This is a basic recipe that I have wanted to share with you for a while now. Making a tart dough in a pâte brisée style is not that easy but it’s not hard either. Once you get the hang of it you’ll want to make it over and over again. It’s delicious, sweet and has a lovely cookie texture. My favourite!
When to use this dough
As I said, this is a cookie-like textured dough. This means that, just like a cookie, it doesn’t do very well with wet things. Therefore, I don’t recommend that you use it for pies or tarts with lots of liquid (like apple pie, peach pie, plum pie, pear pie, etc.). Or maybe the filling doesn’t have that much liquid but the pan is deep, that’s not good, either. If could be that it breaks in those cases. It does really well, though, with low height fillings, gooey fillings or those fillings that don’t need to go back in the oven to cook. For those recipes where you cannot use this recipe, you need to use a dough such as the one in my apple pie recipe or all of my galette recipes.
Recipes where you can use it
Here are a few recipes where you can use this pâte brisée tart dough:
- Berry tarts: with pans / rings no more than 2cm / 1 inch high. Bake the dough, wait for it to cool down, fill it up and return to the oven to cook the filling.
- Ganache tart: bake the dough, wait for it to cool down completely and fill it up with the ganache.
- Lemon curd tart: bake the dough, wait for it to cool down completely and fill it up with the curd.
- Vanilla panna cotta tartelettes: bake the dough, wait for it to cool down completely and fill it up with the panna cotta mix and place in the fridge to firm up.
- Lime meringue pie: bake the dough, wait for it to cool down, fill it up and return to the oven to cook the filling.
- Brownie pie filled with Nutella: bake the dough, wait for it to cool down, fill it up and return to the oven to cook the filling.
- Mini blackberry pies: with pans / rings no more than 2cm / 1 inch high. Bake the dough, wait for it to cool down, fill it up and return to the oven to cook the filling.
The importance of temperature
You’ll see in the recipe that the dough goes into the fridge and freezer in the process of lining the ring or pan. This is because the dough is really buttery, which makes it almost impossible to roll out on a surface. The positive side of this is that this makes the taste and texture be the very best when you eat it. Be very aware of the times in the recipe to get it just right. Alternatively, you can place the dough inside your pie or tart pan as soon as you make it and use your fingers to push it around the base and up the sides like it was play dough. The result is in no way perfect, but if you’re going for more of a rustic look, it can work for you. What you cannot skip, though, is the freezing before the baking stage or else it will shrink too much! So listen to me on that one 🙂
Tart ring vs removable bottom tart pan
In the video and on the photos you’ll notice that I used a tart ring to make this tart shell. By using a ring you get this nice French-pastry style finish that looks much more delicate and refined. If you sell tarts/pies I recommend that you try to make them using a ring because you can even increase your price for them just because of how they look. The ring that I used in the video is perforated but you can use a plain one instead if you prefer. Here’s the perforated ring that I bought on Amazon*. Alternatively, you can buy a plain ring* that, in my opinion, works equally fine. If you are interested in more of my recommendations for your kitchen on Amazon, go check my Amazon kitchen finds.
- 150 g unsalted butter soft, at room temperatura
- ½ tsp salt
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 250 g all-purpose flour
For the dough
- Whisk together the butter with the sugar and salt until it's creamy and homogeneous. At this point, you could also add spices and citrus fruits' zest if you like.
- Add the egg and whisk it in until it's back to creamy (it will look split at first).
- Add the flour and mix it in using a spatula. When the spatula doesn't help anymore, finish mixing with your hands. Place the dough on a clean surface and knead only until fully homogeneous and no longer sticking to your hands. Don't knead it more than what's necessary; only enough to mix it.
For the tart assembly
- Roll out the dough in between two sheets of baking paper. It needs to be 2mm thick. Once you've achieved this, take the dough (with paper and all) into the fridge for 2 hours or until it's firm and a maximum of 2 days. I first placed it on a chopping board and then put that into the fridge to keep it flat.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and unstick the paper from both sides and then only keep the paper that's under the tart. We're doing this only so that the dough isn't completely stuck to the paper. Use the tart ring to cut the base disc. If you're using a removable bottom tart pan then cut around the removable bottom base with a small knife.
- In the case of the tart ring, cut the paper around the ring using a knife or a pair of scissors. Place the paper, dough and ring onto a dish that can fit your freezer. If you're using a removable bottom pan, lift the dough carefully and place it inside the pan with the base on. If it breaks in half don't worry – you can stick it back in place by gently pressing on it.
- For the sides, cut strips of dough that are thicker than the height of the tart. Place one strip at a time around the edge, pressing gently to stick them in place. Keep going until you've reached the last one. The last strip you arrange it in place and use a knife to cut it to the edge of the start of the first one you laid out. I think it's easier to understand if you watch the video above.
- Use a non-dented small knife to cut the edge to the rim of the pan or ring.
- Freeze the dough inside the pan or ring for 1 hour or up to 2 days.
For baking and unmolding
- Preheat your oven to 160°C / 320°F.
- Remove the dough from the freezer and poke it at the base 4-6 times with a fork to prevent it from inflating.
- Bake the tart immediately (yes, while frozen!) for 12-18 minutes. The first time you make it you want to be really careful and take a close look as it cooks because it goes from light golden to dark in very little time.
- Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool down completely before unmolding.
- The dough always shrinks a little as it bakes, so to remove the ring you only need to lift it carefully. In the case of the removable bottom pan, you need to place it on top of a bowl and help the sides slide down slowly. At this point, you should be able to lift the tart shell from the base.
- Don! Now you can fill it up 🙂
*Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.