Butter Dough for Tart Crust

Prep time
Total Time
12 plus chilling time
1 ratings

The classic crust is made from butter-rich, egg-enhanced short dough, to which a little sugar is added when the tart will be served as a dessert.


For two luscious pastries that feature this crust, check out the recipes for Lemon Tart and Caramel Walnut Torte. For guidelines to creating tarts, click here.



1. Place flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse in the butter pieces until the mixture resembles cornmeal in texture. (Alternatively, this may be done by hand, using a whisk to blend the dry ingredients, and a pastry cutter to cut in the butter.)


2. Place egg yolks, vanilla and two tablespoons of water in another bowl. Whisk with a fork until smooth.


3. Stir egg yolk mixture into flour mixture until the two mixtures begin to hold together when pressed in your hand. Add more water only if it’s necessary to hold the dough together.


4. Place dough on a work surface. Using the heel of your hand, press small sections of the dough against the work surface, pressing each section just once. Now the dough will hold together easily. Shape it into a disk (flattened round). Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before rolling it out for a dessert recipe.


Note: You will have leftover egg whites with this recipe, but don’t throw them away. They freeze well and can be used in many ways:

•Use them as a binder for meatloaves or stuffings.

•Add egg whites to whole eggs in omelets or scrambled eggs.

•Use them to make lemon meringue pie topping, macaroons or angel food cake.

•Cut cooked egg whites into strips and add them to fried rice.

•Brush egg white on bread dough before baking to give it a shiny look.

•Use a little egg white to seal pastries and turnovers.

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