Culinary Institute of America Recipe
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Vanilla Tart Dough

Rich and sweet, this vanilla dough has the consistency of a rolled cookie dough. It is delicate and may tear and crack during rolling; to repair it, simply press the edges of the torn dough together to reseal the gap. In order to prevent shrinkage of the crust during baking, this recipe uses confectioners’ sugar and a small amount of cornstarch, but it is also important to freeze the preformed tart or tartlet shells prior to baking.Yield is one 9- to 11-inch tart or twelve 3 1/4-inch tartlets. Our latest cookbook, Pies and Tarts: The Definitive Guide to Classic and Contemporary Favorites, includes this and many other tasty treats.
CIA's Vanilla Tart Dough recipe



  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt



  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar. With the mixer on low speed, cream together the butter and sugar until well combined, 4 to 5 minutes. Raise the mixer speed to medium and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the mixture is well combined and light in color, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and vanilla. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the egg mixture to the butter mixture and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the mixture is smooth and well blended, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Turn off the mixer and add the flour, cornstarch, and salt all at once. Pulse the mixer until the dry ingredients are moistened and then mix on low speed for 1 minute, or until just combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Shape the dough into a 5- to 6- inch disc and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight, until firm.

Unbaked Tart Shell

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness. If making tartlets, it may be necessary to reroll the scraps: Stack the scraps, gently press them together, chill, if necessary, and roll out the re-formed dough.
  2. Transfer the dough to the pan of your choice, fit it into the pan, and trim the edges.
  3. Refrigerate the crust at least 1 hour or freeze at least 30 minutes or until ready to use.

Blind-baked Tart Shell

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line the docked, chilled crust with lightly oiled or sprayed parchment and fill with weights. Partially blind bake the crust until it is a matte, page golden color, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F. Remove the weights and parchment and bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes more.
  3. Remove the crust from the oven and place it on a cooling rack.

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