Pâté Sucrée: French Sweet Pastry Crust

A plate with pate crust
Jonelle Weaver/Photodisc/Getty Images
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Chilling time: 2 mins
  • Yield: 2 tart crusts (serves 10 to 14)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
185 Calories
15g Fat
12g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 tart crusts (serves 10 to 14)
Amount per serving
Calories 185
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 65mg 22%
Sodium 114mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 2g
Calcium 23mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pate sucree is a sweet, crumbly French pastry that is used to make classic French dessert tarts such as a fruit tart which often includes a layer of creme patissiere, or pastry cream. One of the tricks to making a perfect crust is chilling it twice—after you form the dough into a disc, and then again once the dough is in the tart pan. Allow 2 or more hours chilling time for the dough; the dough may be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, or frozen for up to 2 months.

This recipe makes enough dough for two 9-inch or 10-inch tart shells. If you don't need both crusts, you can bake the extra shell and freeze it, or fit the extra dough into a tart pan and freeze the unbaked dough.


  • 3 cups/340 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup/100 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup/220 grams unsalted butter (cold, cut into bits)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 to 4 tablespoons water (with ice, as needed)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a bowl, blend the flour, sugar, and salt.

  3. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with bits of butter no larger than peas. (Alternatively, you can process the mixture on pulse mode in a food processor.)

  4. Add the egg yolks, and continue blending with the pastry cutter (or on pulse mode in the processor) until the eggs are evenly incorporated and the mixture resembles a fine meal.

  5. Stir in the ice water with a fork, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is just moistened enough to gather and mold into a smooth ball. (Or, with the food processor running, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time just until the mixture forms a dough.)

  6. Divide the dough in half and flatten each portion into a smooth disc. Wrap with plastic, and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight if you prefer. The dough may also be frozen for up to 2 months.

  7. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge, and allow to rest at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.

  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to fit in the tart pan. Lift and turn the dough as you work, keeping the work surface dusted with flour to prevent sticking.

  9. Lay the dough in the tart pan and press it firmly against the sides and bottom without stretching it. Trim off any excess dough. Cover and chill the dough in the pan for at least 30 minutes before filling and baking.

  10. To pre-bake the empty tart shell, prick the dough all over with a fork. Cover lightly with foil and bake at 375 F (190 C) for 15 minutes.

  11. Remove the foil, and continue baking until barely colored for a partially baked shell, or golden brown for a fully baked shell.

  12. Use in your favorite tart recipe and enjoy!