Rock hard oatmeal shortbread tart crust

I've got an amazing recipe for a chocolate mascarpone tart with toasted oatmeal shortbread crust. It tastes spectacular, but the crust comes out like a rock - just impossible to get through with your fork. Am I pressing it into the tart pan too firmly, maybe? Baking too long? Help! I want to make it again, but want to solve this problem first.


1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (1 stick)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the oatmeal on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

In a food processor, add the oatmeal, flour, sugar and salt. Pulse until combined and the oatmeal is chopped. Add the butter and continue to pulse until the mixture looks crumbly.

To make tart crust: Pat the dough into a 9- or 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Use the back of a measuring cup to help spread it evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.

  • Posted by: Claire
  • December 19, 2016


drbabs December 24, 2016
I think you might have pressed it down too firmly, also. The recipe is similar to the crust for Christina Tosi's crack pie. She breaks up the cookie and makes a press in crumb crust. You could try rescuing the crust in that way (it's a lot more butter, but oh well....) Here's the recipe:
Lindsay-Jean H. December 23, 2016
Hi Claire - I'm sorry you haven't received an answer to this yet, I'm bumping it up to the top in hopes of getting more eyes on it. I've never had my shortbread come out rock hard, but I'd be inclined to agree with your guess that it might have baked for too long.
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