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Sweet Tart Crust (Pâte Sucrée)

This homemade Tart Crust recipe is buttery, crisp, flaky, and easy to make. Pair it with Homemade Pastry Cream and it’s the perfect go-to base for making Fruit Tarts.

Just like homemade Pie Crust, or even Pizza Dough, making your own tart crust is much better in flavor, texture, freshness, and quality than store-bought.

Sweet Tart Crust baked and surrounded with berries

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Tart Crust Recipe

I’ve always been disappointed with store-bought fruit tarts. They look so beautiful and they are tempting for sure behind the bakery glass window, but it’s the crust that I struggle with. They are typically so hard and thick that I’m literally sawing it with my knife which leads to the crust falling apart despite my best efforts to keep the tart looking pretty.

Making a Tart Pastry is as easy as making basic shortbread cookie dough. The beauty of this tart dough is you don’t need pie weights – it doesn’t puff up or lose its form. Incorporating an egg yolk also helps to ensure it doesn’t get overly tough and difficult to cut through later. 

Baked tart crust recipe ready to be filled and served

Ingredients for a Tart Shell

The ingredients for making tart dough are so simple and you probably already have them in your pantry and refrigerator:

  • Butter – use softened, unsalted butter so you can control the salt
  • Sugar – granulated sugar adds sweetness to the crust
  • Salt – use fine sea salt to balance the sweetness
  • Egg yolk – creates a tender dough
  • Vanilla extract – use homemade vanilla for the best taste and aroma
  • All-purpose flour – creates an ideal, sturdy crumb
Ingredients for homemade tart shell

How to Make Crust for Tarts

This dough is so easy to make and comes together in the bowl of a mixer (although you could make it by hand with a firm spatula and a mixing bowl).

  1. Cream together sugar, salt, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
  2. Add yolk and vanilla and beat to incorporate.
  3. Add flour and mix until a dough forms.
  4. Press dough squarely and evenly into the tart pan and trim off the edges.
  5. Bake over a baking sheet in the center of a preheated oven until golden brown.
  6. Cool on a rack then remove from the mold. Now you can use it to make a Fruit Tart.
Step by step how to make crust for tarts

Pro Tip: Use a non-stick tart pan with a removable bottom which will make it much easier to remove the mold after the crust has baked and cooled. To remove the outer ring, you can place the tart over something that is narrower than the ring and gently pull down the outer ring to remove it. You can then slide a knife gently around the base to help the tart slide off the base easily or serve it on the base.

Step by step how to mold tart dough into a tart pan

Common Questions

What is Pate Sucree?

This is a sweet pastry dough that is pre-baked and is often used for pies that don’t require any further baking after being filled. That makes it perfect for fresh fruit tarts.

What is the difference between Pâte Sucrée and Pâte Brisée?

Pâte Brisée is more of the traditional Pie Crust. It’s flakier and tends to puff out of shape while baking which makes it more ideal for a classic filled and baked pie such as Apple Pie or Blueberry Pie. Pâte Sucrée incorporates egg and is a short-flake crust that is more cookie-like and crumbly.

How to keep the tart dough from cracking?

Be sure the tart dough is cooled to room temperature before removing the tart pan. If the dough is warm, it will be softer and more likely to break.

What is the best pan for making tart crust?

Use a 11″ or 10″ “tart pan with removable bottom, or use a 9-inch square tart pan. This recipe will work for a 9” round tart pan, but will be a little thicker crust with a slightly longer baking time.

Tart pan with removable bottom

Make-Ahead Tart Crust

There are so many great options to make this sweet tart crust ahead of time, before or after it is baked:

  • Baked tart crust – can be covered and kept at room temperature for up to 3 days 
  • Raw tart dough – can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. 
  • Frozen raw tart dough – cover tightly with several layers of plastic wrap then set inside a freezer-safe zip bag, remove excess air and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To Thaw – place frozen tart dough in the refrigerator overnight before using then let it sit at room temperature just until it’s softened and malleable enough to press into the tart pan 
Tart Crust baked ahead of time

More Homemade Pastry Recipes

Learning basic pastry recipes like this Sweet Tart Crust will give you confidence for experimenting with new recipes and variations. Many pastries call for the same basic dough recipes. For example, the choux pastry dough used to make Cream Puffs is also used to make Churros!

Sweet Tart Crust (Pâte Sucrée)

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 17 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Sweet Tart Crust Baked and garnished with berries

This homemade Tart Crust recipe is buttery, crisp, flaky, and easy to make. The best part is, you don't need pie weights. Serve this with homemade Pastry Cream to make the best fresh Fruit Tarts.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $2-$4
Keyword: Pate Sucree, Sweet Tart Dough, Tart Crust
Cuisine: French
Course: Dessert
Servings: 1 tart crust

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar, salt, and butter and cream together on medium speed just until combined (2-3 minutes), scraping down the bowl as needed.

  2. Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  3. Add flour and mix on low speed until the flour is fully incorporated and dough comes together (1 minute). Transfer dough to a clean work surface and shape the dough into a flat disk. Press the dough into an 11-inch or 10-inch round tart pan. The dough should be about 1/4” thick on the bottom and sides of the pan.

  4. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the corners squarely. Flatten the finished top edge with your fingertips or trim the top edge with a paring knife so it sits flush in line with the top of the tart pan (I repurpose any scraps by patching any thin-looking areas). Cover with plastic wrap and freeze 30 minutes while you preheat the oven.

  5. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Set the tart pan over a baking sheet to make it easier to transfer and Bake at 350˚F in the center of the oven for 25-28 minutes or until golden brown then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Once the dough is at room temperature, carefully remove the outer rim by pushing on the base of the mold. To release from the base, carefully insert a knife between the pan and the crust to release, moving around the edges of the pan until the base releases easily.

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Sharron Stoneman
    August 26, 2022

    Love your recipes. Just wondering if your Sweet Tart Crust can be used to make a butter tart recipie. I will need to cook the filling with the crust?
    Thank you
    Sharron

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 27, 2022

      Hi Sharron, I haven’t tested that to advise. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

      Reply

  • Kaye
    August 17, 2022

    I must now only prepare gluten free for my daughter. Please include, within the recipe somewhere, if gluten free flour may be used, like for this luscious looking tart crust.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 17, 2022

      Hi Kaye! I have not tested GF flour in all my recipes to include this note. Often times if you read through the comments you can find feedback from one of my other readers who has made this substitute. For this recipe specifically, I don’t see a comment that anyone has tested GF flour.

      Reply

      • Stephanie
        August 30, 2022

        Love this recipe! I used GF flower instead of AP and it worked. It was a bit crumbly but it still worked. I used the same amount of GF flower.

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          August 30, 2022

          I’m so glad it worked, Stephanie! That’s just That’s just awesome!

          Reply

  • Diane
    August 10, 2022

    I wish you would put measurements in metric as well as cups.. We don’t use cups here

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 10, 2022

      Hi Diane, you can use metrics when you check out newer recipes. You can click Jump top recipe then click Metric.

      Reply

  • Lynn
    August 10, 2022

    Am enjoying the recipes so yammy, i require some more from you natasha

    Reply

  • cheryl
    August 9, 2022

    the directions say cream but I do not see it in the ingredients list

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 9, 2022

      Hi Chery, it is in step 1 under the instructions on the recipe card. I hope you love it!

      Reply

      • cheryl
        August 18, 2022

        oh my…my mistake… I misread it. I thought it was an ingredient not the process. Thank you for your recipes

        Reply

    • Olena
      August 14, 2022

      Cream is a verb in the instructions, not an ingredient. I read it the same way at first, Cheryl!

      Reply

  • Emma
    August 9, 2022

    Your recipes are the first ones I go to when I need a recipe. So good!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 9, 2022

      Aww, that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me!

      Reply

  • Dale Kessler
    August 9, 2022

    I was wondering if you had a chance to review the questions I sent you regarding liquid Apple extract?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 9, 2022

      Hi Dale, I don’t see any other comments from you on that. Also, I’m not familiar with that product so you may need to google that.

      Reply

  • Robin Beaver
    August 9, 2022

    Hi Natasha,

    Would you please tell me the weight of your flour? I can’t wait to try this!

    Robin

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 9, 2022

      Hi Robin, yes, I have added metric measurements. When you click on Metric in the recipe card, they should display. I hope you love the tart crust recipe.

      Reply

  • Jane R
    August 9, 2022

    I literally saw this recipe, had the ingredients and made it!! So amazing!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 9, 2022

      That is amazing! I love it when good timing happens and I’m so happy you loved the tart crust.

      Reply

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