Basic Tart Shell

"This is a recipe for your basic tart shell - to be used in quiches or tarts."
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Ready In:
1hr 40mins
1 pastry shell


  • 1 12 cups flour
  • 18 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons ice water


  • Mix flour and salt in food processor or mixing bowl. Add butter and process, or cut into flour with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix egg yolk and ice water. With machine running, pour egg mixture through feed tube and process until dough comes together; or pour egg mixture over flour mixture and stir with fork.
  • Shape dough into thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • Roll out dough 1/8-inch thick on lightly floured surface. Line 9-1/2-inch tart pan with dough and trim edge even with top of pan. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Prick bottom and side of shell with fork. Line tart shell with aluminum foil (dull side up) and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and remove foil and weights. Let cool.

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I didn't start cooking until my early 20's, even though I come from a family of accomplished and admired home cooks. While I grew up watching my Italian grandmother in the kitchen, I remained uninterested in trying anything on my own. As a young lady, I was known for being particularly ignorant in the kitchen, with no idea how to even make a hot dog! All this changed, however, when I got engaged. I realized it was time to let my inherent talents out of the bag. At the time, the New York Times had a weekly column called The 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey. Each week, I would follow these recipes diligently, and taught myself to cook that way. From there, I began to read cookbooks and consult with relatives on family recipes. At my ripe old age now, I feel I know enough to put together a very pleasing meal and have become accomplished in my own right. Having an Irish father and an Italian mother, I'm glad I inherited the cooking gene (and the drinking one too!). One thing I have learned is that simpler is always better! I always believe cooking fills a need to nurture and show love. After being widowed fairly young and living alone with my dog and cats, I stopped cooking for awhile, since I really had no one to cook for. I made care packages for my grown son occasionally, and like to cook weekly for my boyfriend, so I feel like I am truly back in the saddle!!
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