Tart and pie shells can be very tricky – slight variations in oven, ingredient and dough temperatures make all the difference. I have had my share of pastry dough disasters. Following my most recent mishap, I realized that trying a new dough recipe the day before Thanksgiving was not smart! I should have simply stuck with what I know works.
And this recipe more than works – it is much easier and less finicky than most of the other recipes I have tried. These tart shells have almost the exact flavor and texture as the amazing French tarts from my favorite local patisserie (pastry shop). Lightly sweetened and with a slight crunch, this shell is a perfect base for your favorite dessert. Try it with this amazing Silky Chocolate Tart with Coffee Mascarpone Mousse.
French Tart Shell
Servings: 9 ½-inch (24-cm) tart
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes
Need: 9 ½ or 10-inch (24-cm) fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (or use a normal fluted tart pan), a food processor
1 1/3 cup (165 g) all-purpose flour (T65 in France)
½ cup (60 g) confectioners’ sugar
Pinch of salt
7 tablespoons (100 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg yolk
In a food processor, pulse the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt. Add the butter and egg
yolk and pulse until the ingredients are mixed together and a crumbly dough forms.
Lightly grease the tart pan. Place the dough in the tart pan and press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides. Put in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or until it is firm.
Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C). Line the dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans – don’t skip this step (pictured above). Bake the shell for about 23 minutes (will depend on your oven) or until golden around the edges and slightly dry in the center.
Remove the parchment paper and weights. Cover around the rim with foil. Put back in the
oven and back for another 12-15 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Place the pan on a rack and let cool completely before filling and removing from the pan.
And bon appétit!