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This buttery, crisp tart crust is easy to make and goes perfectly with any tart filling.
I took a break from writing and have been spending a lot more time in the kitchen these past two months. Baking tends to make things slow down and feel simpler, and I think we could all use a bit of that right now. The mini tart pans I ordered came in a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been so excited to cook with them! This crust works perfectly for making Classic Lemon Tarts or Mini Blueberry Cream Pies.
The first time I set out to make homemade pie crust it really felt like such a daunting task. The pages that I would read in cookbooks would use terms like crimping and blind baking and would stress the importance of keeping your ingredients cold. Every bit of it freaked me out. Well, I made my first pie crust about two years ago and I’m here to tell you that it really wasn’t as scary as it seems. Making tart crust is basically the same as making pie crust; the ingredients are just a bit different but the technique doesn’t change.
What is Blind Baking?
Blind baking is the process of pre-baking a pie or tart crust, before adding in the filling. You can either partially bake or fully bake your crust. Partial baking is great for fillings that will need to be cooked and it will help with preventing a soggy crust. Full baking is necessary for filling that won’t be cooked, like cream pies or lemon tarts.
In either case, it is important to weigh down your crust so it doesn’t rise up during the baking process. You can either use pie weights, uncooked rice, or dried beans to weight down your crust. The method I prefer is to cover the tart crust in foil so the edges don’t burn, and then fill it with uncooked rice.
Tips For Making Great Tart Crust
- Make sure your butter is cold. Just pull it straight from the fridge and cut it into cubes when you’re ready to use it. No softening necessary.
- Don’t overprocess your dough. The dough should be crumbly with large clumps.
- If you don’t want to use your dough right away, keep it tightly wrapped in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the fridge before baking.
Tart Crust Recipe
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 sticks butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBSP cold water
Things you will need:
- 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom or six 4″ mini tart pans
- food processor or pastry cutter
- plastic wrap and foil
- rolling pin
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Process until combined.
- Add in cubes of butter and pulse until the mixture becomes crumbly (about 15 – 20 pulses).
3. Add in eggs, vanilla, and water and pulse until the mixture is no longer dry, about 15-20 seconds. The dough should be in large clumps.
4. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. It should come together easily without being too sticky. Flatten slightly with your hands to form a thick disk, then wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
5. To roll out the dough, take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch circle. If you are using a 9-inch tart pan, roll the dough loosely around a rolling pin and transfer it to the pan. If you are using mini tart pans, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces before transferring to the pans. Gently press the dough into the pans and trim the excess with a sharp knife. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes before baking to prevent shrinking.
6. Preheat the oven to 375. Take the crust out of the freezer and press foil tightly over the crust and the edges to prevent burning. Fill the tarts with pie weights or uncooked rice.
7. To partially bake mini tarts, cook for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and remove the foil and rice. You’ll then proceed with your tart recipe, add the filling, and finish baking. To fully bake, cook for 15, then remove foils and cook for 5-10 minutes longer, or until golden brown. If you are using a 9-inch tart pan, cook for 20 minutes before removing foils.