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This tart dough handles and rolls beautifully, and once it's baked, is strong enough to hold itself and whatever you fill it with without the aid of a pan. But the most amazing thing about this dough is the flavor: the citrus zest adds a touch of panache to any tart you make with it without overwhelming the filling. This recipe makes enough for three 8" or 9" tarts. We recommend freezing whatever you don't use right away; the dough will keep for 3 to 4 months, well wrapped.
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
zest of 1 lemon, grated fine (2 to 3 teaspoons)
zest of 1 orange, grated fine (3 to 4 teaspoons)
5 cups (20 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Pastry Flour or Mellow Pastry Blend, or 4 3/4 cups (20 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached all-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks, 12 ounces) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 to 2 tablespoons water
To make the dough: Combine the sugar and zests in a medium-sized mixing bowl, and stir to combine. Add the flour and salt, and whisk till well-combined. Cut the butter into small chunks, and cut these into the dry ingredients; mix until the dough has a texture similar to rolled oats. Note: Pay attention to this step, or you’ll have little islands of butter in your dough that will create holes when baked!) Add the egg and egg yolks, mix for another 2 minutes, then add the water, and mix 2 minutes more.
Take the dough out of the bowl, and squeeze and knead it by hand till it comes together. If necessary, sprinkle it with more water or flour to get a smooth consistency. Divide the dough into three pieces, forming each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap the disks, and refrigerate them for at least an hour before rolling.
To form and bake the dough: Take one piece of dough out of the fridge, allow it to soften for about 5 to 10 minutes, till it’s pliable, and roll it out to fit a 9-inch square (or 10-inch round) tart tin, preferably one with a removable bottom. If you don’t have a tart tin, use a 9-inch pie pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork; fill it with pie weights or a pie chain; or line it with waxed paper, and fill it about half full with dried rice or beans. Bake the tart shell in a preheated 375°F oven for 20 minutes, until the dough is set through and a light golden brown.