Sweet Tart Dough {ModBak}

With April comes warmer weather (it was an unseasonable, yet welcome, 80°F here today), thoughts of summer, and, this year at least, Sweet Tarts and Pies! If you’ve followed the Modern Baker Challenge, you know that we just finished the Savory Tarts and Pies section. And while many of the bakers — myself included — claimed to be happy for the break from sweets, we soon showed our true colors. It was like pulling teeth to get the official posts up on the Modern Baker Challenge website. In the end, I had to resort to scavenging posts from this and other websites to fill in all the recipes.

But here we are, barely a week into the sweets section, and we already have half-a-dozen posts up, including Kayte’s official post for this sweet tart dough. Like its rich cousin in the last section, this dough is super easy to mix up, rolls out great, and tastes fantastic. The ingredients — flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, egg, and water — are mixed up in the food processor in just a few seconds, then the dough is ready to refrigerate or roll out. Like Kayte, I found this dough benefited from about an hour’s rest in the fridge before rolling.

Once it was slightly chilled and relaxed, rolling it out was a breeze.

After rolling the dough, I folded it in fourths to move it to the tart pan.

I unfolded it in the pan, then began pressing it into place.

I used my rolling pin to cut the off overhanging dough even with the top of the pan, then pressed the edges even with the lip of the pan.

As someone who has had a long, losing battle with pastry crusts (part of the reason I undertook this baking challenge in the first place), I have really come to appreciate Nick Malgieri’s dough recipes and instructions. I won’t say they’re foolproof, as I’ve had some that I ended up having to piece together in the pan, but they are achievable, even for me.

And more importantly, they have me believing that even I can consistently make good pastry dough. The proof is in the pies — and tarts.


  1. September 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    […] of the Modern Baker Challenge was going to give me trouble. Like my well-known issues with pie crusts, I’ve always struggled with caramel. It goes from amber to burnt so quickly, and I usually […]

  2. July 27, 2011 at 11:59 am

    […] make a half recipe of the lemon lime and raspberry almond tartlets, so I divided a single batch of sweet tart dough and set aside half for each recipe. There was a small chunk of dough leftover when I made the lemon […]

  3. July 26, 2011 at 8:04 am

    […] The twist in this recipe is the addition of sour cream, which makes a custard-style pie. To make the pie, I began by cooking down some apples in butter and sugar. While the apples were cooking, I whisked together flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. Then I made the crumb topping, which consisted of flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and butter. Finally, I rolled out and panned a single crust sweet pie dough. […]

  4. July 26, 2011 at 8:04 am

    […] large and impressive as this tart is, it’s really simple to assemble. Other than the sweet dough, there are only five ingredients: apples, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and […]

  5. July 17, 2011 at 8:18 am

    […] first recipe to use that dough, I hadn’t made it yet. The lemon lime tartlets are made with sweet tart dough, which I’ve made for many of the recipes in this […]

  6. July 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    […] in the recipe that it would be good with any tart featuring chocolate. After my successes with sweet tart dough, nut tart dough, and press-in cookie dough, I knew this one would be great, […]

  7. June 29, 2011 at 8:07 am

    […] After making the pasty cream, I whisked in ricotta cheese, sugar, and eggs, then stirred in orange flower water, candied orange peel, and the rice. I scraped the filling into a crust made with sweet tart dough. […]

  8. June 26, 2011 at 8:34 am

    […] Sweet Tarts & Pies section of The Modern Baker includes three dough recipes: sweet tart dough, chocolate nut dough, and press-in cookie dough. This recipe is a variation of the sweet tart […]

  9. May 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    […] I made the filling in the stand mixer by beating almond paste and sugar, then adding eggs, butter, vanilla, lemon zest, and flour. I scraped the filling into a sweet tart crust. […]

  10. May 14, 2011 at 11:07 am

    […] for her official blog post. This was another simple and delicious tart, made with sweet tart dough and ingredients I already had in the kitchen — sour cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, […]

  11. May 1, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    […] recipe is made with sweet tart dough. Once that was rolled out and panned, I made the crumb topping, which consisted of flour, baking […]

  12. April 25, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    […] are three crust recipes in the Sweet Tarts & Pies section of The Modern Baker. I have used the sweet tart dough several times, always with great results, and I was looking forward to trying the other dough […]

  13. April 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    […] most of the recipes in this section, this one starts with sweet tart dough. I’ve really come to love this pastry dough. It is so easy to work with, and the results are […]

  14. April 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    […] the Sweet Tarts and Pies section of The Modern Baker was another easy and delicious tart. I had sweet tart dough left over from when I made the bourbon-scented pecan tart the other night, so this tart came […]

  15. Kayte said,

    April 13, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Love this dough, and yes, I found that refrigerating it for an hour is good, or a half hour in the freezer as it rolls like a dream and forms in the pan nicely when chilled. I saw that tip about rolling the rolling pin over the tart pan to trim the edges but I am worried that it will leave little marks in my rolling pin wood so I haven’t been doing that…my rolling pins were all my grandmothers’ and great-grandmothers’ so I don’t want to chance it. I have been using the back of my metal bench scraper to do it just in case. What do you think? Nick’s crusts are becoming my “go to” crusts. The best thing I did was make a pie a day in February (little 7″ ones) as that improved my ease with rolling dough immensely. My grandmother made a pie a day and she used to say it was so easy and she was so at ease with it that I figured in February for National Pie Month, I would give it a try, and it was wonderful. I didn’t quite get a pie a day in, but I made 21 of them and I have to say that now pie dough crust rolling is firmly in my grasp! Yours looks wonderful.

    • gaaarp said,

      April 13, 2011 at 5:40 pm

      Thanks. I like rolling the pin over the edge of the pan to cut the crust, but I somtimes just use my thumb. So I think however you do it is fine. You really don’t have to push very hard, so I suspect it wouldn’t damage your old rolling pins. But I’m with you — I wouldn’t chance it.

  16. April 12, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    […] Nick Malgieri, Pastry dough, pecan pie, Pecan tart, sweet tart, Tart, Tart dough Having just made sweet tart dough, the first recipe in the Sweet Tarts and Pies section of The Modern Baker, I obviously had to make […]

  17. Renee said,

    April 11, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    The crust itself looks good enough to eat all by itself!

    • gaaarp said,

      April 11, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      Funny you should say that, as I made pinwheels with the scraps!

  18. Abby said,

    April 10, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I made this one tonight! It’s resting in the fridge right now because hubby and I couldn’t agree on which tart to start with, and then it got too late and we had to give up and eat ice cream. I am *so* excited to fill it with something tasty tomorrow…so many good choices!

    • gaaarp said,

      April 10, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      I used mine for the bourbon-scented pecan pie. It was so good!!

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