Adapted from Smitten Kitchen by way of Dorie Greenspan
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and placed in freezer for 30 minutes.
1 large egg
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. (Or pulse together in the bowl of a food processor.) Evenly distribute the butter pieces over the top and work in by rubbing the pieces of butter into the flour with your hands until it resembles coarse crumbs. (Or pulse together in the food processor until it resembles the same…) Stir the egg into the flour mixture until it starts to clump around the spoon. (Or pulse until it begins to clump around the blade of your food processor.)
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured counter or baking mat and work it together gently until it holds together well. Don’t work the tar out of it. That makes it tough.
Here’s where it gets fun!
For individual tarts:
Generously grease 8 individual tart pans with removable bottoms. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Press one piece over the bottom and up the sides of each tart pan. Make the sides about twice as thick as the bottoms. Prick all over the bottom and sides with a fork. Place in the freezer until ready to use. It should freeze at least 30 minutes, but preferably longer. If it will be longer than an hour, you should place a double layer of plastic wrap tightly against the surface of the shell to prevent freezer burn.
For large tarts:
Generously grease a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom. Press dough across the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan, making sides about twice as thick as the bottom. Prick all over the bottom and sides with a fork. Place in the freezer until ready to use. It should freeze at least 30 minutes, but preferably longer. If it will be longer than an hour, you should place a double layer of plastic wrap tightly against the surface of the shell to prevent freezer burn.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Butter the reflective side of a piece of aluminum foil and press it tightly against the frozen tart shell(s). You do not need to use pie weights or dried beans on this shell since it is frozen. It won’t shrink on you! Bake 20 minutes for individual tarts or 25 minutes for a large tart.
Remove the foil and gently press any puffy spots with the bottom of a mason jar.
For fully-baked individual crusts, continue baking an additional 8 minutes or until golden brown. For a fully-baked large crust, continue baking for an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown. The key here is to make sure it has a nice brown color or it will be tasteless.
For partially baked individual crusts, only bake an additional 3 minutes. For a partially baked large crust bake only an additional 5 minutes.
Whether making a partially baked or fully baked crust, remove pan from oven when done cooking and allow to come to room temperature before filling.