- Skill Level: Moderate
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 9 Times
Can be made ahead of time.
This flaky and light pastry dough works for savory as well as sweet tarts.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Quickly cut the butter into the flour, using a pastry blender or your fingers, until the butter pieces are the size of large peas. (Alternatively, cut the butter into the flour by pulsing it 8 to 10 times in a food processor, being careful not to overheat and overmix the butter.)
Dump the mixture out onto a clean surface and make a well in the center of the flour. Pour the ice water into the well. Using just your fingertips and working quickly, combine the flour mixture and the water. Work just until the water is absorbed. The dough will be ragged but should hold together when you squeeze it. If it seems dry, sprinkle on a few more drops of water.
Form the dough into a log shape about 8 inches long and parallel to the edge of your work surface. With the heel of your hand, push down and away from you all along the line of dough. With a pastry scraper, gather up the dough, shape it back into a log, and repeat the smearing action. This technique, known as fraisage, will form sheets of butter in the dough, creating a light crust almost like puff pastry.
With the pastry scraper, gather the dough up into a ball; it’s fine if the dough does not come together completely at this time. Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap, flatten it a bit, and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least a half hour before rolling. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can also freeze the dough, well wrapped; allow it to defrost for a day in the refrigerator before using it.
Roll and shape the dough according to your recipe’s direction.
Nutritional information is based on 12 servings.