Shortbread Pie and Tart Crust Recipe

August 2, 2010

Dark Cherry Tart with Shortbread Crust

Dark Cherry Tart with Shortbread Crust

This is the recipe I have used for about 20 years now when baking open face pies and tarts. It’s essentially a shortbread recipe with less flour in it. When done correctly this easy recipe ends up tasting like a soft shortbread cookie crust.

One of the big differences between this pie crust and traditional ones is that you press the crust into the pie or tart pan instead of rolling it out. Growing up we had tile kitchen counters so rolling out pie crusts wasn’t very practical. I started making crusts this way and have rarely used the rolled crust method. I hope you enjoy!

Will make enough crust for a 10inch tart pan or a standard size pie tin.

1/2 cup butter (room temperature)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2) Combine butter and sugar until just blended to an even consistency (use a fork or your hands).
3) Add any optional extracts or spices.
4) Add flour and combine until evenly absorbed in butter mixture. Should resemble large soft clumps of dough.
5) Sprinkle chunks of dough into your pie or tart pan.
6) Begin to press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Ensure that dough thickness is as consistent as possible throughout base (for most pies and tarts it should be no more than an 1/8th of an inch thick).
once the base is complete work your way up the edges of the pan. When you reach the top of the pan, even out the edges to create a consistent and simple crust.
7) Poke fork tines into the bottom of the crust.
8) Bake the empty shell of the crust for approximately 10 minutes (20-25 minutes if you are using a ‘no bake’ filling).
9) Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes.
10) Add your filling and continue to bake until filling is desired temperature.
Making the Crust

Making the Crust

This crust will turn out well between 20-50 minutes in the oven at 350F.


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  3. Caroline says:

    Very nice! Can’t wait to try it one day.

  4. Emily says:


    I love the look of this tart recipe. Can you also share the recipe for the cherry filling? I have a bunch of over ripe cherries in the fridge and I would love to make your tart!

    I have a blog too where I have been trying to keep track of my own recipes but if I used yours I would of course direct people to your blog. Your stuff looks amazing!



  5. Ingrid says:

    Thank you, this is so helpful.

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