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No-Fuss French Pastry Dough

You might already be familiar with our popular No-Fuss Pie Crust, which involves no cutting in and no rolling and still bakes up into a lovely flaky pie crust. Well, we’ve taken things one step further and now we’ve got a No-Fuss Pastry Dough for you as well! Once again, there’s no cutting in, and no rolling, but you still end up with a beautiful buttery crust befitting any fine French tart.

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The method here comes from David Lebovitz, who first witnessed it in France and couldn’t believe how well it actually worked. You’ll see the usual pastry subjects here – butter (of course!), flour, salt, and sugar – but you also add in a little bit of vegetable oil to the mix.

As with any great pastry, you start with butter. But instead of using the coldest butter you can and cutting it in, in this method it goes right into the oven.

The butter, oil, salt, and sugar hang out in a hot oven until the mixture gets melted and bubbly and the edges start to take on a golden brown. This adds a delicious bit of brown butter flavor to the final product.

When the bowl comes out, you immediately dump flour into the hot mixture…

… and mix it in until you have a dough that will hold together.

Once that’s cool enough to handle, you press it into your tart pan and use it just as you would any fussier tart crust. You can pre-bake it as needed for a custard filling or top it with your favorite fruit for a lovely fruit tart. It’s an incredibly easy method that results in a delicious buttery tart crust every time. Give it a try!

No-Fuss Pastry Dough

20 minutes to prepare 1 11-inch tart or pie

Ingredients

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 rounded cups all-purpose flour
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Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a medium glass or ovenproof bowl, combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt.
  3. Place the bowl in the oven for 15 minutes or until the butter is bubbling and starts to brown around the edges.
  4. Remove hot bowl from oven, add flour and mix in until blended.
  5. Once cool enough to handle, transfer dough to a 9-inch tart pan and spread out evenly.
  6. Add topping or filling and bake according to whatever tart recipe you're using. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz.