Have you ever had issues with tart crusts but haven’t figured out why? - You are not alone! Everybody faces these issues at some point. (including myself!)
⚠️ Common troubles:
- The dough is so sticky that it's hard to roll thinly.
- The crust slides down in the oven.
- The bottom rises in the oven.
- It's too crunchy. (or not crispy enough.)
... and so on.
That is why I made this tutorial trying to explain the most common problems and how to solve them.
🧡 I love this tart crust because:
- There is no need to blind-bake the tart crust. You can bake it quickly!
- It's lightly crunchy and is not overly hard.
- The dough is so simple and easy to make.
- It's less sticky than many other tart doughs, making it easier to roll.
- It can hold the shapes pretty well in the oven.
💬 This is the only sweet tart crust I have used for a decade for all kinds of sweet tarts. I also use it for cookies, such as cut-out and icing cookies sometimes. I have massive trust in it for delicious outcomes!
In this post, you'll learn essential baking tips such as:
- How to make the dough with "sablage method" (and what that is.)
- Tips for rolling the dough
- How to use different tart tools (and what difference they make)
- Why the dough shrinks in the oven, and how to prevent it
- + All the other troubleshooting
... and so on.
I'll guide you through the steps and the essential tips as simply as possible so you'll feel ready to make the tart crust after reading it.
Let's get started!
📌 What's In The Tart Crust?
- All-purpose flour
- Gluten in flour creates a crunchy texture for the tart crust.
- Almond flour
- It adds a fantastic flavor and more delicate, light crunchiness to the crust.
- Powdered sugar
- It creates more light crunchiness than granulated sugar.
- I use regular table salt.
- Unsalted butter
- Use cold butter.
- Egg helps to connect all the ingredients to make the dough.
- Bread flour to dust on a working surface
- Bread flour spreads more evenly and does not stick as much as cake or all-purpose flour. Use all-purpose flour if you can not get bread flour.
📌 How To Make The Tart Crust
7 Steps To Make The Tart Crust
The tart dough:
- Add all the dried ingredients to a bowl and roughly mix with a paddle attachment.
- Add cold cubed butter and mix until it looks sandy.
- Add beaten egg and mix until it's evenly incorporated.
- Wrap and chill it in the fridge for at least one hour before rolling it.
Roll it and bake!
- Roll the dough.
- Set the dough in tart pans (or rings).
- Bake them at 350 F | 175 C for 10 - 20 mins or longer, depending on the size, until golden brown.
📝 More Tips With Images
Now, let me share detailed tips on each step, which are all crucial for making the tart crust successfully.
Step 1: Add all the dried ingredients.
💡 By adding almond flour, the crust gets lighter crunchiness. (due to less gluten from all-purpose flour) It also adds a wonderful flavor!
💬 You can sift the flour in advance, but it's unnecessary! The lumps disappear through the process.
Step 2: Add butter and mix until everything looks sandy.
Tips for Butter 🧈
- Use very cold butter for the process to work properly.
- Cut butter into smaller pieces so that it blends easier.
Continue mixing until it looks very sandy, like in the image below:
It looks like fine almond flour.
👩🏻🍳 This means the butter is coated all around the flour evenly. And this process is called "sablage" in French, meaning "like sands."
The benefits of the sablage method
You can create a lighter, delicately crispy crust by doing this method:
When you mix liquids and flour, they bond together and create protein webs called gluten. You may have heard of it before for bread making. For tart making, it makes the crust crunchier.
Although it is an essential substance to make tart crusts, the tart can get too crunchy when it's formed more than enough - It can also cause the shrinkage of the crust in the oven.
By doing "sablage", butter (Oil) gets coated all around the flour and creates a barrier from liquids (egg).
As a result, the liquid (egg) and flour can not bold as much to create glutens, which leads to a lighter texture.
Step 3: Add egg and mix until it's evenly incorporated.
Finally, add the beaten egg and mix.
Check if it's evenly mixed at the end.
Step 4: Chill it in the fridge.
The dough can be very soft when it's just made. Chill it in the fridge for at least one hour before rolling it.
💬 You can also make it the day before and let it rest overnight. Or freeze and use it whenever you need it.
💡 I like to wrap the dough and roll it into a wide rectangle shape, so it'll be easier to roll it neatly later. You can also divide it in half and wrap each.
Step 5: Roll The Tart Dough.
1. Dust flour on the working surface.
It's important to dust flour on the working surface, a rolling pin, and the dough itself to prevent them from sticking to the dough before rolling it.
👩🏻🍳 Add flour frequently as needed while rolling it. The dough can stick to them when four is not applied enough.
Bread flour 🍞
Use bread flour to dust because it spreads more evenly and does not get absorbed in the dough as much as all-purpose flour and cake flour.
Use all-purpose flour instead if you don't have bread flour.
2. Push the dough and make it softer.
The dough is too hard to roll right after being removed from the fridge due to the butter inside.
⚠️ The cold dough can crack easily by forcing it to spread.
Push it gently and slowly wake it up 🥱:
Turn it 90 degrees and repeat the same process until the dough is soft enough to roll:
💬 You can also leave the dough at room temperature for 15 - 20 minutes to soften it beforehand.
3. Roll the dough.
It's time to roll it once the dough is soft enough!
Dust more flour:
Tips for rolling a tart dough
- Add the same pressures from both hands to get an even thickness.
- Move as quickly as possible to prevent the dough from getting too soft.
- Apply flour frequently to prevent the dough from sticking to a working surface and a rolling pin.
Nobody can roll fast at the beginning - You'll get used to it each time you practice.
4 steps to roll the dough
- Roll the dough from the middle toward up.
- Roll the dough from the middle toward down.
- Turn the dough 90 degrees. ( Add more flour if needed.)
- Repeat 1-3 until it gets to the ideal thickness.
⚠️ Avoid touching the dough directly with your hands too often, especially when your hands are warm. The dough scraper is very handy for that!
Roll it into about 2 - 3 mm | 0.08 - 0.1 inch thickness.
It creates an amazing light crispiness for tart crusts.
You'll see through the color of your table or dough scraper when it's rolled thin enough:
What should I do if the dough gets too soft while rolling it?
Chill the dough in the fridge for some time when it's getting too soft to handle while rolling it. (or after you finish rolling it)
Work on a cooling environment to prevent it from getting soft quickly.
You can also roll the dough on parchment paper to transfer it easier!
Step 6: Set The Dough In Tart Molds.
Now, let's set the dough into tart pans or rings!
7 steps to set the dough in tart pans (or rings).
- First, cut the dough with a cookie cutter, pie roller, or knife.
- It should be big enough to cover the sides of the pan.
- And place it on top of the pan.
- Ensure that it's on the center of the pan so it can cover all sides of the pan.
- Let it sink into the pan.
- Push the corner with a thumb and let the dough fit in the corner.
- The gap in the corners cause the dough to slide down as it's baked in the oven.
- Add firm pressure to let the dough sticks to sides of a pan.
- Do not push it too hard to prevent it from getting uneven.
- Cut the edge with a knife or a dough scraper.
- This creates a nice shape edge. You can also pinch the edge or try different techniques.
- Poke the bottom with a fork to prevent it from rising as it's baked in the oven.
You can also use a pie roller to make holes before you set the dough in pans:
Large tart pan
Follow the same steps for a larger tart pan!
Dust some bread flour on the bottom for a tart ring to prevent the dough from sticking to the working surface.
All the other steps apply the same!
💡 You don't need to poke the bottom with a fork when using a mesh silicone mat. The bottom stays perfectly flat with it. (Check out the baking tool section for more detail.)
It's possible to do the same way as regular tart rings, but the dough sometimes goes in the holes on the side too deep and gets stuck.
So, I am showing a different way that works easier:
First, cut the dough with the ring. We'll use this as the bottom.
And next, cut stripes for the side:
Push the corner and side with a thumb and ensure that the dough fits nicely:
⚠️ Do not add too much pressure on the side since the dough goes into the holes too much, and removing the crust from the ring will be difficult after it's baked.
You'll see the large gaps when the corner is not pressed enough:
Now, cut off the excess dough on the side and push with a thumb to connect them. And cut off the excess dough on top:
Watch the video tutorial to see the movement and have a deeper understanding of the processes!
Step 7: Chill the dough before baking it.
After you set the dough in pans or rings, chill it completely before baking them. And this is extremely important!
When you bake them while they are still soft (That means the butter is soft at room temperature.), the dough slides down in the oven before it gets cooked. And it makes uneven tart crusts.
💡 Although the refrigerator works fine, chilling it in the freezer creates an even better result!
Step 8: Bake The Tart Crust
🔥 Bake (Preheated) at 350 F | 175 C for 10 - 20 mins (or longer, depending on the size) until golden brown.
* Rotate the position toward the end if necessary to color them evenly.
Let them cool down before you use them.
💬 How much you should bake depends on how crispy you want it to get. I bake it until the color gets golden brown all around for a crispy texture. Adjust the time as you like!
📌 Uses For Tart Crust
Use this recipe for any sweet tarts, such as:
- Large tarts: Some of my favorite tarts are fruit tart, chocolate tart, pecan tart, almond tart, apple tart, lemon meringue tart, cheesecake tart, etc. What is your favorite?
- Small tartlets: Enjoy it in mini size for parties, catering events, etc.
- Cookies: I also like to use this crust for cut-out cookies, a cookie box and icing cookies! It works great because the shape remains beautifully.
I like to make an assorted cookie box using this dough. Check out this post to see how you can make the fall cookie box from one batch of this recipe!
📌 Frequently Asked Questions
You can store it in a refrigerator for up to 5 days or in a freezer for up to a few months.
Although almond flour works best, you can also replace the same amount with any other flour, such as all-purpose flour, cake flour, cornstarch, etc.
Yes! You can wrap it tightly and freeze it for up to a few months.
📌 Which Baking Tools To Use
Parchment paper or silicone mat?
To bake the crust with rings, we need to place parchment paper or a silicone mat on a tray. Without them, the crust may stick to the tray.
Parchment paper might be the most common option. With that, the bottom of the tart crust will not be so flat. You'll see small air bumps here and there. But that's not a big issue for most occasions.
The bottom of the crust gets flatter than the one with parchment paper. But it is not perfectly flat.
Silicone mesh mat
The bottom gets completely flat with a silicone mesh mat. It adds a pretty pattern. This is the best option to make it look neat and professional for your special occasions.
Types of tart pans and rings
There are many types of tart/tartlet pans and rings you can pick from, but today, I categorized them into 3 types:
- Tartlet | tart pan
- Tartlet | tart ring
- Tartlet | tart perforated ring
Let me categorize perforated rings separately from rings today because the character is unique.
1. Tartlet | tart pan
This is the most common and classic tart pan. Some of them have ruffle patterns on the side; others don't.
With these pans, you do not need to lay parchment paper or a silicone mat on top of a tray. That is a great benefit!
2. Tartlet | tart ring
This is the type I use most often nowadays. It is easy to wash, and I like the slight side.
3. Perforated tartlet | tart ring
And this one came out most recently; the ring has many tiny holes around the side.
The steam in the dough gets out from the holes as it is baked in the oven, creating a flat, beautiful-looking crust with no air bumps.
But I've gotta say they are a lot pricier, especially when you buy them from a good brand.
To sum up:
There is no right or wrong, or better or worse. Each one has cons and pros, as I mentioned above. You can use whichever pans and rings you like for your occasions!
📌 VIDEO: Watch how to make it!
To see all the steps visually and get a better understanding of all, check out the video tutorial as well:
📌 Printable Recipe
💬 If you loved this recipe, please share your feedback on this post! I always love to hear how you enjoyed it with your friends and family.
Best Tart Crust
- Stand mixer with a pedal or food processor
- Dough scraper
- Petty knife
- Rolling Pin
- Tart rings or molds
- Silicon (mesh) mat or parchment paper
- Folk optional
- 12.3 oz All-purpose flour 2 ⅔ US cups
- 1.8 oz Almond flour ½ US cup
- 5.3 oz Powdered sugar 1 ¼ US cup
- a few pinch Salt
- 6.3 oz Unsalted butter (cold, cut in small cubes) 1 ⅔ US sticks
- 2.5 oz Egg about 1.5 eggs
To roll it:
- Some Bread flour Use all-purpose flour if you can't get it.
- Add all the dried ingredients in a bowl.12.3 oz All-purpose flour, 1.8 oz Almond flour, 5.3 oz Powdered sugar, a few pinch Salt
- Add cold butter (cut into small cubes) and mix with a pedal until it gets powdery like almond flour.6.3 oz Unsalted butter (cold, cut in small cubes)
- Add beaten egg and mix until it's evenly incorporated.2.5 oz Egg
- Wrap and chill it in the fridge. (1 hour - )
Roll the dough:
- Dust bread flour on the working surface and the dough.Some Bread flour
- Push it gently to soften it.
- Roll the dough thinly. (about 2 - 3 mm | 0.08 - 0.1 inch thickness)4 steps to roll it:1. Roll the dough from the middle toward up. 2. Roll the dough from the middle toward down.3. Turn the dough 90 degrees. ( Add more flour if needed.)4. Repeat 1 - 3 until it gets to the ideal thickness.
Set it in tart pans | ring:
- 7 steps:1. First, cut the dough with a cookie cutter, pie roller, or knife - It should be big enough to cover the sides of the pan. 2. And place it on top of the pan. Ensure that it's on the center of the pan so it can cover all sides.3. Let it sink into the pan.4. Push the corner with a thumb and let the dough fit in the corners. The gap in the corners cause the dough to slide down as it's baked in the oven.5. Add firm pressure to let the dough sticks to sides of a pan. Do not push it too hard to prevent it from getting uneven.6. Cut the edge with a knife or a dough scraper. This creates a nice shape edge. You can also pinch the edge or try different techniques.7. Poke the bottom with a fork to prevent it from rising as it's baked in the oven.
Chill the dough before baking:
- Chill it completely before baking (preferably in the freezer) so it can hold the shape as it's baked.
Bake the crust:
- Bake (Preheated) at 350 F | 175 C for 10 - 20 mins or longer, depending on the size, until they are golden brown.*Adjust the time and temperature accordingly.
How to store the dough:Wrap tightly and store them in a refrigerator for up to 5 days or up to a few months in a freezer. ** For best results, measure ingredients with a scale. All recipes are designed with weighed ingredients using grams/ounces. Cup measurements are provided for your convenience. **
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