This pastry is perfect for pear tarts and other tarts that have delicate flavors and/or nuts in the filling.

Delicate Tart Crust

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  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 1 hour chilling
  • Baking Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Serves: 8
Delicate Tart Crust


For a 9" tart

1 ½ c. flour (scooped, not sifted)

2 T.      sugar (superfine, if available)

1/8 t.    salt

½ c.     unsalted butter (1 stick), cold, cut into small pieces

1          large egg, divided

2 T.      half-and-half

3 T.      ice water

½ t.      ginger (optional)



  1. In medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.  Using 2 forks or a pastry cutter, cut in the cold butter until it looks like coarse meal.  
  2. Whisk together the egg yolk, half-and-half and ginger (if using).  Stir lightly into the dough. 
  3. Using forks, add the ice water one tablespoon at a time and fluff the dough lightly to blend.  Fluff after each addition, adding just enough to allow the dough to hold together in a ball without being sticky.
  4. Flatten the dough into a 6” disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough on a cool surface between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, adding a little flour as needed to prevent sticking to the surface or the plastic. 
  6. When the circle is about 12” across, remove the top plastic and fold the dough in half.  Transfer to the tart pan, unfold, and gently lift the dough to let it slip down into the pan without stretching.  Trim the dough to a consistent ¾” over the rim, then turn the edge down into the pan, pinching it to attach to the inside dough and thus form a slightly thicker edge to the crust.  Make it even with the top of the pan or just 1/8” taller.
  7. Chill the crust for 10-30 minutes.
  8. If recipe calls for an unbaked tart shell, proceed with your recipe.  For a pre-baked tart shell, preheat oven to 425° and place a cookie sheet on the rack to preheat.
  9. Use pie weights or a pie crust chain to weigh down the center of the tart before baking.  Bake at 425° for 5 minutes and, if the dough is poofing up, prick it gently with a fork.
  10. Lower oven temperature to 375° and continue baking 10-15 minutes, until tart shell is golden and set.  (If you’re using parchment paper and weights to hold down the center, it may take longer.)  While the tart crust is baking, whisk the egg white until foamy.
  11. Remove from oven and let rest 1 minute, then use a pastry brush to lightly coat the bottom with the beaten egg white, which will seal it and keep it crisp.  Cool completely.

Baker’s Notes and Tips and Tricks

For tips on how to successfully bake a tart shell -- no soggy bottoms! -- check out the Tips & Tricks/Q&A section of and scroll down to that question. 

Recipe Submitted By

Rebecca Jo Dakota
Delicate Tart Crust

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