Recipe Spotlight

Meet the Last Tart Dough You’ll Ever Need

Savory, sweet, you name it: This tart dough works for any recipe.

Published Nov. 3, 2022.

Galettes, crostatas, free-form tarts: Whatever you call them, these rustic yet elegant pastries belong at your next gathering. Fill them with savory vegetables (perhaps potatoes or tomatoes), cheese, and herbs for an appetizer or entrée, or use seasonal fruit tossed with sugar and spices for a festive dessert (like this Cranberry-Ginger Apple Tart).

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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.

No matter the filling, you’re going to need the right dough for the job. This recipe won’t let you down. It’s irresistibly flaky and buttery but still sturdy enough to hold its shape and contain any potential leaks. The keys are to work quickly with cold ingredients and use a food processor to bring the dough together. ​​

When pulsing the chilled butter into flour and salt, take it a little bit further than you’re used to: Keep going, past the stage of pea-size butter chunks, until the mixture resembles coarse fresh bread crumbs. These smaller pieces of butter are still big enough to create flaky layers but aren’t so big that they’ll leave weak spots and holes in the dough when they melt.

All-Purpose Tart Dough

  • 1½ cups (7½ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled
  • 6 tablespoons ice water

1. Process flour and salt in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Scatter butter over top and pulse until mixture resembles uniformly coarse crumbs, 10 to 12 pulses. With processor running, add ice water and process until almost no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl after 5 seconds.

2. Transfer dough to sheet of plastic wrap. Form dough into 5 by 6-inch rectangle (for rectangular tart) or 4-inch disk (for circular tart), wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. (Wrapped dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, let dough thaw completely on counter before rolling.)

When you’re ready to bake, let the dough soften on the counter for about 10 minutes before rolling. Then roll it into a large rectangle or circle (whichever suits your fancy) and spread your filling evenly in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the border over the filling, pleating it as needed.

Bake it on a parchment-lined sheet on the lower-middle rack at 400 degrees until its golden brown and the filling is tender, about 50 minutes (though the time and temperature might vary based on your filling). Let the tart cool slightly, then wow your guests with your pastry prowess.

Potato and Parmesan Tart

Tarts aren't just for dessert. This beautiful, savory side dish proves the point.
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