Sweet Tart Dough
Makes Two 9-1/2 inch tart shells
This recipe for the rich, sweet short dough known as pâte sucrée is the only one you will need for the tarts in this book. In addition to its use as the pastry shell for tarts and tartlets, pâte sucreé is frequently used in petits fours, for filled cookies, and as a thin sweet crust under mousse desserts. This recipe makes enough pastry for two tart shells. You can freeze half for another time, or you can roll out and shape both shells and freeze one of them, well wrapped, ready to use.
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (122 grams) confectioners' sugar
1-3/4 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
9 tablespoons (127 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1. Sift together the confectioners' sugar, flour, and salt into a medium bowl.
2. Place the butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, about 15 seconds. Scatter the flour mixture over the butter, add the egg, and process just until the dough forms a mass; do not overmix. Turn the dough out onto the counter and divide it in two. Shape each half into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Half of the dough may be well wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.
3. Let the dough stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to soften. Lightly butter two 9-1/2 inch fluted tart pans with removable bottoms.
4. Dust a work surface lightly with flour. Dust one of the discs lightly with flour and, using a floured rolling pin, roll it out into a rough 12-inch circle. Lift the dough often, making sure that the work surface and dough are lightly floured at all times. Roll the dough up onto the rolling pin and gently unroll it over one of the prepared tart pans. Press the dough into the pan and roll the pin over the top of the pan to remove the excess dough. Repeat with the remaining dough and tart pan. Prick the bottom of the tart shells all over with a fork. Chill the tart shells for 20 minutes. (The tart shells can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
To Prebake the Tart Shells
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter two pieces of aluminum foil large enough to generously line each tart pan. Line the tart shells with the foil, buttered side down, and fill with dried beans, rice, or pie weights.
Bake the tart shells for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking for 8 to 10 minutes longer, until evenly golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Simply Sensational Desserts
140 Classics for the Home Baker
By François Payard
Broadway Books, September 1999
Hardcover, $35.00, 256 pages
Reprinted by permission.
Created 1999. Modified August 2007