Who doesn't love tarts, right? And the thing with tarts is, that the shells are just as important (if not more) than the filling itself.
Flaky and buttery is what we're looking for in tart shells. And on top of those, easy to make. So today I'm going to share with you all those.
Lets Talk Ingredients
This recipe is my go-to recipe for my tart shells. I've been using it for a while for both my sweet and savoury. It's simple and it works.
Butter - I use unsalted butter (in all my baking). Salted butter works fine also. Make sure it's softened (less firm than room temperature state).
Sugar - White sugar. Using brown sugar also works but just bear in mind it's going to make the shells' colour darker and turns the texture chewy. More details on sugar are below.
Yolk - Don't skip this. It helps to make the dough pliable and easier to handle.
Vanilla extract - Because why not. Depending on your filling, add in almond, coconut extract, and citrus zest for example. If you want.
All-purpose flour - I've only used all-purpose flour with this recipe as it works wonderfully with the ratio of the rest of the ingredients. Changing the flour will affect the end result.
Can I Use It For Sweet Or Savoury?
That's why I love this recipe because you can use it for both sweet and savoury. Here's how.
Sweet tarts - Use 2 tablespoon sugar.
Savoury tarts - Use 1 teaspoon sugar and add in also ½ teaspoon salt.
The rest of the ingredients stay the same. Easy, right?
Tips On Getting It Right
This is a fairly easy and straightforward recipe. However, there are some tiny details that will definitely help you make the shells, stress-free.
Soften butter - As I mentioned above, you'll need the butter to be softened. This will make it easier to blend the sugar in without having to whisk like crazy (which we don't want to do).
Chill the dough - Don't skip this part because the dough is too soft to handle, without chilling it. A minimum of 30 minutes is just perfect.
Freeze before baking - Pop the tarts in the freezer for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven after you press the dough into the tarts moulds. Don't like freezers? Then chill them for a good 30 minutes in the fridge.
Bake on the lowest rack - This ensures the shells bake beautifully and evenly without browning the top too much.
How To Store?
Sometimes when I don't have time I make the tart shells a day or two before I fill them. It's totally fine. I store them in an airtight container, at room temperature.
If I need them beyond 2 days then I usually freeze them. What I do is remove the shells from the moulds and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, not touching each other. I pop them in the freezer for 1-2 hours until they're frozen. Then I place them in a Ziploc bag and back in the freezer.
To use, thaw them at room temperature. I like to pop them in the oven at 350ºF (175ºC) for 3-4 minutes to bring them back to life.
I rather store them baked because personally for me it's easier. Having a stash of already made tart shells is always more accessible and handy.
You can also freeze the dough, tightly wrapped, for up to 6 months.
How To Use Them?
Oh.. in so many ways!
I've used the shells tarts with my mini salted chocolate tarts, Hokkaido cheese tarts and strawberry cheese tarts. Those are recipes where I bake the shells separately and then fill them.
I've also used this recipe for my Hong Kong-style coconut tarts and dulce de leche coconut tarts. I bake the shells together with the filling.
And I also made goat cheese with caramelised onion, smoked salmon chives and cream cheese tarts using them. Oh yum!
So as you can see, this recipe is very versatile. Give them a try and let me know your favourite filling!
How To Make Tart Shells
Sweet Tart Shells
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter (75 g), softened
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg yolk , room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour (130 g)
Switch Them To Savoury Tart Shells
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Add butter and sugar into a bowl. Using a spatula, mix everything together. Now add in egg yolk and vanilla extract. Continue mixing. Finally add in flour and bring everything together into a dough.
- Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or until it's manageable.
- Take a piece of dough and press it evenly into a 2.5 inch (6.5 cm) tart mould. Cut off excess dough with a knife. Using a fork, prick the base so that it doesn't puff up while baking. Repeat the same with the rest of the dough. Place them on a baking tray. Place them in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 340ºF (170ºC) , using upper and lower heat, on the lowest rack for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely. Once cooled, remove the shells from the moulds by flipping them and tapping a bit on the back of the back of the base to help releasing them. They're ready to be used!
Switch Them To Savoury Tarts
- Instead of 2 tablespoon sugar, add 1 teaspoon sugar and ½ teaspoon salt together with butter. Follow the same steps onwards for the rest of the recipe.
- Use spoon and level method when measuring the flour (for cup measurement)
- Use portable oven thermometer (like this one) for a more precise temperature reading (I use it too)
- Refer to my post above for ingredients notes and tips
Rita Shabazz says
Hi Made tour tart pastry shell they ture out perfect I filled them some lemon curb
Bea & Marco says
Yay! I'm happy to hear that, thanks, Rita!
Manilia Halvorsen says
Wow, I love this recipe and i have not done this before. I will try this soon. Thank you for sharing .
I love this recipe, it came out so perfectly. I am going to make these doing the holidays.
Awesome, happy baking and thanks Becky!
Hi, Can you freeze this after baking
Yes, you can 😊.
Thank you thats the best
Can I add almond flour?
Frances voon says
Hi I tried the recipe and followed resting/chilling times. It came out super crumbly, almost powdery feel after baking. And the shells were super fragile.Should I add some water to the dough? Tq
Hi! If they were super crumbly and fragile after baking then it means that they were under baked. No extra water needed. Just bake for a few minutes more, all ovens are different so I can't recommend enough to use a portable oven thermometer to get the accurate temperature (I use it in all my bakings). Hope it helps.
I’ve attempted this recipe and followed it to a tee but I still get a crumbly dry dough. I attempted to add more butter but that just made the shells so delicate that they fell apart. What do you recommend?
Hi! Sorry to hear you're having problems with this. If the raw dough is crumbly dry it means that you have too much flour in it. See my notes below on how to correctly use cup measurement method. Make sure the butter is softened (not only at room temperature), and nope, no extra butter is needed. Hope it helps!
Awesome results, I made it and it went pretty well! Thank you for sharing!
Awesome, happy to hear that. Thank you Estefania!
I m veg, so what should I use instead of the egg youlk
Hi Indra! I haven't made it without yolk so I can't say, sorry!
SUPER easy and SUPER yummy!! it withstood all the (reluctant) adjustments i had to make, which included making 1 humongous tart because i couldn't find small tart moulds, and also adding a liiitle water just so it would come together. it also took wayless time in the oven than specified in the recipe, but it may be due to a too-hot oven on my part. all in all though, this was a DELIGHT!! i'm already looking forward to making it again, and to trying other recipes from you as well!!
Yeaaaaayyyyy, happy to hear that! Yes, oven temperature varies. Each oven is like another world :D! Thank you so much for your feedback and yes, do check around here for more recipes!
Yeay🤝TQ so much for your kindness sharing my favor tart😁. I will try. Btw can you please share also how to make the filling madam. TQ👍👍🙏
Glad that you liked them, Julie! You can search in my website for different kinds of fillings. Thank you!
LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe!
So much easier than other recipes I see in internet and it works.
Yeay 🙌! I'm happy that you loved it, Patria! Do check around here for recipes using these tart shells. Thank you!
Guadalupe Barrios says
When making the dough mine came out grumbling and not together like yours. Was just wondering what I did wrong. I bake them they look great but the deal consistency was not the same as yours ,mine was more on the dryer on Grumbly side.
Hi! Sorry to hear that. Most probably it's because of too much flour. If you're using cup measurements, I suggest using scoop and level method or even better use a kitchen scale as it's more precise. Hope it helps.
Elaine Leong says
How much dough do I need to make 24 sweet tart shell of 11cm diameter tart? Hope to get your prompt response .
Can we use this recipe for a whole tart shell.like a big tart
You can check out my dulce de leche coconut tart for a big sized tart of this recipe. Hope it helps.
Julie Kuliers says
These tarts are the best! I used this recipe for your peanut butter tarts like you said.
Awesome! Thank you Julie!