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Jun 9, 2009 01:35 PM

Premade tart shell

Is this the same as a pie crust found in the frozen section of the super market? Making a Jacques Torres Chocolate Tart and that's what the recipe calls for.

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  1. A tart shell is simply a small pie filled with what ever you might like to use, generally they're filled with some sweet preparation (cooked fruits, jams, jellies, etc.) .There is a lot of similarity between tart shells and pie crust, but tarts have no top crust. I like to use more butter in my tart shells than I do in the pie crust, and I also add and some sugar . You can, however, use them interchangeably in a pinch for just about any filling you like.

    1. You could use it, but generally a tart dough has sugar and no water, and a pie crust has no sugar and a little water, though the other ingredients are more or less the same. A tart shell is usually not as deep as a typical pie crust as well.

      Your recipe probably just specifies that the shell should be prebaked. You could make it yourself. As part of another recipe I've posted a recipe for a shortbread crust here, which would work for a chocolate tart, but leave out the citrus zest, or use orange zest (sour orange even better), if you want a citrus flavor that works nicely with chocolate--

      1 Reply
      1. re: David A. Goldfarb

        Now there's a great idea. The shortbread crust would come much more satisfying than a faux tart made from pie crust.

      2. I don't suppose thats what Jacques Torres meant by pre-made, but you could cheat if the filling is great enough to totally compensate for a lame crust. (JT's would have been one he made from scratch and had tucked away).

        Frozen pie shells are pretty depressing by and large. Isn't there any chance you could rise to the dizzy heights of doing your own pastry? it isn't all that scarey.

        I would also say (and Chowhound's may jump all over me for this one) that for a chocolate dessert where you spend a lot of time on the filling, you are better off with a crumb crust made with crushed chocolate wafers, butter and sugar than with a frozen pie shell if you really aren't going to make your own.