Sweet Tart Crust, also known as Short Crust Dough or Pate Brisee is a little different from pie crust. Whereas the former is known for its buttery and flaky texture, tart crust is considered perfect if it's crispy and crumbly, like a cookie. Usually two parts flour and one part fat, it contains egg and often a little bit of heavy cream. Conversely, the pie crust just contains flour and butter or shortening.
There are various accounts of how the Tart evolved. One version claims that it was the creation of famous Chefs who worked for the nobility in Europe. Both sweet and savory varieties were presented at feasts and lavish dinners, displaying the creative talents of the Chefs. Another story claims that two unmarried sisters who ran the Hotel Tatin created the first ever tart. This famous tart was known as "Tart des Demoiselles Tatin". This later gained worldwide fame when the Parisian restaurant Maxim added it to their menu.
I honestly am just happy that someone created it! Much easier to make than a pie crust, it truly gives way to tons of creativity in the way that it can be filled and decorated. From custard, to fruit, to chocolate, the possibilities are limitless. Some of the finest displays I've ever seen in bakeries, cooking shows and competitions are tarts.
The Sweet Tart Crust Demystified
In this post I'll walk you through the basic steps of making a perfect tart crust and let you find creative and delightful ways to fill it. The key thing here and in the pie crust, as I've mentioned in that post already, is to adhere strictly to the measurements of the ingredients and pay close attention to the technique of preparing the dough.
The following pictures will hopefully help and the notes at the end of the recipe card contain lots of tips and pointers to help you perfect the recipe.
As always if something is not clear please feel free to ask me in the comments below! Last of all don't forget to rate this recipe if you try it!
SWEET TART CRUST
- 1½ cups flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsps heavy whipping cream
- ? cups powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Mix together the Flour, Powdered Sugar and Salt.
- Slice the chilled butter and add it to the flour mixture using a pastry cutter. Blend till you have a crumbly mixture.
- Add the chilled cream and beaten egg yolk and continue to blend with the pastry cutter till a wet dough starts to form.
- Pat the dough into a disc shape, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
- Remove the dough and let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minuets so you can easily roll it out on a lightly floured surface.
- Gently transfer the dough to your tart tin and cut off excess dough with a knife.
- Bake as per instructions based on the filling you plan to use.