This is the Tart Pastry for the Blueberry Custard Tart or any tart requiring a basic European-style crust. This is for lining those tart pans with a removable bottom.
Makes one 9-inch tart shell
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup butter at room temperature, cut into small pieces
A mixture of 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons water (omit for savory tarts)
Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a bowl, then work in the butter with your fingers, or a mixer until it makes fine crumbs. Don't let it become completely smooth, though. Stir in enough vanilla-water to pull the dough together. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
To line the pan, roll the dough out into a 9-inch circle then set it in the pan. Using the heel of you palm, press the dough up the side. If some pieces are too long, break them off and add them, as needed, to areas that are too short. The sides should be about 1/4 inch thick, rise 1/4 rise above the rim, and be slightly thinner at the base of the pan.. This way, when the dough slumps during the baking, this shallow space will be filled evenly instead of being overly thick and underbaked. This is way too much information. Just put it in the pan, it will be fine. Carefully set the tart shell in the freezer to harden.
Tart shells are nearly always prebaked before filling. To prebake a tart shell, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the frozen shell on a sheet pan and bake until set and lightly browned about 25 minutes. Check it several times for swells and prick any large bubbles with the tip of a knife.