Sweet Tart Crust

MAKES: Enough for an 8- to 10-inch tart

TIME: 20 minutes, plus time to rest

This contains more butter than the preceding piecrust, and an egg makes it extra-rich and perfect for tarts. You might think of this as a large cookie, and, like a cookie, it has many possible variations.

11/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

10 tablespoons frozen or cold butter, cut into chunks

1 egg yolk

3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if necessary

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse once or twice. Add the butter all at once; process until the mixture is uniform, about 10 seconds (do not overprocess). Add the egg and process for another few seconds.

Put the mixture in a bowl and add the ice water; mix with your hands until you can form the dough into a ball, adding another tablespoon or two of ice water if necessary (if you overdo it and the mixture becomes sodden, add a little more flour). Form into a ball, wrap in plastic, and freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (You can refrigerate for up to a couple of days, freeze for up to a couple of weeks.)

Sprinkle a countertop with flour and put the dough on it; sprinkle the top with a little flour. Use a rolling pin to roll with light pressure from the center out. If the dough is sticky, add a little flour (if it continues to become sticky, and it’s taking you more than a few minutes to roll it out, refrigerate or freeze again). Roll, adding flour and rotating and turning the dough as needed; use ragged edges of dough to repair any tears, adding a drop of water while you press the patch into place.

When you’ve rolled the dough to a diameter about 2 inches larger than that of your tart pan, move the dough into the tart pan by draping it over the rolling pin and moving it into the pan. Press the dough into all the nooks and crannies in the pan, being careful not to overwork it, and use a knife to cut the edges at the rim of the pan. Refrigerate for about an hour before filling (if you’re in a hurry, freeze for a half hour or so).


Savory Tart Crust. What you want for savory tarts or for any type of sugarless tart crust: Omit the sugar. Most of the other variations can be made savory by omitting the sugar as well.

Nut Tart Crust. A bit of nuts adds great flavor and texture: Substitute 1/2 cup ground nuts, like almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, macadamias, or peanuts, for 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour.

Chocolate Tart Crust. An even richer-flavored crust; be sure it doesn’t overwhelm the filling: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder along with the flour.