French Tart Dough Recipe

tart dough

I was in the middle of a lovely spring lunch at Chez Prune up by the Canal St. Martin the other day with Paule Caillat, a woman who teaches cooking classes here in Paris.

We talked about many things, but of course, the conversation quickly turned to the most important subject of them all: baking. And soon she began to tell me about this tart dough recipe that she’s been making for years.

I was expecting her to say, “You begin by taking some cold butter and work it into the flour.

But she started by saying, “You take butter. And you take water. You put them in a bowl. Then you put it in the oven for 20 minutes and let everything boil until…” which, of course, stopped me mid-swallow of my Côte du Rhone. I almost started choking.

“Surely, you jest!” I wanted to cry out in disbelief.

Except I couldn’t, because I don’t know how to say that in French.


So I just sat there with my mouth agape, which is a pretty uncharacteristic position for me to find myself in.

paule caillat flour added

Then she reiterated, that she heated the butter in the oven and dumped in some flour then stirred it until it was smooth. Seriously gang, you coulda knocked me over with un plume. It was as if someone told me that Anne Coulter actually wasn’t really out of her friggin’ gourd, or that I packed up and split to a foreign country with no plans for my future. It was all just crazy-talk.

browned-butter dough ball

So Paule invited me to her fabulous, spanking-new kitchen (je suis jaloux!), where she teaches cooking classes at Promenades Gourmandes, to make the dough. After I caught my breath at her kitchen, which was roughly the size of my apartment, she lit the oven and soon the butter was bubbling merrily away in the oven. She made me come over and look, showing me how it was darkening just around the edges, “comme le beurre noisette”—like browned butter.

tart dough dough pressing in mold

A few moments later, she carefully pulled it out then she dumped in an unspecified amount of flour with an audible sizzle, and began stirring briskly.

When I asked how much flour she’d added, she said, “Oh…you know, enough to make it right.”

making tart dough farine bio

Immediately my breathing became short and I had to brace myself against the wall (although a slug of Côte du Rhone brought me back): I knew that you’d flip out if I didn’t get an exact amount of flour out of her. Yet after multiple messages back and forth with her from my home kitchen, I came up with the right quantity. I know from experience pinning down the French isn’t always easy, but the rewards are invariably worth it.

(Except I still can’t figure out why France Telecom said if I get an iPhone now, it’s going to cost me €509. But if I wait until next January, I can have it at the currently-advertised price of €89.)

butter wrapper pressing dough

If you’ve been afraid to make tart dough, give this one a try. It couldn’t be easier to make, or more interesting, and yielded a wonderfully flaky, buttery dough. And if anyone asks for the recipe, do make sure they’re not mid-gulp.

baked tart dough

French Pastry Dough

One 9 (23 cm) tart shell

Adapted from a recipe by Paule Caillat of Promenades Gourmandes

In France, I used type 65 organic flour, which is similar to American all-purpose flour. Paule says that her students report back, saying that the dough works beautifully with American butter, too. Small cracks in the dough are normal so I wouldn’t use this for a thin, custardy filling, although it works well filled with chocolate ganache and I would imagine it would be lovely filled with fresh berries resting on a base of pastry cream.

Do be careful with the hot bowl of butter. Not only will the butter spatter a bit when you add the flour, but it’s uncommon to have a very hot bowl on the counter and easy to simply give in the urge to grab it with your bare hands.

  • 90 g (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 150 g (5oz, or 1 slightly-rounded cup) flour

Preheat the oven to 410º F (210º C).

1. In a medium-sized ovenproof bowl, such as a Pyrex bowl, combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt.

2. Place the bowl in the oven for 15 minutes, until the butter is bubbling and starts to brown just around the edges.

3. When done, remove the bowl from oven (and be careful, since the bowl will be hot and the mixture might sputter a bit), dump in the flour and stir it in quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

4. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch (23 cm) tart mold with a removable bottom and spread it a bit with a spatula.

5. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, pat it into the shell with the heel of your and, and use your fingers to press it up the sides of the tart mold. Reserve a small piece of dough, about the size of a raspberry, for patching any cracks.

(Paule takes a fork and reinforces the dough to the sides, which I didn’t find necessary.)

6. Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork about ten times, then bake the tart shell in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.

7. Remove from the oven and if there are any sizable cracks, use the bits of reserved dough to fill in and patch them.

I find it best to pinch off a small amount of the reserved dough, roll it gently between your fingers to soften it, then wedge it into the cracks, smoothing it gently with your pinky.

8. Let the shell cool before filling.

tarte au chocolat

Related Links:

Paris Cooking Classes and Wine Tastings

Paris Favorites: Eating, Drinking and Shopping

Chez Panisse Almond Tart (Recipe)

Easy Jam Tart (Recipe)

Ingredients for American Baking in France

184 comments

  • This is like the “oil & water” method of pie crust. 2 1/3 C (350 gm.) flour 1/3 C water 2/3 cup oil measure in same cup. 1-1 1/2 tsp salt. stir salt & flour together. Add oil/water all at once. Then FOLD ingedients together just until dough comes together. Do not “stir” or “mix”. This is for 2 crust pie. Roll out between wax paper or heavy plastic. Best if eaten same day baked. NOW the point I like to make is I also melt butter and use warm water hot enough to keep butter liquid and proceed as above. Melting butter in oven to brown a little bit is a nice touch I do not consider before, but shall try. Best regards to all.

  • David, generally do your recipes use “dip and sweep” when measuring flour or the “spoon lightly in a cup” method? I ask because the dough never came together in a ball, even though I thought I was conservative with the flour. (But I did dip-and-sweep.) Of course, it now occurs to me it might be my flour since I use King Arthur’s all-purpose, which seems to have a higher protein count than other brands.

    Nonetheless, the tart is baking in my oven. Hate to put anything to waste so fingers crossed that it comes out.

    For Mother’s Day my husband presented me with your latest book over breakfast. We’re both big fans of your blog, and even though he is (an admitted) disaster in the kitchen, he did make your Rice Krispie treats with white chocolate and candied peanuts for my birthday last year, cooking the recipe over several nights after I went to bed. So thank you for all the baking joy you’ve brought to our home! :)

  • Hello! I am very anxious to make this pie. Loved the way to do this dough. I will tell you after.

    A hug.

  • Thanks for sharing the recipe, David. Any ideas on how to modify it for an 11.5-inch tart pan?

  • David I cannot thank you enough for posting Paule Caillat’s tart dough recipe. This (unconventional, to me) method produced the MOST AMAZINGLY PERFECT tart shell that has gotten nothing short of raves from my colleagues and everyone else who’s tasted it. I used the shell for Dorie’s Tartest Lemon Tart http://www.therepressedpastrychef.com/home/2009/5/12/tartest-lemon-tart-twd.html and it was nothing short of perfection.

    Thank you!
    Thank you!
    Thank you!

    Em
    ~The Repressed Pastry Chef

  • I just made this. Love it. Don’t know what I’ll put it the shell but I was dying to try it since I saw it here. I used bakingbites’ method since I was going to do that anyway. I can’t ever follow a recipe, I have to alter everything to suit me, my preferred ingredients, etc.

    My crust is great with no cracks. I used organic Canadian butter, raw sugar, no oil and just eyeballed the butter amount since I just packed up my baking things for my big move. I can’t wait to try a savoury version of. Merci de nous avoir raconte cette recette, David!

  • Um David, for once I am speechless. This goes against all natural laws, and yet it looks so beautiful. I guess I better get my backside to the kitchen…

    ~Laura

  • Just wanted to say thanks- have used this recipe twice in the past week, for both savory and sweet, and am in love. Forget working with cold butter for tart crusts- this is the way to go!

  • Hi Julie: You can certainly increase the ingredients proportionally, to make more dough, then freeze any leftover for the next time. Or use them to make some smaller tarts.

    You could also make cookies from the leftover dough, fashioning it into round and sprinkling them with sugar (and cinnamon, perhaps) before baking.

  • Dave,
    My oven goes by 25℉ increments, so there is no 410° Please tell me that 400°
    is pretty much the same…
    Also: when you say to increase the dough proportionally for a larger tart pan, do you mean an exact double of each ingredient?

  • Joanna: Yes, you can use a similar temperature; just bake it until it’s done, as shown in the photo. If you want to increase the dough, proportionally means you can do it by 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, or double it if you wish.

  • Thanks, David and Paule!
    I haven’t baked much in my life and was therefore surprised by the reactions to heating butter. That sounded better to me than cold butter any day. And it worked quite well though there were hints of smoke in the kitchen and the dough slid down the sides of the form a bit.
    My question: How do you prevent the sliding? We left out the oil. Could that be it?
    And, as Julie asked above: Can you do this on the stovetop instead?

  • hi adrian: When folks swap or leave out ingredients, results are bound to differ so I can’t address the sliding issue, but Nic over at Baking Bites made a variation of this recipe, Browned Butter Tart Dough, which she cooked on the stovetop with great success.

  • Could this dough be used in place of pate brisee for pie crust?? Until now, I have felt rather daunted by making dough (maybe because of the Texas humidity?). Nevertheless, after successfully mastering pasta frolla and using it to make the most heavenly Lemon Tart with your lemon curd recipe, I am determined to master the others. I am still learning which doughs make which pastries – hence, my confusion as to whether “tart” dough can be used for pies?
    Thanks in advance!

  • David – 220 C = 428 F, not 410 F. What gives? The question may be nitpicky, but this is the first recipe from you that I am having trouble duplicating, and I have used many of your recipes with little alteration. I would just like to rule out baking temperature as a source of error.

    Thanks,
    Sachin

    My oven in in metrics but I use a thermometer in standard measurements, since I’m doing twice the work, and writing in both systems. I did bake the tart shell at 425F, although Paule’s recipe says 210C. I changed it in the recipe to be consistent, but that’s what I originally did.

    But the difference is negligible and all those French country cooks aren’t standing by their ovens monitoring the temperature. So like them, it’s best to trust your instincts and when the dough looks just right to you (similar to the picture in the post), that’s when it’s done. -dl

  • Whoops. Just saw your reply to Joanna, which implies that small temperature variation should not be an issue. Back to troubleshooting.

    Sachin

  • Today was spring cleaning for my fridge. I had some leftover passion fruit puree so instead of lemon curd I made passion fruit curd and piled it into 6 mini graham cracker crumb-filled tart shells and topped them off with meringue made from the the two whites left from the curd. I also made some soupe au pistou with everything in my produce bin and some pesto I brought back from Italy. All-in-all, not a bad meal. Thank you David! You are my favorite blogger!

  • I just got around to making this crust. This has to be the easiest, tastiest crust I’ve ever made. It is also surprisingly light. This is my new go-to crust! THANK YOU!!

  • This reminds me of an old time recipe using Wesson Oil, the difference is that the old recipe was not heated. It makes a wonderful flakey crust too. Thank you David for such a great blog.

  • I just bought some beautiful raspberries and am dreaming of a tart with the berries on a base of pastry cream. I remembered you posting this recipe recently, so now it’s time for me to give it a try!

  • Love..love..love.. this recipe turn out great. Buttery and crisp also not to sweet.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Thank you, thank you for this amazing recipe! I’ve made this several times, and it always comes out perfect. This has saved me a lot of frustration in my hot kitchen, and prevented a lot of gray hairs I’m sure!

  • I tried to get through all 122 comments to see if this question has been answered, but I’m afraid I’m not blessed with the sort of patience one should be. It’s great to hear from those who have tried the recipe, or have a specific question or suggestion. Ok, here’s what I’m wondering:

    Can one substitute Lard for oil in this recipe, or would it burn (or, with my luck, catch fire – a potential outcome that occurred to me just before I decided to just try it myself and post the results)? I’d like to do this if there’d be a good outcome, since it adds a nicer flavor than oil.

  • Hi MaryM: As far as I know, French cooks don’t use lard in baking (and I don’t use it myself…I’m a butter-guy), but if you do try it, please do let us know how it turns out…I’d be quite interested!

  • david,

    this recipe has changed my life! i am not even being hyperbolic. without a doubt, this was the best pastry crust i have ever made. i made a savory tarte (used olive oil instead of canola oil) using roasted orange cauliflower, carmelized onions, mascarpone and aged white cheddar.

    have you had any luck trying to chill the flattened dough and use it as a pie top? i’m going to try this…

  • I stumbled across your Blog by accident and on browsing came to find this recipe, now I love my own pastry even though I have hot hands it always comes out well but whilst it is great for Apple Pies and savouries being light crisp and tasty it has never had that crisp almost melting quality of French sweet tart pastry, I have tried many others over the years but nothing quite like this one. Obviously it is only really any good for a tart shell because of the nature of it SO having Dorie Greenspans Paris Sweets to hand with its rather nice sounding Creme Patisserie recipe and a good old punnet of English strawberries and one of Scottish Raspberries I figured I would give it a go. Boy am I glad I did, how easy and how absolutely delicious this method is, I made a 9″ tart which four of us demolished in one sitting it was that good. The pastry made that satisfying noise you only get from a crisp tart shell, it melted in the mouth, the unanimous verdict was it was better than any tart we have had in France in our 20 years of visiting so thank you for this, its one I shall use frequently and as I still have a quantity of creme patisserie left in the freezer and it is still English strawberry season……….(big smile)

  • Do you rebake the tart dough after you’ve patched the cracks? And for how long?

    Thanks.

  • No, the heat of the dough will ‘set’ it.

  • WOW! This recipe is amazing (and shocking)! Love it!! Thank you.

  • Though baked sweets etc for year, “pie/pastry” dough has always eluded me. Even when everything is done “by the book” at best it has come out as barely adequate. And I would invariably go back to an old recipe of oil and water whipped together then flour etc -again the flaky texture was there, but flavour was lacking. I hated to admit it but my best crusts were the ones that I bought at Surfas..

    I made this pastry dough yesterday for an Almond Frangipane tart and it was totally totally perfect.

    When I first read through it I thought that there were things missing, like the little ceramic baking balls to hold the crust up, and the time need to “let the crust rest”

    But no, you did not leave anything out. The shell was perfect! it held it’s walls, it was light and flaky, and the tart was outrageously delish (it is a swoon worthy fav of mine)

    Thank you!!!!

  • Hi David,

    Just stumbled on this post and i have known that a thing like this existed. Nver tried it however and i’ll make sure i’ll do know! I wondered if you could could shine a light of what would happen if you used just oil. Off course the taste would be different but the structure? I’m asking this since i’m having to deal with a glut (?) of olive oil before the next batch will come in.

    Thanks
    Mart.

  • I’ve used this recipe many times since reading it here and love it. I hate labouring over food and a small collection of easy pastry recipes is one of the most important things in my kitchen.
    Thanks so much for posting it.

  • Can this dough be frozen

  • Dan: I haven’t frozen this dough, but I don’t see any reason why it can’t be. If you do freeze it, please let us know how to works out.

    Mart: Oil is different than butter in many ways, specifically fat content. Can’t advise if it would work or not, but I would imagine that boiling oil in the oven won’t have the same effect that it does on butter.

  • I’m planning to make this soon. A question: In this recipe, is it necessary to fill the tart shell with pie weights before blind baking to retain the shape of the shell?

  • I am just starting to bake what I consider special desserts and I found this site while looking for a tart recipe so I can make frangipan topped with plums. Will this lovely tart work for this? Do I just bake the tart shell and then fill with my frangipan filling, top with plums and bake again? Any help you could give me would be appreciated.

  • jennie: Yes, you can use this dough for any sweet pastry recipe that called for a pre-baked tart shell. For your tart, do pre-bake it, then fill with filling and plums, and bake.

    anushruiti: Paule does not fill this tart shell with weights; it’s just baked as is.

  • Thank you so much for responding, I can hardly wait to try this and I will certainly write and let you know how it was recieved. I noticed in several comments that people were asking what the chocolate filling was in the picture – YUMMY, did you ever give that recipe out? I have some serious choco-holics in my family. Jennie

  • YUM – YUM – YUM. This beautiful tart was just the trick for the frangipan and plum filling. Even as unskilled as I am everyone loved it, I could hardly wait to get home from work tonight to gobble up the last piece. Was that devine chocolate filling in your tart something from one of your cookbooks? PLEASE tell me how to find it, this looks like something that I would love to make for gifts. Jennie

  • The chocolate filling is a recipe I was testing, which will appear in my upcoming book, Ready for Dessert.

  • Just made this tart – was amazing! And so quick to make. My family is all about, add some of this and some of that =) To get a recipe from my mum, I just have to watch her do it and try to gauge how much she is actually using of the ingredients – it’s as if she can sense the right amount. Maybe that’s experience?!

    Thanks for sharing this recipe David and Paule!

  • David, the recipe call for 5 oz flour( or 1 slightly rounded cup ). but isn’t a cup 8 oz?
    Please advise and thank you.
    Johnette

  • Johnette: A cup is 8 ounces in wet measurements. Since flour is dry (and is not solid, like a liquid), it weighs less.

  • Question, David

    I want to try that tart dough but use mini muffin tins for tartlets. What happens if I roll it to do so????? Can one do this and not bake it right away–put it in freezer for Thanksgiving. Will it then be heavy??

    Thanks. Judy

  • I just wanted to thank you for this amazing recipe! I was perusing for a nice but above all easy tarte dough to make in my ridiculously tiny kitchen. I barely ever have the room to roll anything out, this worked perfectly. No one would believe how it was done though.

  • I am still questioning the Caillot dough and rolling it out in advance.

  • I read this post with such excitement, I couldn’t wait to make this tart shell. I had just received fresh pecans from Georgia and what better holiday than Thanksgiving for a pecan tart? I know you said this would not be advised for a custard filling, but I have to say, mine turned out perfect. After spreading the dough out to perfection, no cracks, I immediately froze it. This allowed me to fill the shell without any worry of leakage. It was beautiful, flaky and decadent.
    Thanks to you (and Mme. Caillat) my tart was a major success! A few of my friends exclaimed it was my best ever.
    I felt compelled to say thank you. I look forward to more time off so I can try more of your recipe collection! Kouign Amann next!

  • I am preparing a tart that calls for a filling of melted bittersweet chocolate, an egg yoke, milk and creme fraise. The instructions advise pouring the liquid mixture into tart crust and baking for 25 minutes. My question is, should the crust be baked for any period of time prior pouring in the filling? I have read through all of the above blogs and look forward to trying this new approach. Thank you.

  • san: I don’t know what recipe you’re using so can’t advise. That depends if the recipe you’re using calls for a pre-baked crust, or one that hasn’t been baked. The recipe for the filling should indicate that.

    Stefan: Glad you have success with this one!

    Judy: I don’t know if it can rolled. I follow her advice and recipe, and it works well. If you do roll it out, please let us know how it comes out.

  • This is the most wonderful, most perfect tart dough ever. Despite having taken classes, I can’t seem to get pie and tart dough right. Until now!

    I made about half a dozen tarts over Thanksgivings and each one turned out perfectly. I used the browned butter recipe. It couldn’t be easier. Even my mother ended up making the dough on her own and she doesn’t bake!

    Thank you thank you thank you!

    I am giddy to have a truly foolproof recipe I can use.

  • OMG. OMG. OMG. I came across your blog entry here months ago and was highly skeptical that this melted butter craziness could ever produce a flakey pastry shell. So I finally got around to testing it tonight (alone with your Lemon Tart recipe) because I need to bring dessert for a potluck tomorrow. This recipe is AMAZING! I actually melted my butter on the stove instead of using the oven. Much faster but also riskier in that everything could boil off quickly. Anyway, thanks for this! Lemon tarts are my all time favorite and I’ve never been able to make them at home until now!! Merry Christmas! The guests at the party tomorrow will thank you!

  • Dear David,

    PLEASE HELP! Just made this and my shell cracked into a million pieces :((((((

    I used a 9 in tarte pan with removable bottom. I let shell cool completely, removed outer layer successfully, but then broke my shell when I tried to remove the bottom.

    It tastes great, not overly dry or flaky so I wonder what the problem was? Maybe I didn’t fill in the cracks well enough? Any advice would be much appreciated!

    Thank you for the recipe! I know it will be perfect once I fix this glitch ;)

    xo,
    Britt

  • I haven’t had that experience so can’t advise. If you tried the recipe only once, I would try it again as I, and many other readers, have had success with it.

    If it doesn’t work again, I will send a message to Paule and perhaps she might be able to respond here in the comments.

  • I made this tart dough last night and was amazed at the ease with which it came together. It was so light, buttery and flaky. Perfect! Thanks again, David.

  • I made this twice, once filled with chocolate tart business (dark chocolate, cream, sugar salt – what is that called? ganache?) and everyone loved it so I doubled the recipe for a baked egg custard tart. (Delia Smith’s filling – very traditional)

    I have to say, it is THE perfect custard tart pastry. Mother and I are very impressed and have remarked on how interesting it is to stumble upon these recipes, out of the billions online, and have such a great success. Recipe Fate, I call it. Thanks David.

    I’m heading to Paris in June so will be printing out your restaurant list before I go :)

    In response to Brittany’s troubles with the pastry falling apart: Yes, this happened to me too! I did not remove the base at all, as I had so much trouble with the edges coming off that I wouldn’t risk it. Nobody noticed! I “glued” them back together with a smidgen of melted chocolate piped from a freezer bag with a corner snipped off. This was OK because I was using a chocolate filling. My second attempt, where I doubled the recipe was a success. Next time i will triple the recipe for two tarts. An extra 50% for each tart. Besides, a 9 inch tart doesn’t last very long, does it!

  • As a professional baker I am dying to try this. Will do so today. I wonder how this scales up. Will let you know when I try. Also appreciated the comments about using it for the cheesecake crust. One question – does the shell get soggy if filled and refrigerated. I’m afraid you eat it too fast to know. But if you do, please let me know. Thanks – am excited I found you – even though I may be the last baker to do so.

  • I followed the recipe exactly, but my tart base rose, forming something like a dome. Why is this happening? I pricked the dough all over with tines of a fork, like the recipe says. Please help!

  • just tried out this pastry and its turned very well buttery and flaky.thanks david

  • I just tried this recipe, though I was very leery in doing so. The dough was so soft that I was sure it would fall. But it is just moments from being pulled out of the oven and it is BEAUTIFUL!! Thank you!! Will keep this recipe for sure!

  • Oh David . . . David, I LOVE YOU!!!

    This pastry is idiot-proof, even for hot kitchens. How can something that’s so easy, quick and good be unknown to so many people for so long? It’s mind blowing! I think we should gather all other pastry recipes in a heap and set them on fire!

  • Help…..just made this very tasty crust but it is waaayyyy too flaky. It will not hold together. I am in Denver. Does high altitude affect this and if so, what can I add or delete to compensate? Any syggestions….
    Thanks

  • Unfortunately I’m unfamiliar with high-altitude baking and can’t offer advice about Paule’s tart dough since I don’t specialize in that.

  • Yes!!! This is almost exactly the dough recipe my family has used for ages. We add a bit more butter, a little less water, and no oil, but the oven melting butter method is the same. I love this with a peach tart. I’ll make sure to link this on my blog in my peach tart recipe.

  • Thank-you so much for this recipe! I was looking around for an easy pastry for a tart I was going to make and I vaguely remembered this post.
    I made a chocolate tart with this pastry for my friend’s birthday at school, my friends kept asking for the pastry more than the chocolate filling!! :)

  • Hi David!

    What a great sounding recipe!!
    No rubbing butter into the flour… no rolling.. no chilling the dough.. no pie weights! Its like being in tart heaven. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe :-)

    Please tell us how you make the chocolate filling, it looks HEAVENLY! Gorgeous texture .

    PS; Just going into the kitchen to make this!

  • This is insanely good! And unbelievably easy! Thank you so much! I am now going to try making so many more tarts, i used to be petrified of pastry dough!

    Baking would be so boring, if it wasnt for blogs like yours…

    Had been searching for a great pastry recipe and chocolate filling recipe. Found both today.

    Used this recipe for filling
    http://ouichefcook.com/?p=5378
    Can easily tweak the chocolate filling with flavours i think…cayenne pepper or frangelico..just guessing, excited to try

  • Love the flavor and texture of this beautiful pastry but I’ve made it 2 times and in both instances the tart cracked all over like a road map. I saw above post (from Faith) about using European butter—but could all these US folks be going out and buying different butter just for this recipe? I use typical American butter here in TX; do I need to seek lovely French butter for this recipe? Thanks for any help!

  • Cyndy: I don’t know what is going wrong with your dough; many folks have made it and reported a lot of success. I am sure most in the states aren’t using French butter. (At least for the sake of the American butter industry, I hope not!)

    Since it’s not my recipe, I can’t troubleshoot it for you as I myself am unclear why and how it works.

  • I am not sure you still read these comments, but I wanted to let you know I used this with success for a pie. It is not the easiest dough in the world to roll out, given that it is warm and soft. I had to add a little more flour than it said, but it can be done. I make an excellent pie crust the traditional way, but I was making an apple pie and I wanted something a little less flaky and more tender and this really fit the bill. It ended up perfect. I didn’t blind bake, since I was making apple pie, but I just baked my pie on 350 degrees for like 45 minutes and it turned out perfect. So although it seems weird, this can double for pies.

  • Hi David, Thanks for this. I used this for a fig tart and it turned out great!

  • Hi David,

    Please help! My tart shell was stuck to its fluted sides and when I removed it, the whole side piece came off and was stuck to the outer ring….Did I do somethinkg wrong – like making the sides too thin? I tried to follow the thickness shown in yor pics but obviously I am still doing something wrong. Otherwise, this is a perfect crust albeit a bit greasy. Will try to reduce the butter slightly. Also, I used superfine cake flour instead of the all purpose…does that have an effect?

  • oi-ming: Superfine cake flour is not the same as regular flour due to the grind, so it will behave different when baked. For more information, read my post: Baking ingredients and substitutions.

  • Hi David,

    Thanks for the response. I will try the recipe again and this time with all purpose flour. I hope it will turn out alright. I will also double the amount used since some posts say that it is not sufficient for a 9″ tart pan. BTW, just wanted to let you know I finally got your book “Ready for Dessert.” I love the pics and wish there were more….I read a few pages already and plan to make the racines or choc pave soon….Thanks for the lovely recipes David!!

  • Insanely easy and delicious pie crust. Ever the skeptic, it was hard for me to fathom how it could possibly work (what, no pie weights, no rolling)! But it did…. beautifully. The pear/almond tart (your recipe) was eaten down to the last crumb. This would be a great base for caramelized onions with a sprinkling of gruyére, and other savory fillings as well as sweet.

    I used King Arthur all-purpose flour, unsalted butter, canola oil… ingredients all readily available in the U.S.

  • May I say this was amazing. I have stared at this recipe and the photos since I found the recipe last night; doubting that it would come out with the texture, taste and flake of a traditional method and recipe. I am making small fruit tarts with a traditional pastry cream and wanted them to come out right. The pastry dough was so ridiculously easy! After baking them I allowed them to cool completely in the pans. They removed easily, no breakage. They taste fantastic; I cooked the little bit leftover so I could try it before assembling and taking to dinner tomorrow. I did have a slight issue remembering the bowl was HOT, after I pressed pastry into each pan I forgot and grabbed the bowl to get more dough for the next pan. Idiot moment(s).

  • Is it possible to use this recipe substituting whole wheat pastry flour in place of all-purpose flour, or will the product be compromised? Are regular pastry and cake flours acceptable substitutions?

    Also, is a pyrex bowl necessary to melt the ingredients, or can a pyrex pan be used instead? (I ask because I do not have an oven-proof bowl on hand, and I would like to avoid purchasing a new bowl.) Thanks for all your help, and for sharing this recipe!

  • Paule uses French flour which is finer than regular American all-purpose flour, so it should work. (However she usually doesn’t measure and just adds it until it looks like it’s the right consistency.) So if you want to make substitutions, feel free to play around with it. I can’t see any reason why another vessel for cooking the butter would make a difference.

    You can check my post on Baking Ingredients and Substitutions for additional information.

  • Wow! I can’t believe how easy this is… and that the butter is boiled!

    I plan to bake this when my French boyfriend comes, to impress him (hopefully); can I add jam filling to the dough before I throw it in the oven? I prefer not to have a top on my jam-filled torts, but I just wanted to double-check.

    Thanks! :-)

  • Dear David,

    I posted almost a year ago, so sad that my tarte shell shattered! Since then I’ve made it a few more times, at first with the same results, but decided to give it one more shot for my Christmas party. Fourth time is the charm I guess and it worked! All it took was a leetle bit more flour. My success was due to using a VERY rounded cup instead of a slightly rounded cup. I also dipped the cup in the flour instead of spooning it in like I usually do. And it’s really not possible to go overboard with filling in the cracks. I almost broke one of my shells, being clumsy when taking it out of the oven, but patched up about ten huge cracks with the reserved dough and that made it sturdy and good as new! Thank you for this go to recipe that makes it so so easy to make an elegant dessert any time!

    Best,
    Britt

  • Hello, David! I’ve had two disastrous experiences trying to make pie/tart crusts in the past…and then I came upon this recipe. I truly wish I hadn’t, because, the results are STUNNING and delicious…buttery, flaky, light, and truly EASY. It took me 20 minutes to make a frangipane-filled, apple slice-topped tart…that’s including the frangipane making. I wish I had never found this recipe, since now I am going to be using it every time, and there goes my waistline!!!
    Thank you very much. I admire your website and your prowess!!
    ;)

  • David,
    I used this recipe for your pear/almond tart at Thanksgiving and the raves are still coming in!

    The one thing that was interesting…when I was baking the tart with the filling, I’m glad I put the tart on a baking sheet since alot of melted butter ran out. It is probably due to the higher water content of American butter, but besides switching butters, any suggestions? It didn’t take away from the flavor or texture of the finished product.

    Thanks!
    David

  • Hi David,

    Really interesting recipe! I can’t wait to try it. I have one question though, if a recipe does not require the tart shell to be par-baked, would Paule’s recipe work without par-baking?

    Thanks!

    Ruthie

  • Am baking this one , and baby itssss ssooooo wonderful gorgeously delighting!!
    Will put up the post asap and leave the link!
    And would love to have ur inputs too:-)
    Actually they are already filled and ready:-) needs to set:-)
    Bom fim de semana com amor.

  • This is amazing! I love this, you all, you really have to try this if you have not yet tried it. So freaking easy! And delicious, lovely with lemon&lime filling.