Tarts are the more sophisticated cousin of pies in the world pastry. They’re also incredibly versatile. The basic idea is the same: a pastry crust is filled with fruit, custard, or chocolate and then cut into slices. If you’ve been to a French pastry shop, you will be familiar with the variety of tarts in the case. These tarts are an art form with many creative options.
Tarts are not only easier to make and master, but I also find them more elegant. You have a wide variety of options for a tart shell. You can use a Pate Brisee for a savory quiche or tart. This is the French equivalent of the American baker’s classic pie crust. It is best to choose something sweeter with a crumbly, rich texture if you are making a dessert, such as a chocolate tart, custard tart, or fruit tart. This Sweet Tart Crust is what the French call a Pate Sucre. There is also Pate Sable with a finer crumb.
How to make a perfect tart shell
- You want to be as deft as possible with the pastry dough to avoid gluten formation. The more you work with the gluten in the dough, the more delicate your crust will become.
- Instead of rolling back and forth, lift the pin and push it away from you when rolling out the crust. You will get a better thickness. Turning the dough while you work will help prevent it from sticking to your surface.
- Resting time is essential after lining and rolling the tin. This allows the gluten to relax in the dough, resulting in less shrinkage in the final tart shell.
- This tart dough can be made and frozen for up to one month. You can also blind-bake the pastry and freeze it for up to 2 weeks.
- You can bake and roll the dough sooner if you flatten it into a disc rather than a ball.
- Roll out any dough left over and cut it into cookies. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes (baking times may vary depending on the thickness and size of your cookies). Sables are cookies that can be eaten plain, dipped into chocolate, or sandwiched between ganache or buttercream.
Blind Bake a Tart Crust
- Blind baking is prebaking your crust to fill it with a ready-made filling. This prevents the edges of the tart from collapsing and shrinking while it bakes. You may only need to bake the crust partially for some pies, such as this Baked Chocolate Tart or this Triple Chocolate Mousse Tart.
- Blind baking is done by:
- Roll out the pastry dough, and place it in the pan. Lift and press it gently into the corners and edges.
- To allow hot air and steam to escape, prick the dough with a fork every few inches. Docking is the process of docking.
- Place the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes if it is still warm.
- 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (63 g) powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- 10 Tbsp. ( 143 g), butter, cool but not hard
- 1 Large hard-boiled egg yolk, grated
- One large egg yolk
- 3 Tbsp. Heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Attach the paddle attachment to your stand mixer. Combine the flour, sugar powder, and salt in its bowl. Mix on low speed. While the mixer is on, cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the flour mixture. Continue mixing until the butter is fully incorporated into the flour mixture, which looks slightly clumpy.
- Add the grated yolk of the egg, followed by the raw yolk, the cream, and the vanilla extract. Stir until you see a dough forming. You want the dry ingredients to be absorbed entirely but stop mixing when you know it is still in smaller clumps.
- Wrap it in plastic wrap, and then press it to a disc. Refrigerate for at least two hours before rolling out and baking. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Bake the Tart Crust. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it onto a lightly floured surface into a 1/4″ thick round. Lift the dough carefully into your tart pan and gently press it in. If there is any excess dough, you can either remove it by rolling the edge with your rolling pin or cutting it off using a sharp knife. Press a little extra dough with your fingertips into any visible cracks to fill them in. Place the crust in the refrigerator for an additional hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Then, poke the crust 10 to 15 times with a knife. Line the crust with parchment paper, then fill it with baking beans, sugar, or rice. After 10 minutes of baking, remove the crust from the oven. Remove the parchment paper and weights. Then return the crust to the oven for another 5 to 8 minutes or until it is no longer glossy. The edges of the crust should be golden brown. Cool it entirely after removing it from the oven before you fill it. If the crust is wrapped well, it can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.