This is Amy’s basic recipe for a single 9-inch tart shell. If you are making two shells, make the recipe twice as opposed to doubling it.

The dough is exceptionally easy to work with, neither too stiff nor too crumbly. For tips on rolling it out and transferring it to the pan.

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Ingredients

  • 3 ounces (¾ stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1 cup (all-purpose) flour

Method

  1. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add the egg yolks and mix until smooth and well blended. Add the flour and mix until blended.
  3. Gather together the dough and press it out into a thick disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm but malleable, at least 1 hour.
  4. To roll out the dough, sprinkle the work surface and the top of the disk with tablespoons flour. Roll the dough into an even -inch-thick circle with a 12-inch diameter. Periodically rotate the dough on the board and dust the top as needed to prevent sticking.
  5. Fold the dough in half, center it in a 9-inch tart pan, and unfold. Or, reverse-roll the dough over the pin and unroll over the tart pan, leaving about a 2-inch hem all around. Using your fingers, gently fit the dough into the sides of pan. Fold the hem into the shell so that the trimmed edge meets the bottom where it joins the wall. (This forms a wall that is twice as thick as the bottom.) Press the folded edge gently into the sides of the pan, then go around the inside of the pan again with the side of the first finger, pressing the lower wall to the pan. With the corner of a pastry scraper or knife, trim the excess dough even with the top of the pan, cutting away from the center of the tart in brisk movements to form a clean edge.
  6. Cover the shell with plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before filling and baking. (The shell can be refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 2 weeks.)
  7. To prebake the tart shell: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Move a rack to the middle position of the oven.
  8. Line the bottom of the tart shell with a double thickness of aluminum foil. Weigh down with pie weights or dried beans. Fold the foil over the beans to expose the rim of the shell. Bake the shell for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights. If the recipe calls for a partially baked tart shell, return the shell to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the bottom is dry; if the recipe calls for a fully baked shell, return the shell to the oven and bake until the bottom and the edges are golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
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