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Citrus Scented Tart Dough


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. We recommend freezing whatever you don't use right away; the dough will keep for 3 to 4 months, well wrapped.

At a glance

three 8" or 9" tarts


Choose your measure:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon, grated fine (2 to 3 teaspoons)
  • zest of 1 orange, grated fine (3 to 4 teaspoons)
  • 5 cups King Arthur Unbleached Pastry Flour or Pastry Flour Blend, or 4 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (24 tablespoons) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water


  1. To make the dough: Combine the sugar and zests in a medium-sized mixing bowl, and stir to combine.
  2. Add the flour and salt, and whisk until well-combined.
  3. Cut the butter into small chunks, and cut these into the dry ingredients; mix until the dough has a texture similar to rolled oats.
  4. Add the egg and egg yolks, mix for another 2 minutes, then add the water, and mix 2 minutes more.
  5. Take the dough out of the bowl, and use the heel of your hand to smear the dough on the surface until it comes together in small pieces. Press the pieces together.
  6. If necessary, sprinkle it with more water or flour to get a smooth consistency.
  7. Divide the dough into three pieces, forming each into a 4" disk. Wrap the disks, and refrigerate them for at least an hour before rolling.
  8. 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, until it's pliable, and roll it out to fit a 9" square (or 10" round) tart tin, preferably one with a removable bottom. If you don't have a tart tin, use a 9" pie pan.
  9. 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. Chill the dough again before baking, if possible.
  10. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  11. Bake the tart shell until the edges are golden, about 14 minutes. Remove the weights and return to the oven.
  12. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the bottom of the dough is set through and a light golden brown.