Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fast/Easy: Pie or Tart Crust

I used to hate the crust. Of any crusted dessert.  But when I started making them myself, and flavoring them to my taste, I really began to appreciate them.  Really.  I could almost do without the filling. Almost.

My favorites tend to be rolled crusts for pies or crumb crusts from cheesecakes and tarts but lately I have really been hankering shortbread.  And I love this crust because it is easy (you can't really overwork this dough like you can with most rolled doughs), it is super fast, and it uses ingredients I always have on hand.  There is nothing worse than getting all prepared to bake something and then realizing you are out of graham crackers or chocolate wafers.

 Ok... there's really a whole lot in the world  that is worse than that, but it still is pretty frustrating.

This is an incredibly easy recipe that yields a buttery, tender, cookie-like crust. I love it!

This recipe is modified from Martha's Shortbread Crusts (here & here).  This will be enough for a 10in tart and should be more than enough for a 9in pie.

Shortbread Crust

Preparation Time: Less than 5 minutes
Chill: 20 minutes
Bake: 12-22 minutes


  • 6T butter, melted until at least soft
  • 2T-1/3C sugar depending on taste, I like mine on the sweeter side
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 C AP flour
  • 1 -1 1/2 t kosher salt, depending on taste


  1. Combine butter and sugar in a medium bowl.  Add yolks.  Whisk flour and salt together and add to sugar mixture.  
  2. Press dough into pan.  Prick all over with a fork to prevent bubbling while baking.  Freeze until firm (at least 20 minutes).  
  3. Preheat oven to 375.  Bake until golden brown on edges and quite fragrant -- the timing on this can vary greatly depending on the pan you are using.  Start checking at 12 minutes.  It should be definitely done by 22 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Fill as desired.

You might need to get in there with your hands to get it mixed up well.

This crust can be used for pie, tart, or cheesecake.  I haven't used it for a pie where you don't pre-bake the pie crust first - so if you do, let me know how it goes.  If you use it for cheesecake (or other similarly deep dished items (?)) you press about 1/3 of the crust in the bottom of your pan, bake, cool,  press the crust dough up the sides of your pan, fill, and bake.

My favorite use is for a tart - especially since I just recently got my tart pan.  I like the delicate sweetness of the shortbread with a really punctuated sour - my favorite lately has been to use a lemon curd or sabayon (especially with fresh berries on top).  It would also be good with a chocolate mousse or ganache.  Om nom.

Linking up to some great parties this week!


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