3 Things That Made Me Think Twice About How I Make Tart Dough

Daniel Boulud's quiche Lorraine class on the Food Network Kitchen app is packed with tips for dealing with this finicky crust.

February 19, 2020
By: Amanda Neal

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There’s something so special about a homemade quiche Lorraine. The custardy filling, salty lardons (read: bacon), melty gruyere and tender leeks all make this dish incredibly satisfying. But what I find most impressive is the perfectly flaky crust with a golden, fluted edge — it's tricky to get just right! So when I saw that chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud had a quiche Lorraine class on the Food Network Kitchen app, I quickly hit play. I wasnt dissappointed: this class in particular has numerous tips and tricks to turn a basic pastry dough into a near flawless crust. Here are some tweaks I'll be making the next time I attempt it.

Press Before Chilling

When I’ve made quiches at home, one problem I always seem to face is rolling out the dough into a smooth and even layer. Chef Daniel has a simple solution of pressing the dough into a 1/2-inch round disk before it goes to rest in the fridge, making it easier to roll once chilled. He also suggests rotating the dough a quarter turn during the rolling process. This will even out the thickness and shape, as well as prevent the dough from sticking to your counter or rolling pin as you go.

Fold Before Lifting

When the dough is rolled out, you're faced with the next daunting step: transferring it to the tart pan without any rips or tears. The secret is to mimimize the surface area, so there's less that might snag or droop. Chef Daniel gently folds the dough in half twice to create a wedge, centers the tip of the wedge in the middle of the pan, then carefully unfolds. There’s none of that sticking or tearing that a lot of other methods seem to cause. Chef Daniel then trims the excess dough from the perimeter, leaving a 1/4-inch overhang (we'll explain why in a second), and shapes the excess dough into a small ball. He uses the ball of dough to press the delicate sheet of pastry dough into all of the nooks and crannies of the fluted tart pan. There won’t be a finger print in sight!

Bake Before Trimming

Finally, my pastry dough almost always shrinks after it has been par baked. Even with proper chilling, rolling and shaping, the dough always seems to creep down the sides of the tart pan, meaning less delicious filling can fit in the crust. But this is genius: Chef Daniel says to leave the 1/4-inch overhang of dough on the tart during the crust's first trip in the oven — gripping to the pan, it helps hold all of the the dough in place. Once the dough has par-baked, he then uses a serrated knife to cut away the excess dough, then returns the pan to the oven to finish baking. The crust may still pull away from the sides of the tart pan, but it should remain perfectly even and tall enough to fit all of your custardy filling.

These are just some of many tips Chef Daniel provides in his cooking class on the Food Network Kitchen app — I can't wait to try them on all my quiches, tarts, and pies going foward. A classic quiche Lorraine takes time and patience, but the result is striking and inspiring.

You can also watch chef Daniel make a Salad Nicoise, Classic French Omelette, Ratatouille, Coq au Vin and more, all available to watch right now on the Food Network Kitchen app when you download the app and sign up today!

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