Pastry for Savory Tarts
Enough for an 8- to 10-inch tart
20 minutes, plus resting time
A pastry suitable for any tart, though I particularly like it for savory versions (no sugar). Here you can use olive oil in place of butter, with quite good results. The keys to easy success: use a food processor and chill the dough before rolling it out.
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour, plus more for rolling
1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into about 8 pieces, or 1 ⁄ 2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or a combination
1. Combine the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse once or twice. Add the butter or oil all at once; process until the mixture is uniform, about 10 seconds (do not overprocess).
2. Put the mixture in a bowl and add 3 tablespoons ice water; mix with your hands until you can form the dough into a ball, adding another tablespoon or two of ice water if necessary (if you overdo it and the mixture becomes sodden, add a little more flour). Form into a ball, wrap in plastic, and freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (You can refrigerate for up to a couple of days or freeze for up to a couple of weeks.)
3. Sprinkle a countertop with flour and put the dough on it; sprinkle with flour. Alternatively, roll the dough between 2 sheets of lightly floured plastic wrap (this is untraditional, but it works well). Use a rolling pin to roll with light pressure, from the center out. If the dough is sticky, add a little flour (if it continues to become sticky, and it’s taking you more than a few minutes to roll it out, refrigerate or freeze again). Roll, adding flour and rotating and turning the dough as needed; use ragged edges of dough to repair any tears, adding a drop of water while you press the patch into place.
4. When the diameter of the dough is about 2 inches greater than that of your tart pan, move the dough to the tart pan by draping it over the rolling pin and then place it in the pan. Press the dough firmly into the pan all over. Refrigerate for about an hour before filling or baking (if you’re in a hurry, freeze for a half hour or so).