To submit requests for assistance, or provide feedback regarding accessibility, please contact


Fruit Tart Base: Vanilla Sablé Shell

Dominique Ansel

Lesson time 13:57 min

Chef Dominique teaches you how to make a vanilla sablé shell that serves as the base for a set of stunning fruit tarts in the chapters to come. Learn to fonçage and blind-bake pastry dough for a tart shell that serves as the optimal canvas for endless variation.

Dominique Ansel
Teaches French Pastry Fundamentals
James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Dominique Ansel teaches his essential techniques for making delicious pastries and desserts in his first-ever online class.
Get Started


There's hundreds and hundreds of recipes of doughs out there. One of my favorites is simple very light tart shell. I'm going to show you all the steps to make a good one. Think about the tart shell as a canvas. That's your drawing board. That's what you are going to use to make a beautiful tart. As you can see, all the ingredients are in front of me. And this is very important. This is pastry chef way, actually what we call mise en place. I remember one of the first time I actually cook at home for my girlfriend, I had to scale out all the ingredients to be able to cook. And I used all the bowls in the kitchen. And she was a little shocked to see that the cabinet was empty and I've used everything. That's the way I cook. That's the way I learned, and I think it's very important to have everything in front of you measured in scale before you start doing anything. So here, we have flour, cornstarch, eggs, butter, powdered sugar, and a little bit of salt. So you're going to start mixing the powdered sugar with the butter in the mixing bowl. It's very important to scale everything separately because as you can see, everything is pretty much white. It looks similar. Just in case the phone rings, you have to run away to do something else, you come back, you remember exactly what you have. We're going to start creaming the butter and the sugar together. Then we'll mix the flour, the cornstarch, and the salt, and incorporate this into the mixing bowl with the egg. For this, we use the paddle. The whisk will be too weak. It will break the whisk. So the paddle is the best to mix this dough. I'm going to then add the flour, cornstarch, and salt together. Sometimes people ask me is it important to sift everything. I say it used to be, but now ingredients are made so they are ready to use. So unless you have real clump in your flour, you shouldn't be shifting everything. We combine everything together to make sure it's mixed properly. And then here I have vanilla bean. So vanilla is one of my favorite ingredient. I always prefer real vanilla over the extract. The extract always have this artificial alcoholic flavor and the fresh vanilla bean is, of course, like very floral and very light. Press down on the vanilla to make it flat, and then use a paring knife and cut it the half long ways. So this will allow us to cut through the vanilla and extract the seeds. The seeds are now right here. I will take the back of my knife, I'll press it down, and I'll push it all the way through. And you will see these little black pieces are the vanilla seeds that you need to incorporate into your dough. So, of course, vanilla is very expensive. I don't ever waste anything. This can be used also to infuse into a milk for different preparation, for a pastry cream, for instance. Even after that, I always save it. Rinse it off, dry it in the oven for a couple hours, and blitz it, turn it into a powder that I can use for other preparation...

The Art of French Pastry

Celebrated for his innovative twists on classic desserts, Cronut® creator and James Beard Award-winner Dominique Ansel has been called the “world’s best pastry chef.” In his MasterClass, Dominique teaches his essential techniques for perfect pastries. Learn baking and more with his precise methods, add classic recipes to your repertoire, and explore texture and flavor inspirations to delight friends and family with your own decadent desserts.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Loved this class! It was very helpful and I learned so much about French pastries. I can't wait to try those recipes!

All his techniques were really detailed and well explained

I really enjoyed it. Especially the episode on croissants. I have never tried them yet, but I could never find a good recipe online. I am glad to get some tis and tricks from a professional, to improver my baking. Which has been a passion of mine since a few years!

A new appreciation for attention to details as part of the creative process.


Asmae O.

Chef Dominique is a joy to watch, but it is disappointing that he doesn't explain the reasons behind the choice of ingredients. For example here, why is he using corn starch?

Renato A.

Nice lesson, About the ingredients of Tart Vanilla SABLÉ SHELL ; 1: 186g (11⁄2 cups) all-purpose flour, can be Pastry Flour? 2- 47g (1⁄3 cup + 1 tbsp) cornstarch , can be instant clean jel ? 3- Tutorial said 1g (1⁄2 tsp) kosher salt Confused 1g or 5g ? Thanks !

A fellow student

Can you use coffee beans instead of the white beans he used? I feel like it could ask a good aroma to the house...

Douglas L.

In this video we see Dominique Ansel working directly on his marble countertop. I think this is cool and simple. That being said, I was wondering what cleaning method was recommended to work that way. Cleaning vinegar is a nice natural non-toxic option, but it is not recommended on any kind of stone since it can produce etching.

Sasha K.

Hi, I'd like to ask if we don't have a paddle. We have normal whisk from electric mixer or the spiral type for bread, is that okay?

A fellow student

Hi everyone, I'm baking at 3000+ feet about sea level and am finding that the dough, when I am ready to roll it out, is much drier than Dominique's. It cracks. What do I do? Add more moisture? If so, a second egg? Some ice water? Thanks for any tips.

A fellow student

Where to find the instructions to bake the vanilla after removing the seeds? Couldn't find it in the Workbook. Thanks!


I can't find a 3cm deep 8" straight sided pan with a removable bottom anywhere. Does anyone know where to get one? What tart pan are those of you who have made it using?

Michelle L.

great tips for the vanilla sable shell, ( which can be used for various other tarts) blind baking, vanilla sauce. Great especially if you have always battled with tart shells,

Ramon R.

does anyone know where to find the same tart ring that Dominique uses. I have been looking everywhere, I can't find one like that, thanks