt for this sough) and the flavor (lemon zest for this quince crostata).
- Finally add the rest of the dry ingredients and work the dough until the ingredients have come together.
- Shape the dough into a square and refrigerate for 2 hours (minimum).
I find that refrigerating the dough overnight makes it easier to work with. This is the reason why, if you feel your dough is become difficult to manipulate while rolling out you should transfer to the fridge for a while and continue once it’s cold again.
Assembling the quince pie
You need to divide the dough in 2 equal parts. One half goes back in the refrigerator.
Roll out the other half about 4 mm thick and line your tart mold. Fill with the pureed quince paste. Roll out the second half of the dough and cut bands of about 0.5 cm thick. I use a pizza cutter or pasta cutter and a ruler to make them real straight.
Decorate your quince pie with the bands imitating the design of a wire rack. Like shown in the picture below:
Cut out the excess dough.
Quince pie can be frozen once it has been cooked. Let it come to room temperature first then cover tightly with plastic wrap and finally transfer to a freezer container.
To defrost: unwrap and place on a platter on your kitchen counter. Let it come to room temperate. It might take a few hours.
6 tartelettes or 1 22 cm tart
All-purpose flour 310 g
Baking powder 7 g
Kosher salt 1 pinch
Powdered sugar 100 g
Milk 25 g
Butter 100 g
Lemon zest 1
Quince paste 400 g
Water 30 g
Egg 1 (to brush the tarts)
- Mix the butter with the powdered sugar using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer.
- Add the egg, the lemon zest, the milk and 1/3 of the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder). Mix until there is no more liquid. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients and continue to mix until the dough has come together.
- Shape the dough into a rectangle, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours minimum.
- In the meantime, put the quince paste (cut into small cubes) and the water in a pan and melt over medium heat. Puree the quince paste with your and mixer. Set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees.
- Divide the dough in two equal parts.
- Roll out the first half (4/5 mm) and line the tart mold.
- Cover with the pureed quince paste.
- Roll out the second half of the dough and cut bands of about 0.5 cm thick.
- Decorate your crostata with the bands imitating the design of a wire rack.
- Brush the quince crostata with a beaten egg and bake until golden. About 40 minutes.
- Let it come to room temperature and unmold.