The most intimidating part about making a tart is preparing the dough. Like making pie dough, tart dough is something that a lot of bakers are worried about tackling for fear of screwing it up. Fortunately, tart dough is easy to make and can be a lot more forgiving than pie dough. This All Purpose Tart Dough can be used in both sweet and savory tarts and is mixed up very quickly in the food processor!
The food processor is a great tool for making a tart crust. It incorporates the ingredients very well and allows you to put a crust together in under a minute with very little mess – so you can worry more about baking your crust than you need to about making it. Unlike pie crusts, you can work a tart dough a little bit more, so you don’t need to worry about overworking the dough as you put it together. The tart dough is rich and buttery, with a very light and tender texture to it that almost melts in your mouth. I used a little bit of confectioners’ sugar in the crust. Confectioners’ sugar adds a very subtle sweetness to the crust and aids in browning. It also contains a little bit of starch that keeps the confectioners’ sugar from clumping up in the bag, and that small amount of starch really helps to tenderize the crust.
This dough can be prepared a day or so in advance and stored in the refrigerator, well-wrapped with plastic wrap. You can also prepare it an hour or so before you want to use it, and give it a quick chill in the refrigerator. The dough can be used for a tart up to 11-inches, if you roll the pastry out very thin, but I typically use it for a 10-inch tart. It is easy to roll out and any uneven bits can be quickly patched with scraps from the edge of the dough.
All Purpose Food Processer Tart Dough
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk
2-3 tbsp ice water
In a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Pulse to mix. Add butter and process until it is well-incorporated and the mixture looks like fine, wet sand, about 60-90 seconds.
Add in egg yolk and 2 tbsp ice water, and pulse again until the dough starts to come together into a uniform dough. If dough is too dry to come together, add in additional ice water a teaspoon or two at a time.
Dough should come together into a fairly smooth, soft ball. Place dough on a piece of plastic wrap and press into a disc about 1-inch thick. Wrap completely with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour, until firm.
When you are ready to use the dough, roll it out on a very lightly floured surface, rotating it every few rolls to keep it from sticking. Transfer dough into your tart pan by gently rolling it up onto your rolling pin and unrolling it over the pan. Press dough firmly into all the ridges and corners of the pan.
Chill for 1 additional hour.
Preheat over to 350F. Line interior of tart with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper that is large enough to come up the sides of the pan and fill with pie weights, dry rice or dry beans.
Bake at 350F for 20 minutes with weights, then gently lift out the aluminum foil or parchment.
Bake tart additional 20 minutes without weights, or until golden brown.
Cool completely before filling.
Makes 1 10-inch tart.