Foolproof Tart Crust
Foolproof Tart Crust PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Teach a man to make tart crust and he'll have dessert for life. That's how the saying goes, right? OK, OK, we're taking some liberties here. But the overall sentiment rings true. Once you master this super-simple recipe for tart crust, you can fill the base with anything you like. Think of it as the dessert that keeps on giving.

Makes one 11-inch tart
Start to Finish: 45 minutes

Ingredients

 cup (3 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature

¼ cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 cup sugar

 cup brown sugar

1⅔ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place an 11-inch tart pan on a baking sheet.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese with the butter, vanilla, sugar and brown sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add the flour and salt, and mix just until fully incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Scoop the finished tart dough into the tart pan.

4. With your hands, press the tart dough into an even layer on the base and up the side of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to help flatten the dough and make it even around the edge. Trim and discard any excess dough that comes up the side.

5. Transfer the tart shell to the refrigerator and chill for 15 to 20 minutes. Pierce the bottom with a fork a few times.

6. Bake the tart shell until golden and set, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely before filling and serving.

Note: When it comes to filling the crust, we keep it simple. Add a layer of honey-laced whipped cream, then top it with fresh blueberries.

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