Every baker should have a good tart dough recipe. Don’t act like you doughn’t know it!!
Been wanting to use that “doughn’t” for the longest time.
Tarts have always remained one of my favorite pastries. Large or small, tarts always looked so sleek and clean. Fruit tarts with their glistening glazes or a rich dark chocolate tart with its soft center and chocolate buttery shell. I love em. Making them was always a different story.
Tart dough and yes even pie dough have always had their reputation for being a pain in the ass to work with. Yes, tart dough rips, shrinks, warm hands make it hard to work with or the dough is too soft and or too cold. A number of things could go wrong. Oh, and rolling it out and sticking to the work surface. Perfecting all these things just comes with practice and getting familiar with working with the dough. There is no magic recipe there.
What really used to piss me off about tart dough. Was the blind baking it and the sides would collapse. Oh geez, what a pain in the ass. You would have to line the dough with a coffee filter or parchment paper and then pour in your beans. Every bakery would have that old bucket full of old dried beans that they had been using for hundreds of years to line their tarts for blind baking. What a mess. Then when the tarts came out of the oven, pulling the coffee filters away from the tarts, the dough would rip and you would get holes. Man, that would really piss me off. Every so often a bean would escape and be baked into the tart shell. You would have to get your pairing knife and dig out all the beans that were baked into the shells. Parchment paper after so many uses would just tear and as you lifted it up out of the shell it would burst and beans would drop every where. As if this wasn’t annoying enough. Imagine working in a hotel or large scale bakery with sheet tray after sheet tray full of tarts. Just thinking about it makes me want to drink.
“You don’t become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you and allowing that goodness to emerge.” – Eckhart Tolle
There had to be a better way. There is and why the hell it took so long is beyond me.
It wasn’t until years later after I left culinary school and working in professional kitchens that a dough that didn’t collapse when you baked actually existed. I don’t know if they teach this is culinary schools but they should. There is a lot that culinary schools should teach that they don’t.
My tart dough is simple, delicious and doesn’t collapse. Crank out this dough and have it in your fridge or freezer. I’ll have a couple tarts coming in the following weeks. Just in time for Holiday parties to dazzle your friends. Assuming you have any. After all, you are reading a loners blog.
I will say one thing I’ve learned through my years in professional kitchens. The simpler the recipe usually the better. I’ve worked with too many chefs that have ingredients in their recipes and they themselves haven’t a clue why. I call this unnecessary. Some call it ego. Others just say, “He’s a dick.” An ingredient is a function. It serves a purpose. If it doesn’t. Get rid of it. Like grandma.
OK, I’m out of here for the week. I have a bus to catch to Philadelphia.
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Must Have Tart Dough Recipe
pinch of salt
-cream butter and sugar until combined. Do not cream until light and fluffy. The less air you incorporate the better.
-add your eggs and mix just until combined.
-add flour and mix until the mix comes together and forms a dough.
-divide into to 2 rounds. Wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
-roll dough out a big enough circumference for an 11″ tart about 1/8 inch in thickness with enough edge for forgiveness about an extra inch.
-poke a couple holes with a fork and blind bake WITHOUT BEANS OR WEIGHTS in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
-when the tart comes out of the oven you may have to take a towel and give a little push down of the dough to flatten.
-Enjoy a perfect tart.
Makes two 11″ tarts
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