Aaron’s Tart Dough

In Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat, she introduces a tart recipe from her friend Aaron Hyman.  In this recipe, he swaps out some of the butter for crème fraiche or plain cream.  The result is touted as an all-purpose tart dough that may be made and frozen and ready for whatever is available from the market whether sweet or savory is desired.  This flexible idea is intriguing. For reference here is a modified form of this dough that I think is an improvement. But frankly, through a detailed analysis, I think I have improved on the concept and developed an improved tart dough.

Regardless of the dough used, here are some tips to making the process much easier.

Aaron's Tart Dough

Aaron's Tart Dough

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 240 g all purpose flour
  • 28 g sugar, (see note 1)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 3 g salt
  • 115 g butter
  • 85 g crème fraiche
  • 45 g cold water


To make the dough

  1. If using a mixer, chill the bowl, paddle in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together. Assemble the mixer and bowl, add dry ingredients.
  3. With the mixer on low, slowly add the cubes of butter. Mix two or three minutes the butter should be well cut into the dough. After all the pieces of butter or added, increase speed slightly. Slivers of butter should remain visible. If some bigger chunks remain, work the bigger pieces butter into be flour between your fingers.
  4. Mix the creme fraiche into the dough on low. The dough should start binding together.
  5. Add water if needed to improve texture. Divide dough into half and roll into two discs.
  6. Cover with wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours. (If not using the second shell, it will freeze well for at least a month.

To partially bake shell

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400°F.
  2. Roll out the dough on a floured surface or between two pieces of wax paper. The disc shape should start you on the way. Work quickly to keep dough cold while rolling not stretching. If working on a floured surface turn the dough with a quarter turn frequently to keep from sticking. With the paper lift and adjust to keep from sticking.
  3. Place the dough inside tart pan. Carefully push into corners without stretching. Prick the surface of the dough slightly with a fork to prevent air bubbles. Only 4 or 5 pricks should be needed. Coat the dough with foil or parchment paper. Fill with dried beans or pie weights.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes until crust edges are lightly browned. (This assumes there will be approximately 30 minutes more baking after the tart is filled. Adjust as needed.)


Note 1:  Sugar is half of original recipe.  Consider increasing if you are using very bitter greens.

Adapted from Samin Nosrat's Salts Fats Acid and Heat

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 537Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 542mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 7g

Calculated Nutrition is estimated.

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