My sister, Helen, and I once took a tart making class at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. It was a while back but it was where I learned to make this basic pastry dough. I’m probably biased, but I think this is one of the best pastry doughs ever! The recipe is so easy and very versatile. It makes a great crust for tarts — crisp, tasty, and one that doesn’t turn soggy an hour after being filled. If you’re making a dessert tart and want a sweeter crust, you could add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the dough recipe.
BASIC PASTRY DOUGH
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 lb. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 5-8 tbsp. ice cold water
- Combine flour, salt and butter until mixture resembles cornmeal.
- Add cold water and toss with a fork until dough comes together when squeezed in your hand.
- Sandwich dough between two pieces of parchment paper.
- With a rolling pin, roll out dough to size you need.
- Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
NOTE: Dough can be shaped into a disk, wrapped in saran wrap and frozen for up to two weeks.
TO PRE-BAKE TART CRUST:
- Preheat oven to 375º F.
- Place rolled dough into tart pan with removable bottom, taking care not to stretch dough out.
- Trim off excess dough by running a rolling pin across the top of the tart pan.
- Line dough with waxed paper or tin foil.
- Fill with pie weights, bean or rice.
- Bake about 5-8 minutes or until golden brown.