Serves a Crowd

Paule Caillat's Brown Butter Tart Crust

July 13, 2011
7 Ratings
  • Makes 8 1/2" or 21 cm tart shell
Author Notes

Pie, without the masochism. This is a tart crust that loves you back, adapted from Parisian pastry expert Paule Caillat. Fill it with chocolate ganache, lemon curd, or sweetened mascarpone and summer berries. —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (the crust will crack less with higher-fat European-style butter like Plugra)
  • Flour as necessary (about 5 ounces, or a slightly mounded cupful, per David Lebovitz)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (for savory fillings, just use 1 teaspoon)
  • pinch of salt
  1. Heat the oven to 410° F (210° C).
  2. In a Pyrex type oven-safe bowl, combine the butter, oil, water, salt, and sugar.
  3. Place in the hot oven for approximately 15 minutes, until the mixture is boiling and the butter starts browning.
  4. Remove from oven, add flour quickly, until it forms a ball. Keep adding flour, one spoonful at the time, until it pulls off the sides of the bowl.
  5. Once the dough is cool enough to touch, press it in to the tart mold evenly with your fingertips.
  6. Pierce the bottom with a fork, line the sides with the back of the fork to form ridges.
  7. Bake at 410° F (210° C) for 15 minutes or until the crust is light brown and shows fine cracks.
  8. Remove carefully from oven. It is ready for filling.
  9. Note: David Lebovitz recommends a brilliant patching technique for any cracks -- just reserve a small knob of dough to spackle into any cracks after baking while it's still warm. (No need to bake again.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jackie Cameron
    Jackie Cameron
  • Susan McKenna Grant
    Susan McKenna Grant
  • francesca gilberti
    francesca gilberti
  • Sophia Henkel
    Sophia Henkel
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

12 Reviews

Erin K. November 1, 2023
I've made this for over 10 years. This is a great base for fruit tarts. So easy and short. I love it.
Jackie C. April 27, 2019
I found this recipe several years ago and use it for everything in a tart pan. Savory, sweet, doesn’t matter - it’s perfect. I like to ensure the bottom is crispy so if your filling is wet (think quiche or a pumpkin tart) I find it best to bake for 10-12 mins first before adding the filling and then baking for whatever time the filling recipe calls for.

So good!
Evth January 31, 2023
Oh, thank you, Jackie C., for this bit of awesome advice! I am so glad to read that this recipe works well for quiche.
Alanna April 26, 2018
Help! I made this yesterday and the center of the tart rose up into a dome shape! I pricked the dough all over with a fork too. Does anyone know why this happened? Do I need to use pie weights? (even though the comments have said the dough is too soft for pie weights)
tara October 10, 2017
can i use this to make a quiche? Would I pour in the savory filling before baking?
lizzielashark July 28, 2017
I found the recipe didn't yeild enough to go up the sides of my 8.5 inch mould. Recommend increasing amounts to cater for this.
Susan M. January 17, 2013
This is a lovely idea producing a rather rustic tart shell. I understand pie weights can't be used as the dough is warm when it goes into the oven and thus will distort under the weights. But I don't understand why the recipe calls for the shell to be blind baked at such a high temperature. This causes MORE distortion as any water in the dough is evaporating too fast (hence the cracks that need patching).
If the raw shell is first chilled (converting the liquid butter back to a solid) and then baked at much lower 155 C or about 310 F not only will the evaporation process slow down but pie weights can be used. Distortion is minimal and the dough acts more like a traditional pate sable. The finished product less rustic, more elegant. It can be blind baked and filled and finished again in the oven if it required, or it can be baked raw with a filling in it if that's what your recipe calls for.
Sophia H. July 18, 2013
It does not work, I actually just tried this cause I wanted a more fine crust. I froze it before and it is too soft. It ended up having to be cook twice as long and was very oily after I took out the pie weights. If you figure it out, I would love to try it again, but for me it did not work trying to make more like a more elegant crust.
megocooks September 2, 2012
has this ever been made as a crust for Amanda's Peach tart? wondering if anyone has done so, and what they think!
thank you.
ClassicalCass September 22, 2011
Wicked easy and very good!
ceilithe July 18, 2011
would like to try this with a gluten-free flour mix
francesca G. July 13, 2011
The sparkles? Butter! Just sayin' ...