Basic tart crust
Makes a 9 inch tart | Prep Time 10 minutes | Resting Time 30 minutes in the freezer/2 hours in the refrigerator | Cooking Time 1.5 hou total
- 150 grams all purpose flour
- 150 grams unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup very chilled water
- 1 tsp salt
- Place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
- Cut up butter into small cubes and place in the same bowl.
- Cover the processor bowl with its cover and place the bowl with all the ingredients in it in the freezer for 20 minutes. The goal is to make everything really cold so when the processor bowl naturally heats up from the heat emanating from the motor and from friction are minimized. This prevents the butter from getting warm and start leaching out water, which would make the dough too chewy instead of flaky. For more see notes on the side.
- When everything is really cold take out of the freezer and process in pulses. The goal is to make the butter into very small balls mixed in with the flour.
- While pulsing the food processor pour in the very cold water gradually until a ball forms or the dough will be somewhat sticky when pressed between your thumb and forefinger.
- Dump the whole dough directly into a large sheet of plastic wrap. Bring together the corners of the wrap and gather the dough into a ball.
- Press with your hands trying to compress the dough so it becomes uniform. Press down into a circle.
- If the dough has gotten warm place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Proceed to roll it out with a rolling pin on a flat smooth surface. Make sure your surface is well floured but not excessively. You want to be able to roll the dough smoothly without sticking.
- Roll into a circle the size of your mold plus at least 1 inch.
- Place in your mold and press down on the bottom making sure to press into the sides as well. The goal here is for your dough to hug the mold as closely as possible.
- Cover with a round piece of parchment paper and gently press down into the dough.
- Cover with pie weights, or beans, or rice.
- Bake like this in a 250F oven until the shape is set, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, remove the pie weights and the parchment paper and place back in the oven for 20 more minutes.
- Set aside until ready to fill.
This is a versatile tart crust that can be used in sweet or savory applications, from an apple tart to a quiche lorraine.
The leftovers can be used to make tartlet shells.
It is important to keep everything cold until ready to bake. This way you prevent water in the butter from leaching out and developing gluten – your enemy if you are after a flaky, not chewy dough.