Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, stand mixer, or in a medium mixing bowl; pulse to combine.
Add the chopped butter and process in short bursts until the mixture resembles coarse meal or fine breadcrumbs.
With the motor running, add the evaporated milk, cream, and vanilla, and process/mix/stir until the dough comes together into a ball and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.
By Hand: Mix dry ingredients in a big bowl. Then, use a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal. And then, add wet ingredients and mix with a fork just until the dough comes together.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Bring the dough together and flatten it into a dish shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough 12-in circle approx. If the dough is too soft, put it back into the refrigerator.
Transfer the rolled dough to a 9 or 10 inch tart pan (one with a removable base is preferable). To do so, flour the rolling pin, roll the dough loosely around it, and then unroll it into the tart pan.
Use your fingers to drape it in and gently pat the dough onto the bottom and sides of the tart pan evenly instead of pulling or stretching it. Seal any cracks in the dough, if needed. Trim off excess dough with a sharp knife or with the rolling pin by rolling over the tart pan.
With a fork, gently prick the base several times. Cover the tart pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
Prepare to Blind Bake:
Preheat oven to 400º F (200º C).
Line chilled tart crust with a double layer of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill the crust with pie weights (or dried beans, uncooked rice, pennies, etc.). Make sure they are evenly distributed over the entire surface.
Bake at 400º F (200º C) for 15 – 18 minutes, or until the edges are set, and the paper/foil no longer sticks to the dough. Then, CAREFULLY, remove the tart crust from the oven. Remove weights and paper.
Finish the Baking:
To partially bake the crust: After removing the weights, bake for 5 minutes longer. You'll now need to proceed with your tart recipe, add the filling, and finish baking. To fully bake the crust: After removing the weights, bake for about 10 - 12 minutes longer, or until golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Let the tart crust cool before filling; this will help the crust to stay crispy once filled.
Store:Unbaked: Cover well and keep chilled for up to 3 days. Leave out on the counter for 20 – 30 min (or longer if required) to soften slightly so you can roll it out easily. Baked: store at room temperature or refrigerator for 2 daysFreeze:Unbaked: Cover well and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to use, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then let sit at room temperature for 20 -30 minutes to soften slightly so you can roll it out easily. Baked: Cover well and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to serve, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then let sit at room temperature before filling and decorating. Make-Ahead:Dough can be made 3 days ahead. Keep it well covered in the refrigerator. The baked tart crust can be made 2 days ahead and stored well covered at room temperature or refrigerator for 2 days.Extra Tips:
Don't overwork your dough! Over-kneading the dough will develop the gluten, making the dough shrink when baking.
If you don't have a nut allergy, you can add 2 tablespoons of almond meal/ground almonds along with the flour.
Use your fingers to drape it in and gently pat the dough onto the bottom and sides of the tart pan evenly instead of pulling or stretching it.
If the crust slightly bubbles up during baking, you can use a stainless-steel measuring cup to press it down gently. Please do this as soon as you remove the crust from the oven while it is warm.
Make sure your tart crust is well chilled before baking. Otherwise, the butter will make too fast, and the tart will lose its shape.
If you're making this recipe, please read the whole post content to get lots of tips, tricks, variations, frequently asked questions, and step-by-step photos.★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!Please note that nutritional information is a rough estimate, and it can vary depending on the products used. Nutrition is for the whole tart shell.