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Perfect Pâte Brisée Tart Dough


I used this dough to make Meyer Lemon Tartlets and loved it so much, that I wanted to save the recipe as a "stand alone". I'm not a big fan of American pie crusts, but I do love a good shortbread and buttery tart crust. This one turned out to be very tender, and I loved the lemon zest. Baked and filled with homemade lemon curd and topped with browned meringue, these were amazing! Recipe from Martha Stewart.

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Rate this recipe 4.7/5 (12 Votes)


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest, finely grated (optional)
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Servings 8
Preparation time 85mins
Cooking time 25mins
Adapted from


Step 1

I used six non-stick tartlet pans, so I added 50% more ingredients. Otherwise, this should be enough dough for an 8-inch tart pan.

Whisk together flour, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the lemon zest in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or your fingers until dough begins to hold together.

Note: I used my food processor, and pulsed the dough until it resembled coarse crumbs. Stir together 1 tablespoon water and vanilla, then mix into dough.

Note: I used the food processor, and pulse this until the dough just started to come together. Shape dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Using your fingers, press dough evenly into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.

Note: I used a rolling pin to individual cut the dough to fit into each tartlet pan.

Dock each tartlet (with a fork) or tart, to prevent too much puffing of the dough while baking.

Freeze for 30 minutes, to prevent shrinkage of the dough.

Bake tart shell until golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.

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