This is one of our favorite (and easiest) cookie crust recipes. Just like our basic shortbread crust, used in our Blueberry Tart, it’s a press-in crust with no rolling required. Plus, it’s got a great cookie crust crunch.

We recently used this crust with our Chai Spiced Plum Custard Tart.

Brown Sugar Tart Pastry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons of ice water, if needed
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. In a food processor place the flour, salt, cinnamon, and sugar and process until combined.
  3. Cut the butter into tablespoon sized pieces and add to processor, mixing until it resembles course meal (about 15 seconds).
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg.
  5. Gradually pour egg in a steady stream with the motor running (through the feed tube) until the pastry just holds together when pinched.
  6. If too dry add ice water slowly until you reach the right consistency. The right consistency is when you pinch the pastry it just holds together.
  7. Do not process more than about 30 seconds.
  8. Transfer the pastry to an 11-inch fluted tart pan and press evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Prick with a fork all over bottom and sides.
  9. If you are cooking this crust with a filling, place it in the refrigerator until the filling is ready. Then bake per pie or tart directions.
  10. If you are pre-baking the crust be sure to weigh it down while baking. Once weighed down, bake for 15 minutes, on the bottom third of the oven, then reduce temperature to 350°F and continue baking until golden brown about another 5-10 minutes.
If you don't have a food processor you can still make this crust. It just takes a little more elbow grease and some extra time chilling in the fridge. Mix all your dry ingredients in a large bowl, and with a hand pastry blender (tool) cut in your pieces of cold butter. We do not recommend a fork for this job. It will take too long and your butter will get too warm. Once the butter is about the size of peas, slowly pour your beaten egg (distributing evenly) over the mixture. Continue to cut in egg until completely incorporated. Add iced water, slowly, if necessary to pinch dough together. Once the dough holds together wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate until cold, 15-30 min. Use as directed.