Pâte Sucrée (a classic French sweet pastry) a rich buttery, sweet, delicate pastry, that melts in the mouth.
The French certainly know how to make their pastry, this pastry is so versatile you can use it to make so many different things:
Tarts and Tartlets – which you can use with a variety of fillings chilled and baked.
Lemon, chocolate, whipped cream, custard, pastry cream and top with fresh fruit. You can always melt some chocolate to spread on the base first, then the cream fillings won’t make your pastry soggy. You can also fill it with frangipane and make a Bakewell tart.
Sablés and Shortbread Cookies – which are tender and buttery.
You can leave the cookies plain, as they are delicious and buttery on their own.
Flavour with different nuts, lemon or orange zest or cocoa powder.
Sandwich them together with jams or lemon curd, caramel, Nutella, or ganache.
Tips when making Pâté Sucrée
- Plan ahead, as it is best to chill the dough. I chilled mine over night.
- Make sure your butter is chilled.
- Don’t overwork the pastry, as you will end up with a tough crust.
- Chilling the dough twice, refrigerate after the dough is formed, then when rolled out and lined in the tin.
- Prick the pastry with a fork before blind baking and filling with parchment and baking beans or dried rice.
The recipe below I have adapted it from Edd Kimber’s book Patisserie Made Simple. Using pastry flour makes the finished pastry more tender, but you can use plain flour if that is what you have on hand.
I have also used half ground almonds and half ground pistachios, but you can always use all ground almonds it depends on how you want to flavour your tart.
You can always flavour you pastry with lemon zest, hazelnuts or cocoa powder
Pâte Sucreé (Sweet Pastry) – with Pistachio
Adapted from Edd Kimber – Patisserie Made Simple
400g Pastry Flour or Plain Flour
20g Almonds, ground (or Ground Almonds)
20g Pistachio, ground
80g Icing Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean, seeds scraped out or Vanilla Bean Paste
250g Butter, chilled and cubed
2 Large Egg Yolks
1 tbsp Cold Water
To make the Pâte Sucreé
- Cut your vanilla pod down lengthwise and scrape out the seeds, then put in a food processor along with the almonds, pistachios and icing sugar, pulsing them until they are ground and fine.
- In a large bowl put the flour and your ground nut sugar mixture and chilled butter in pieces. Using your finger rub together until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
- Add the whisked egg yolks and tablespoon of water and add to the mix using a round bladed knife until the dough just starts to clump together. Do not over-mix the dough as you will end up with a tough pastry.
- Tip the pastry out on to a lightly floured work surface and use your hands to bring it together, then gently knead until you have a smooth uniform pastry dough.
- Divide your pastry in two and press it into a rectangle or round depending on your tin and wrap in clingfilm and chill it in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
I made my pastry in advance and left mine in the fridge. You can also freezer your pastry, defrost overnight in the fridge.
Blind Bake your Pâte Sucreé
- Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4. Take your pastry from the fridge and lightly flour your work surface and roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick – checking that it will fit the size of your tart tin.
- When lining your tin with pastry make sure that to lift up the pastry that over hangs when pressing it in so that you don’t stretch or tear the pastry – which will cause shrinkage when baking.
- Trim off the excess pastry, using your rolling pin, then lightly press the edges of your pastry case again, so that the edges are not to thick. Chill your tart shell in the fridge until it has firmed up.
- Lightly prick the surface of your pastry with a fork, then line it with a crumpled piece of baking parchment and fill with either dried rice or baking beans.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, then remove the parchment and rice / baking beans and bake in the oven again for 5 -10 minutes, just until your tart is a light golden colour. Then set a side to cool.
You now have blind baked your tart and you can fill with what ever you desire, the options are endless.
Have fun baking!