I love to make tarts. They’re as wonderful to look at as they are to eat, and they make any occasion special. Here’s my favorite no-fail sugar dough recipe.
Pâte Sucrée Tart Crust
5 1/3 ounces powdered sugar
11 ounces (2 ¾ sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1 pound all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 large egg
Combine all of the ingredients in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low for about 3 minutes, or until the dough just comes together.
Transfer the dough to a work surface, bring together into a ball, and cut into thirds. Form each portion into a ball and then flatten into a disc. Wrap each disc separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about half an hour or freeze for up to 1 month. (Thaw frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator and let soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)
On a lightly floured surface, roll out a disc of dough to a 13-inch wide, 1/8-inch thick circle.
Roll the dough up on the rolling pin.
Transfer it to a 9-inch loose-bottom tart tin.
Ease the dough into the edges of the tin.
Roll the pin across the top edge of the tin to trim the excess dough.
Patch any cracks or tears in the crust with a bit of the scrap dough and reserve the remaining scraps at room temperature. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
For a partially baked crust, bake for about 20 minutes, or until set and just beginning to brown around the edges.
Let cool slightly before filling. Patch any cracks in the crust with a small amount of the scrap dough.
For a fully baked crust, bake for about half an hour, or until golden brown.
Let cool completely before filling.
Yields 3 9-inch tart crusts. Of course, you can use this dough to make any other size or shape tart, too. Work quickly and with a light touch to prevent the butter in the pastry from melting.
Now, what to fill it with?