This basic tart crust is the perfect base for any tart you make! There are so many ways to fill it, and you can make it far in advance and freeze it for future use.
With summer winding down, I wanted to share my go-to tart crust recipe. Although it gets the most use out of me for fruit tarts, you can use this crust any time of year!
I love changing the filling to suit the season (anything from custard filling in the summer to peppermint chocolate in the winter — YUM!) You can also make different shapes and sizes of tarts, so it’s a great basic recipe to add to your collection.
Basic Tart Crust ingredients:
To make this basic tart crust, you will need:
• powdered sugar
• unsalted butter
For the milk, the recipe calls for a range of 4 to 6 tablespoons. Depending on how soft your butter was, the size of your egg, and the temperature/humidity in your home at the time, you may need more milk to get the right consistency for your dough.
It’s important to add just enough milk for your dough to feel soft and stick together easily. I ended up needing the full 6 tablespoons this time around.
Tart crust sizes:
You can use this recipe to make really any size tart you like. To give you a sense of the yield, this recipe will make you 2 (9 inch) tarts or 18 to 20 mini tarts.
For the mini tarts, I like to just use a regular sized muffin tin to bake them in. Lining the muffin tin with paper liners also makes transferring and serving insanely easy!
No matter which shape or size you choose, make sure you roll the dough into about a 1/4 inch thick to make sure the crust bakes evenly. It’s also important to poke holes into the bottom of the crust before baking, which helps (1) keep the crust from puffing up (2) with even baking and (3) keep its shape.
Do keep in mind that cook times will change depending on the size and shape of the crust. Larger tarts (9 inch crusts) will take around 20 to 25 minutes to bake. Smaller tarts (2 inch crusts) will take 15 to 20 minutes.
You’ll know the crust is finished baking when it’s slightly puffed and the edges turn a light brown color.
Basic Tart Crust uses:
My absolute favorite way to use this dough is as a fresh fruit tart crust!
But you can use this tart dough as the base of any and all of your tart recipes! The crust has quite a neutral flavor, so you can fill it with almost any filling.
You can also partially bake the crust, and then add a filling and bake again! Think: crème brûlée, pecan pie filling, pumpkin, or cheesecake filling!
How to store tart crust:
This tart crust dough can be stored in your fridge for up to 3 days before baking. After baking (depending on which filling you decide to go with) your tarts will last for around 5 days in the fridge.
Firmer fillings mean your tart will last longer. Softer fillings will soften your tart shell early on.
You can also freeze this tart crust if you wanted a make ahead dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Seal well. This raw tart dough will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
To defrost, leave your crust in the fridge overnight before using. You can also defrost the crust at room temperature for a few hours. Just keep an eye out on it to make sure it doesn’t soften and warm too much! Roll and shape as normal.
If you liked this basic tart crust, you may also like these recipes:
Basic Tart Crust Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 large egg
- 4 to 6 tablespoons milk
- vanilla custard filling (or your choice of filling)
- fresh fruits (optional topping)
- In a large bowl, combine flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add your cold, cubed butter to the dry ingredients. Using a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until you're left with a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs. You can also use a food processor if you like.
- Add your egg along with 4 tablespoons of milk to the flour/butter mixture. Stir together your ingredients until your dough starts to clump into larger pieces. When squeezed, it should feel soft and stick together easily without crumbling. If it crumbles, continue to add in 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until it comes together.
- Shape your dough into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling. Once chilled, place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and roll out into about a 1/4 inch thick. This recipe makes 2 (9 inch) tarts or 18 to 20 mini tarts.
- How to bake the tart dough: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly flour a 9 inch tart pan or line a muffin tin with paper liners. If making a large tart, transfer your rolled out dough to your pan, pressing the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim any excess overhanging dough. Prick the bottom of your dough with a fork, and bake in the center of your preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is lightly puffed and golden brown along the edges. If making mini tarts, roll your dough and cut into smaller circles using a round cookie cutter that's slightly larger than your muffin tins. Transfer your individual cutouts into your prepared muffin tin, again, pressing the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the muffin cups. Prick the bottom of your crusts with a fork, and bake in the center of your preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely before filling!