This cookie-like crust is perfect for custard or fresh fruit fillings that don't need further cooking, such as this combination of peaches and mascarpone cheese. I usually make this dough in a stand mixer. If using a hand mixer, you’ll need to mix the ingredients a little longer to get the results described. The extra mixing won’t hurt this very forgiving dough.
Make the dough—In a large, deep bowl, mix the flours, sugar, almonds, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer with the whisk attachment on low speed until most of the butter is the size of peas, about 1 1/2 minutes. The mixture will look crumbly, and the crumbs will vary in size. Add the egg; mix until the dough is smooth and just comes away from the sides of the bowl, about 30 seconds; you should see distinct flecks of butter. Shape the dough into a 6-inch disk, wrap it in plastic, and chill for at least 1 hour before rolling it out.
Roll out the dough—Lightly butter an 11-inch fluted tart pan. Lightly dust the work surface and rolling pin with cake flour. Roll the chilled dough into a 14-inch round about 3/16 inch thick. Lift and turn the dough several times as you roll to prevent sticking; dust the surface and the rolling pin with flour as needed. Use a dough scraper or a spatula to loosen the rolled dough; carefully roll it up around the rolling pin. Unroll the dough onto the prepared pan and gently fit it into the pan. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the overhang over itself and press it against the sides of the pan to reinforce the sides of the tart shell. Chill for at least 30 minutes before baking. (The tart shell can be wrapped in plastic and then in foil and frozen for up to 2 months.)
Blind-bake the crust—Heat the oven to 400°F. Cover the chilled tart shell, including its edges, with a double thickness of foil. (You don’t need to prick the crust first.) Fill the tart with dried beans, rice, or pie weights, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and the foil. Reduce the temperature to 350° and bake until the edges of the tart shell are lightly browned and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan and the crust is golden, 12 to 15 minutes (Begin checking at 12 minutes.) Cool on a wire rack in the tart pan before unmolding and filling.
Make Ahead Tips
You can wrap the formed, unbaked tart crust in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to two months. Do not thaw the crust before blind-baking.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on twelve servings;
Photo: Ben Fink