When I first saw mealy dough, I wondered how different it is from the flaky, crumbly dough I am familiar with. It turned out rather stretchy and less flaky. A search over the internet, I found that mealy dough is used mainly for making pies with liquid of custard filling like quiche or frangipane tart. Denser in texture, this prevent sogginess and hold up better when slicing. Flaky dough however, is better used for non-liquid or cooked fillings and is used widely in fruit pies or curd tarts. I realised also that it’s stretching nature also means that it can shrink during the baking process and hence it is advisable to have the ‘overhang’ more than the actual size of the pie case or tart tin.

(lines a 21 cm tart case)


  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g cold butter cut into cubes
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 5ml cold water (may use more or less)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Mix flour, cubed cold butter, salt and sugar with a mixed fitted with a paddle whisk on medium speed until the texture resembles that of sand. If you are mixed by hand, rub the butter into the flour, salt and sugar using your finger tips until the texture resembles that of sand. Work quickly because the heat of your hands can melt the butter.
  2. Adds the eggs and mix on medium speed till combined.
  3. Add cold water 2 tablespoons at a time until the dough is smooth and stretchy to the touch. Do not overwork the dough.
  4. Turn the dough out on cling foil, flatten to a disc and allow to relax in chiller for at least 30 minutes or freeze for use later.

An interesting new dough that I came across and it’s great to learn new things again.