Makes enough to line four 8.5-inch removable bottom tart pans or two covered pies
In a large measuring cup and reserve:
- 1 cup water
- large handful of ice
Combine in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment:
- 5 1/4 cups AP flour
- 1 T kosher salt
Cut into cubes:
- 17 ounces very cold unsalted butter
Add butter to mixer and mix at medium speed for a few minutes, watching closely. The flour should take on a buttery hue and several lumps of butter should remain.
Strain ice water, reserving 1 cup ice cold water.
Turn mixer to a very low speed and slowly pour water onto the flour mixture, mixing until it just comes together.
Turn off mixer and turn the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Form into a lump and wrap well. Refirgerate for 2-3 hours before using. The dough should look marbled, with some visible butter lumps.
Lining and blind baking a tart shell:
Preheat oven to 375
Remove the dough from the fridge and let sit at room temperature, still wrapped, for 15-20 minutes.
Unwrap, divide into four pieces (this is enough dough to line four 8.5-inch tart shells) and place one portion on a lightly-floured surface (re-wrap the remainder until ready to use).
Press the dough with the heel of your hand to soften. Dust the top with flour and roll it out until is about 1-2 inches wider than the tart shell. I like to flip the dough a few times while rolling it out and redusting the counter and dough with flour. Work quickly as chilled dough is easier to work with.
Spray the entire surface of the tart pan with canola spray or baking release. Transfer the dough onto the pan. Using your thumbs, push the dough into the bottom corners of the tart shell and into into the sides of the fluted pan. You want the dough to stick up taller than the side of the pan (because when it bakes it will shrink back down). To do this, I scrunch the dough down into the sides like this, while triming off excess dough with the heel of your hand pressing down on the top of the tart pan.
Using your thumbs, press the sides of the dough into the sides of the pan so that it rises 1/8-inch above the edge of the pan. It should look like this:
Place a sheet of parchment paper on the lined tart shell, place it on a baking sheet and fill it with pie weights. Rice, lentils, beans all work well as pie weights:
Bake the tart shell for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove parchment and weights (I just pick up the parchment), prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork and return to the oven for about 5-7 minutes.
Remove it from the oven when the shell looks uniformly dry and just beginning to shrink from the sides of the pan. It should look something like this:
The tart shell is now prebaked or blind baked and ready to be filled.
You do not have to wait for the crust to cool down before filling but remember to make adjustments to oven temperature as necessary.