How to make the Perfect Pie / Tart Base

Summer Or winter, a delicious crumbly Pie is always a treat! Very often, I see overworked tart dough, that give brittle tough bases…and this can be such a letdown! However if you follow the right technique, I promise you will have results to match any good bakery!

For 1 tart – 8 or 9 inches
125 gms cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
65 gms butter
Cold water to make the dough
Note: You can replace cake flour with a combination of all purpose flour and cornflour.
1 cup cake flour = 2 tbsp cornflour + 1 cup (minus 2 tbsp) all purpose flour

For the Dough:
Mix flour, salt n sugar
Cut cold butter into 1/2 inch cubes.

Then add the butter to the flour. Cut the butter into flour using a big knife or bowl scraper, till the butter pieces become as big as dry lentils.

Now make a well in between. Slowly add cold water and pick up walnut size pieces of dough and keep on side.

Keep doing this till all the dough is used up. The dough will look loose and shaggy at this stage

Now press each piece of dough against the work surface, with your palm, and keep on side.



Continue pressing all the loose pieces in the shaggy dough, till you have yourself a heap of pressed dough pieces.

Now collect all the pieces together and press gently together. Do not overwork!!

Now carefully place the dough on plastic wrap, and wrap tightly


The dough will be slightly rough and will have slight streaks of butter…. Do not try to knead and smoothen! Chill this dough for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator. This will also help relax the gluten in the dough.

Unwrap the dough, gently press into a flat disc. Sprinkle some flour on work surface, roll out dough into a circle of about 1/8 inch thickness. Drape it over tart/pie dish

With gentle hands press dough in place, taking care not to pull it

Prick the tart with fork all over and it’s ready to be filled with choice of filling and baked

Some recipes call for blind baking before you add filling. In that case, fill with beans/lentils and bake the tart till light brown.

This is how the tart base should look after blind baking.


Other related posts….
Veg Corn Quiche / Savory Tart
Classic French Apple Tart


  1. Guiltyofgluttony

    Hmmm pretty interesting. Could you please also share how long and at what temperature the base needs to be baked. TIA

    • The base needs to be baked at 350 F
      Baking temperature varies, depending on the type of tart you are making. For the corn Quiche, you can blind bake for about 15 minutes. Then pour in filling and bake again for another 20-25 minutes.

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