This particular tart is very popular in Argentina. You can see it in every bakery shops or cafes. This is a simple tart feacturing a filing of ruby red dulce de membrillo (mem-bree-yoh) or quince paste. Sometime this tart can be found with dulce de leceh, sweet potato (dulce de batata), guava paste (dulce de guayaba) fillings too but the authentic one is using dulce de membrillo. It is usually eaten with a cup of coffee or mate .
Like most of Argentine recipes, this tart owes its existence to the Italian immigrants who made Argentina their home during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Carlos being an Italian grew up eating this tart and I even bought a few Spanish cookbooks( I can’t seems to find any English cook book there) so I can make some of the Argentinean desserts and dishes for him.
2 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsp cornstarch
¼ cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks/226 gram butter, chilled and cubed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp cold water (if necessary)
600 gram dulce de membrillo - cut up into small pieces
2 Tbsp. water
1 beaten egg (for eggwash)
1. Place the flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine ingredients. Add the butter, and using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. Add the egg and the vanilla extract, and mix until the dough begins to come together. If the mixture seems too dry and crumbly, add water a tablespoon at a time.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until combined [do not overwork the dough]. Shape the dough into a disc, and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes.
4. Add dulce de membrillo to a small saucepan, with 2 tablespoons of water. Heat over low heat, stirring and mashing the quince paste frequently, until the mixture has melted to a smooth and spreadable consistency. Remove from heat and let cool down.
5. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of the tart pan. Remove the disc of dough from the refrigerator, roll out the dough and line the bottom of a 9” tart pan or small tart pans. 6. Roll out the rest of the dough, cut the dough into strips. Spread the filling evenly over the bottom layer of dough. Carefully place the strips of dough over the filling, forming a crisscross or lattice pattern. Press the edges of the dough strips into the rim of the tart pan, removing any excess.
7. Brush the dough strips and the edges of the tart with egg wash. Brush the top of the tart/tarts with egg wash. Bake the tart until the top turns golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow the tart to cool on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Let the tart cool to room temperature before serving.