Basic Tart Dough

Basic Tart Dough

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Servings: 6

Get your tart off to the right start with our basic tart dough recipe!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbs. very cold water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk, water and vanilla; set aside.
  • To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.
  • To make the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, stir together the flour, sugar and salt in the mixer bowl. Add the butter and beat on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and beat just until the dough pulls together.
  • Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Use the dough immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.
  • To roll out the dough, on a lightly floured board, flatten the disk with 6 to 8 gentle taps of the rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out until the dough is about 1/8 inch thick. Use a small, sharp knife to cut out a round or rounds 2 inches greater in diameter than your tart or larger tartlet pans. Use a small, sharp knife or a cookie cutter to cut out rounds 1/2 to 1 inch greater in diameter than your miniature tartlet pans. If using a rectangular tart pan, cut out a rectangle 2 inches larger on all sides than the pan. Makes enough dough for one 9 1/2-inch tart, six 4-inch tartlets, twelve 2-inch miniature tartlets or one 13 3/4-by-4 1/4-inch rectangular tart.
  • Nut Dough Variation: Add 2 Tbs. ground toasted pecans, walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts to the flour mixture and proceed as directed.
  • Make-Ahead Tip: The tart dough may be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month. To freeze, place the dough round on a 12-inch cardboard circle and wrap it well with plastic wrap. Alternatively, use the round to line a tart pan and wrap well.
  • Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Pie & Tart, by Carolyn Beth Weil (Simon & Schuster, 2003).