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sweet essentials: pâte sucrée (french pastry)

Recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

If you like quiches and tarts then there are only two French pastry recipes you need to master… Pâte Brisée (savory) and Pâte Sucrée (sweet). You get these two down, and there is nothing that you cannot do… you are invincible. There are several ways to make this sweet pastry dough; however, this is the one I learned at Le Cordon Bleu, and it is the one that I still use. What you choose to fill and decorate this tart shell with is only limited by your brilliant imagination. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

yield serving(s)
prep time 1 Hr
cook time 20 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For sweet essentials: pâte sucrée (french pastry)

  • 10 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted, cubed
  • 2 c
    flour, all-purpose variety
  • 1/2 c
    confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 c
    almonds, finely ground
  • 1 tsp
    salt, kosher variety
  • 1/2 tsp
    vanilla paste
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp
    ice water
  • 1 lg

How To Make sweet essentials: pâte sucrée (french pastry)

  • 1
  • 2
    To successfully make this recipe, all the ingredients need to be kept cold. One trick that I use is to put the flour in the freezer for an hour or so. In addition, the bowl you are going to use, and the tart pan, should be in the freezer until needed.
  • 3
    To bake, I am using a tart pan with a removable bottom, 9-inches (23cm) in diameter.
  • 4
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 5
    Cube the butter, and then put into the refrigerator to keep cool until needed.
  • 6
    Whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla paste and ice water, then place into the refrigerator, until needed.
  • 7
    Add the cold flour, almonds, salt, and sugar together in a food processor fitted with an S-blade, and pulse a few times to combine.
  • 8
    Toss in the cold butter cubes.
  • 9
    Give the mixture a few 1-second pulses until the butter is broken up into pea-sized bits, about 6 – 7 pluses.
  • 10
    Add the mixture to a bowl… preferably a cold bowl.
  • 11
    Add a tablespoon of the egg/ice water mixture, and lightly toss with a fork.
  • 12
    Continue to add the liquid, one tablespoon at a time, until you can pinch a bit of the dough, and it holds together.
  • 13
    Chef’s Note: It will be a bit shaggy, but that is what you want.
  • 14
    Toss out onto a lightly-floured surface.
  • 15
    Using the heel of your hand, knead the dough a few times, to get the butter incorporated into the flour. About six or seven times. Then bring it together into a shaggy ball
  • 16
    Flatten it out, wrap in some cling foil, and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • 17
    Remove from the fridge, and place it on a piece of lightly-floured parchment paper.
  • 18
    Add a bit of flour to the top of the dough, place another piece of parchment paper on top, and roll out.
  • 19
    The dough should be bigger in diameter than your tart pan.
  • 20
    Carefully remove from the parchment, and place into the tart pan. Gently tuck it into the sides, and press into the fluted edges of the pan.
  • 21
    Chef’s Tip: To cut off the excess dough, just use your rolling pin, and run it over the top of the tart pan. Make a perfect cut every time.
  • 22
    Cover with cling foil and place in the freezer for fifteen minutes.
  • 23
    Chef’s Note: Keep an eye on the time. Do not freeze for more than twenty minutes. We want it firm, not frozen.
  • 24
    While the dough is cooling, place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 375f (190c).
  • 25
    Remove dough from the freezer, and dock the bottom crust with a fork. This helps to release steam, and prevents bubbles forming in the crust.
  • 26
    Place a piece of parchment paper, or foil in the tart, and fill with dry beans, rice, or ceramic pie weights.
  • 27
    Place on a baking sheet, and blind bake in the preheated oven. Bake until the crust is cooked and beginning to brown, about 20 – 25 minutes.
  • 28
    Remove from the oven, and let rest for 15 – 20 minutes, before using.
  • 29
    Chef’s Note: The crust can be made a day ahead, and kept, wrapped, in the refrigerator until needed.
  • 30
    Chef’s Tip: The crust is very fragile, so take care. The last thing that you want is for it to break.
  • 31
  • So yummy
    Pull out your favorite sweet tart recipe, and go for it. Enjoy.
  • Stud Muffin
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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