Pâté Sucrée: French Sweet Pastry Crust

Pâté sucrée: sweet French pastry crust

 The Spruce

Prep: 18 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Chill Time: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 38 mins
Servings: 10 to 14 servings
Yields: 2 crusts
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
256 Calories
14g Fat
28g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 14
Amount per serving
Calories 256
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 164mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 14mg 1%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 44mg 1%
*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.)

Pâté sucrée 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 crème pâtissière 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 two or more hours of chilling time for the dough.

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.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (340 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1 cup (220 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into bits

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 1 to 4 tablespoons ice water, as needed

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Flour, sugar, butter, water, salt, and egg yolks on a table
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  2. In a bowl, blend together the flour, sugar, and salt.

    Dry mixture of flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl with a wooden spoon
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  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.)

    Butter is cut into the dry mixture with a fork
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  4. Add the egg yolks and continue blending with the pastry cutter (or pulse in the processor) until the eggs are evenly incorporated and the mixture resembles a fine meal.

    Adding egg yolks to crust mixture
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  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.)

    Adding ice water to dough mixture
     The Spruce
  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.

    Dough discs wrapped in plastic
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  7. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and allow to rest at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.

    Chilled dough resting in plastic wrap with rolling pin
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  8. Remove the plastic wrap and, 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.

    Dough rolled into thin, flat circle on lightly floured surface
     The Spruce
  9. Lay the dough in the tart pan and press it firmly against the sides and bottom without stretching it.

    Dough draped over tart pan
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  10. Trim off any excess dough.

    Dough in tart pan with excess trimmed
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  11. Cover and chill the dough in the pan for at least 30 minutes before filling and baking.

    Dough in tart pan covered in plastic wrap for refrigeration
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  12. 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.

    Fork pricking holes in base of tart crust
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  13. Remove the foil, and continue baking until barely colored for a partially baked shell or golden brown for a fully baked shell.

    Browned tart crust in tart pan on table
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  14. Use in your favorite tart recipe and enjoy!

    Prepared tart crust on table
     The Spruce

How to Store and Freeze

  • The dough may be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before use, so feel free to make it ahead of time.
  • You can also freeze the dough for up to two months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before using.

What Does Pâté Sucrée Mean?

Pâté sucrée means "sweet dough" in French. It is a classic crust used for pies and tarts with a crisp, light texture and a cookie crumb. It's often used for fruit tarts, pies with creamy fillings, and other sweet dishes.

What Is the Difference Between Pâté Sablée and Pâté Sucrée?

There are three basic French pastry crusts, brisée, sucrée, and sablée. Brisée is a basic, unsweetened crust, while pâté sucrée is tender, sweetened crust with a cookie crumb. Pâté sablée is also a sweetened, rich pastry dough, but it is sandy in texture, similar to shortbread. While brisée and sucrée are usually rolled out and laid into tart and pie pans, pâté sablée is usually pressed into the pan.