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How to Make Pastries

How to Bake a Tart
Tarts have earned a reputation as difficult to prepare at home. Once the pastry dough is mixed and ready, many bakers trip up when they try to roll out and transfer the crust to the pan. Others end up with blind-baked, ready-to-fill crusts that are bubbled and unevenly cooked.

Try It!
Here is a pastry recipe from our collection:

With these simple tricks, however, even
amateurs can build their own reputation for great tarts -- starting with the crust.

Baking a Tart

Fillings for tarts may be savory or sweet.
  1. Once pastry dough is combined, press together to form ball. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until chilled.

  2. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Flatten dough into 5- to 6-inch disc. Lightly flour surface and rolling pin. Using rolling pin, roll dough in short strokes starting in the middle of the disc rolling out toward the edge.

  3. Rotate dough 1/4 turn to the right. Sprinkle more flour under dough and on rolling pin as necessary to prevent sticking. Continue to roll and rotate dough 2 to 3 more times. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness.

    Roll out dough to bake a tart.
    Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
  4. Trim dough to fit the tart pan or pie plate you intend to use. Trim dough 1 inch larger than inverted tart pan with removable bottom or 11/2 inches larger than inverted pie plate.

  5. Place rolling pin on one side of dough. Gently roll dough over rolling pin once. Carefully lift rolling pin and dough, unrolling dough over tart pan. Ease dough into tart pan with fingertips. Do not stretch dough.

    Roll tart dough into tart pan.
    Ease dough into tart pan.
  6. Cut dough even with edge of tart pan. (Roll and flute edge of dough if using a pie plate.)

    Cut dough so it's even with the tart pan when baking tarts.
    Cut the dough so it is even
    with the edge of the tart pan.
  7. Cover pastry crust with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes to relax dough.

  8. Preheat oven to 400°F. Pierce pastry crust with tines of fork at 1/4-inch intervals, about 40 times.

    Pierce pastry crust when baking a tart.
    Pierce pastry crust with fork.
  9. Cut a square of foil about 4 inches larger than tart pan. Line tart pan with foil. Fill with dried beans, uncooked rice, or ceramic pie weights.

    Fill foil-lined tart pan with dried beans when baking a tart.
    Fill foil-lined tart pan with dried beans.
  10. Bake until set. Remove from oven. Gently remove foil lining and beans. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes or until very light brown. Cool completely on wire rack. (If using beans or rice, save to use again for blind baking. The beans or rice are no longer useable in recipes.)

  11. Proceed with your recipe, filling blind-baked pastry crust as directed.

Now that you're armed with the helpful tips in this article, you'll be ready to roll out the perfect pastry every time!

Not what you're looking for? Try these:

  • How to Make a Pie: A home-baked pie adds a perfect finishing touch to any meal. Fortunately, there are so many varieties of pie, it's easy to find one to complement any menu. Learn how to make a pie here.
  • How to Bake a Cake: Find basic instructions and definitions that will help you bake a cake in this article. You'll learn about everything from selecting the proper baking pan to cooling and frosting a finished cake.
  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.