What You Need:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (4 1/2 ounces) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
- Put the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine.
- Add pieces of cold butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely – the dough should look like balls that look like and are the size of oatmeal flakes or peas.
- Add the egg yolk and process in long pulses – about 10 seconds each – until the dough forms clumps and curds.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead the dough lightly just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
- If you want to press the dough into a tart pan, now is the time to do it.
- If you want to chill the dough and roll it out later, gather the dough into a ball adding a little more pressure than you used to mix in dry bits, so that the ball gathers cohesively, flatten it into a disk, wrap it well and chill it for at least 2 hours or for up to 1 day.
- To make a press-in crust:
- Butter the tart pan and press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Don’t be stingy nor too heavy-handed – you want to press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another when it’s baking, but do not press too hard because then the crust loses its crumbly texture.With a fork poke plenty of holes on the dough that is at the bottom of the pan- this will ensure that it doesn’t puff up and deform your tart when cooking. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
- To make a rolled-out crust:
- This dough is very soft and buttery so I find it is easier to roll it with some flour on the countertop and a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap on top of the dough. Doing this will avoid that the dough sticks to your rolling pin… Roll the dough out evenly, lifting the wax paper or plastic wrap often, so that it doesn’t roll into the dough and form creases. Remove the paper/plastic and place my tart pan face down on top of the dough and cut around it leaving an inch more for adjustments. Take your rolling pin and peel the dough onto it delicately so that it is draping on it and transfer to a buttered tart pan. With a fork poke plenty of holes on the dough that is at the bottom of the pan- this will ensure that it doesn’t puff up and deform your tart when cooking. Trim the excess dough even with the edge of the pan. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
- NOTE: To partially bake the crust place the tart pan with the dough on the center rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cover the edges of the crust with a piece of aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Return the pan to the oven to bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack, keeping it in the pan.