Stars’ Sweet Pastry Dough

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Enough dough for one of the following:


    9 inch tart and lattice

Appears in

Stars Desserts

By Emily Luchetti

Published 1993

  • About

The trick to good pastry shell is not to add too much water (which will make the dough tough) and not to overwork the dough. Following these two rules will allow you to produce flaky, buttery pie and tart shells. Extra dough can be frozen, either in batches or rolled out in shells. Wrap the dough well and it will last for a week or two in the freezer. Simply thaw the dough and roll it out as desired. Always use tart forms with removable bottoms.


  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) cold sweet butter
  • 3 tablespoons (approximately) ice cold water


Combine the sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer.

Using the paddle attachment, cut in the butter on low speed until it is the size of small peas.

Slowly pour in just enough water so that the dough just comes together. It should look rough in the bowl but hold together if you squeeze it in your hand. Too much water will make the tart dough tough.

Refrigerate tart and pie shells for 30 minutes before baking.

Dough rolling information

Roll out pie shells and top shells ¼ inch thick.

Roll out tart shells inch thick.

To make lattice, roll out the dough inch thick and cut into ½-inch-wide strips.

To prebake a pie or tart shell

Line the pie or tart shell with parchment paper and fill with uncooked rice or dried beans. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes, until the edges of the shell are golden brown. Remove the paper and weights. Decrease the temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking the tart shell for about 15 minutes, until the bottom of the shell is golden brown.

To partially bake a pie or tart shell

Bake the tart or pie shell with the parchment paper and the weights until the edges are golden brown, as described above. Remove the parchment paper and weights and bake for 5 minutes more.

If your tart shell cracks on the bottom, make a thick paste out of a little flour and water and seal the crack. Place the tart back in the oven for a few minutes to dry the “glue.”