Cakes, Pies & Tarts, How To

Basic Savory Tart Pastry

Nicoletta May 16, 2017

Basic Savory Tart Pastry, can become your go-to recipe for a no-fail, buttery, flaky, savory tart pastry. Endless filling possibilities, especially in the summer with the abundance of market vegetables available!

Basic savory tart pastry

Basic Savory Tart Pastry,  you’re going to feel like a pro in the kitchen, making amazing and unforgettable savory tarts for your family!

 

 

It is not a secret that pies and tarts are my favorites, both sweet and savory. To make and to eat. I am not a pastry chef, only a pastry enthusiast. And although I am very hard on myself and insecure about a lot of things, I can say, confidently, that my pies and tarts are pretty good. And the fact that they disapper quickly, in a good way, makes me feel good about myself.

Making a basic savory tart pastry is not as hard as you might think and the result is a rich, buttery, flaky pastry that will be the perfect complement to any filling.

The basic savory tart pastry is a dough that requires some attention and care in the way you handle the ingredients. That are very few, by the way. My suggestion is always to have all the ingredients measured and ready to be assembled.  In the recipe box at the end of the post, I’ve added the measurements in metric and Imperial but with most of my baking I have a scale ready and I prefer the precision of weighing my ingredients.

The ingredients and my preferences:

  • the flour. I usually use the type 00 (doppio zero), a very fine Italian flour, that works magic in pasta and pizza dough especially. I use it for almost all of my baking (despite the higher price). In this recipe, though, unbleached all-purpose flour works just fine.
  • the butter. I use an unsalted European-style butter, or any unsalted butter with a higher fat content (more than 80%), chilled and cut into cubes. Once cubed, I place it back in the freezer until I need it because the simple cutting into cubes warms it up (and you do not want that).
  • the large egg. In this recipe, it doesn’t really matter that it is at room temperature, but for us it’s important that it comes from an organic farm, allowing their chickens to free range.
  • the very cold water. I would say ice water or water with an ice cube dissolving inside.
  • the salt. We use sea salt.

Basic savory tart pastr

Basic Savory Tart Pastry, step by step:

After you’ve gathered all the ingredients, measured and placed each in its bowl, you can decide if you want to make the dough by hand or use a food processor. In both cases, you start by mixing the flour and the salt; then you add the cubed, chilled, butter and work it quickly with a pastry blender, or inside the food processor until the mixture has a crumbly, pebble-like texture, about the size of peas. The next step is to mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of the cold water and add it to the butter/flour mixture. If you’re using the “by hand” method, you can use a fork to stir and mix the egg mixture just until the dough holds together. In the case of a food processor, you need to pulse to mix the egg/water in the mixture and stop when it just comes together (it doesn’t need to form into a ball). In both cases what you do not want is to warm up the butter. I also used a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. It is an easy way to make the dough and does not heat up the ingredients, which results in a flaky pastry. The steps are the same as for the food processor.

The main suggestion is to keep your equipment, ingredients, and dough cold.

Basic savory tart pastry

At this point, the dough is transferred onto a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Until some time ago, I didn’t use to flatten it into a disk, but I assure you that it is more easily workable when it’s flat.  Some say you could use it immediately, but I prefer to wrap it in plastic and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. It allows the dough to relax, making it less elastic and easier to roll out (without using too much flour which would harden the dough). Moreover, it resolidifies the fat in the dough to ensure a flaky crust.

The dough can be chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen up for up to 2 months.

Basic savory tart pastry

After the resting time, take the dough out of the refrigerator and unwrap it. If the dough rested in the refrigerator for more than an hour, let it come to room temperature (about 10 minutes) to soften before rolling it out, it will be easier to roll without cracking. If you prefer not to wait, you can use the rolling pin to work and soften the dough until ready for rolling.
To roll out the dough, sprinkle some flour on your work surface (mine is a big wood board) and on your rolling pin, flatten the disk with the rolling pin, turning the dough as you keep rolling, and adding additional flour only as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter or the rolling pin. Some bakers prefer to roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper, this allows for easy transfer of the dough from the work surface to the pie/tart pan. I used a non-stick tart pan with a removable bottom, so I did not need parchement paper.

Basic savory tart pastry

Once the dough is large enough so that it will cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides, roll the dough around the rolling pin then unroll it over the tart pan. Tart dough tends to rip and tear more easily than pie dough, so it is important to fully support it while transferring it to the pan.

Once you have transferred the dough to the pan, gently but firmly press the bottom and the edges of the pastry dough with your fingertips so that it adheres to the pan, lifting and supporting the dough as you smooth into place. Take care not to stretch the dough or it may shrink during baking (it happened to me few times). If you see that the dough has warmed up, place the pan in the refrigerator for a few minutes to chill.

Basic savory tart pastry

Roll the rolling pin over the edges, then with a sharp knife cut the excess dough. (You will end up with some scraps, I gathered it together and made a small galette).

Prick the bottom of the dough lightly with a fork to avoid air bubbles when baking.

Basic savory tart pastry

At this point, you could blind bake the tart, which means partially or fully baking the empty crust prior to filling, or, like I did for this one, bake it with the filling. If you’re using a liquid filling, it is usually helpful to create a barrier between the liquid filling and the crust to prevent the crust from becoming soggy and dense. Sealers can be egg whites or an egg wash.

In our case, I used this tart to make a Fresh Tomato Goat Cheese Tart . I spread an even layer of mustard over the bottom of the tart dough, let it sit a few minutes to dry out, then put the tomatoes and cheese on top before baking it. In another recipe, here, I spread ricotta cheese at the bottom, cherry tomatoes on top and baked it all together.

Now that your dough is ready in the pan, all that is left is for you to create the savory tart that you want.

Have fun in the kitchen!

Basic Savory Tart Pastry

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 1 x 9.5-inch tart pan (with removable bottom).

Basic Savory Tart Pastry

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (210 g) unbleached all-purpose flour (or type 00)
  • 4 1/2 ounces (125 g) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, organic free-range
  • 2 Tbsp cold water + 1 Tbsp if needed

Instructions

    By Hand method:
  1. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add the cubed butter and use a pastry blender to break in the butter until the mixture has a crumbly, pebble-like texture, about the size of peas.
  3. Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of the water.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the beaten egg mixture, mixing with a fork until the dough holds together. If it’s not coming together easily, add the additional tablespoon of ice water. [Resume from point 9]
  5. Food processor method:
  6. In the bowl of the food processor, pulse the flour and salt to combine thoroughly.
  7. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the butter forms irregular chunks about the size of peas.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk,and ice water and stir well together.
  9. Add the egg mixture to the food processor and pulse until it is partially incorporated (it doesn't have to form a ball).
  10. Transfer the dough onto a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk.
  11. You can use it immediately, or wrap it in plastic and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least half an hour (I usually do the latter).
  12. After that time, take the dough out of the refrigerator. If the dough rested in the refrigerator for more than half an hour, let it come to room temperature.
  13. To roll out the dough, on a lightly floured board, flatten the disk with the rolling pin, turning the dough as you keep rolling, and adding additional flour only as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter or the rolling pin.
  14. Once the dough is large enough so that it will cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides, roll the dough around the rolling pin then unroll it over the tart pan.
  15. Gently but firmly press the bottom and the edges of the pastry dough with your fingertips so that it adheres to the pan.
  16. Roll the rolling pin over the edges, then with a sharp knife cut the excess dough. (You will end up with some scraps, I gathered it together and made a small galette).
  17. Prick the bottom of the dough lightly with a fork to avoid air bubbles when baking.
  18. At this point, you could blind bake the tart, which means partially or fully baking the empty crust prior to filling, or, like I did for this one, fill it with your favorite filling/topping and bake it.

Notes

The dough can be be made ahead and chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen up for up to 2 months. To freeze, wrap the flat disk of dough well with plastic wrap. Allow frozen dough to defrost for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Set it out at room temperature before rolling out.

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12 Comments

  • Reply adina May 17, 2017 at 3:13 am

    Very well explained. I love tarts as well, sweet and savory and I have tried so many versions, some work while some drive you crazy. 🙂 I shall give this a try next time, it looks perfect.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 18, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Thank you, Adina, hope you try making it, following some of the suggestions. For us, it made a wonderful pastry, almost close to a puff pastry.

  • Reply Dawn - Girl Heart Food May 17, 2017 at 5:53 am

    I definitely need to work more on my pastry skills! I enjoy eating pastries so much so it makes sense to make my own homemade crust. Loving these step by step instructions, you guys. You make it look easy 😉 Pinning and trying this one out soon!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 18, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Maybe that’s why I started making my own…I love pastries so much that it just came natural 😉 . Thank you so much Dawn for your comment, hope you try making pastry dough and that my humble tips will help you.

  • Reply Denise @UrbnSpice May 17, 2017 at 9:22 am

    A beautiful tutorial on pastry, Nicoletta. Very well done! It looks wonderful.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 17, 2017 at 9:36 am

      Thank you Denise! I really love making pastry dough, both sweet and savory. I’d love to see people not being scared by making their own.

  • Reply Karen Ahmed May 17, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Looks fantastic!!!!!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 18, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks Karen, it tastes awesome as well 😉 .

  • Reply bergetrk May 18, 2017 at 5:54 am

    Thanks for a great recipe! I love that this can be made ahead of time and even frozen. That is a huge time saver.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 18, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      I agree, Kathy, huge time saving when you have pie or tart dough frozen or made ahead and kept in the fridge! Thank you for stopping by!

  • Reply Megan McDuffie June 11, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    I can imagine so many uses for this recipe using summer produce. Looking forward to seeing the Fresh Tomato Goat Cheese Tart that you make with this recipe!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 11, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      Thank you Megan, yes, so many possible uses! We made the tomato tart and posted it, I should add the link, and it was amazing!

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