This recipe makes enough dough for 8 tartlet shells. If you are serving a larger crowd, do the recipe twice rather than doubling it. If you are new to working with tart doughs, see Tart Tools and Tart Tips to help you on your way.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces ( sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
  • cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 extra-large egg yolks
  • 2 cups (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. Add the egg yolks and mix until blended. Add the flour and mix until combined. Gather the dough together and roll and form into a thick log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm but malleable, at least 1 hour.
  2. Divide the log of dough into 8 equal portions ( ounces each). On a lightly floured board, roll out each portion into an even 6-inch round inch thick. Periodically rotate the dough on the board and dust the top as needed to prevent sticking.
  3. Fit each dough circle into a 4-inch tartlet pan. Gently press the dough into the sides of the pan. Fold the hem back into the shell so that the outer edge meets the bottom of the tart; this forms a wall that is twice as thick as the bottom. Press the dough gently into the sides of the pan. 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. Cover the tartlet shells with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly firm, about 30 minutes, before baking. (The shells can be refrigerated overnight or frozen airtight for 1 to 2 weeks.)
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Move an oven rack to the middle position.
  5. Bake the shells until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
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