Pate Brisee Hors d'oeuvre Cups

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ThePretentiousChef avatar
By Andy Anderson !
from Wichita, KS

Pate Brisee is pronounced paht bree-ZAY. It is a French short-crust pastry dough made from a mixture of flour, sugar, salt, butter, and ice water. It has a high ratio of fat to flour, which gives the pastry its crumbly texture and buttery flavor. It can be used in both sweet and savory pastries. This is one of the first pastries you'll make at Cordon Bleu, and can be used from pie crusts, to tarts, to Hors d'oeuvres. I've changed the recipe a bit, by adding a bit more fat, and freezing the butter. So, what do you say... let's make some Hors d'oeuvres.

serves 6
prep time 1 Hr
cook time 20 Min
method Bake


  •   1 1/2 c
    all-purpose flour
  •   1/2 tsp
    salt, table variety
  •   1/8 tsp
    granulated sugar
  •   6 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  •   3 Tbsp
    vegetable shortening
  •   1/4 c
    ice water

How To Make

  • 1
    Cube the butter, and shortening, and place in the freezer for a minimum of 1 hour.
  • 2
    Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor, fitted with an S-blade, and mix to combine.
  • 3
    Add the frozen butter, and shortening to the flour mixer, and pulse (1-second pulses), until the butter, shortening and flour are combined, but you can still see bits of butter in the flour.
  • 4
    Transfer the dough to a large (cold) mixing bowl, and add the ice water, just a bit at a time, until the dough comes together. It should be a slightly sticky dough. Chef's Note: I usually use a fork to do the mixing. If you use your hands, the heat from your body will begin to warm up the dough and the butter, and we want them as separate as possible.
  • 5
    Form the dough into a ball, cut in half, and wrap each half in cling wrap. Toss in the refrigerator and allow to rest for 2 or more hours.
  • 6
    Place rack in the middle position, and then preheat oven to 375f (190c).
  • 7
    After the allotted time, remove one of the dough balls, and roll out on a lightly-floured surface to about 1/8-inch thick.
  • 8
    Using a round cookie cutter, cut them into 2-inch circles, and form them into a mini-cupcake pan, or small tartlet cups.
  • 9
    Bake for ten minutes, remove from oven, and allow to cool. Chef's Note: If the tartlet cups loose their shape during the baking process, very gently use your fingers to reshape. You will need to do this before they cool.
  • 10
    Refrigerate for up to two weeks, or 3 months in the freezer.
  • 11
    During the Autumn season, I make these by the hundreds, and then put them in the freezer (tightly sealed), until needed.
  • 12
    These Pate Brisee cups are a blank canvas for anything you wish to place in them. I've made everything from bite-sized pecan pies, to cheesecakes, to mincemeat pies. One of my favorites, and that of my guests, is to dice up a bit of ham, and add some gruyere cheese, or how about crab meat, sautéed scallions, and gruyere. If you have a basic custard recipe, you could add a teaspoon of that to tie the whole thing together.
  • 13
    To reheat (for most fillings) preheat the oven to 375f (190c), place the Hors d'oeuvres with the filling on a baking tray in the middle position, and bake for about 12 minutes. Serve to your guests while still warm.
  • 14
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking...