Pâté Sucrée: French Sweet Pastry Crust

Pâté sucrée: sweet French pastry crust

 The Spruce

Prep: 18 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Chilling time: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 38 mins
Servings: 10 to 14 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
185 Calories
15g Fat
12g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 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.)

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 chilling time for the dough; the dough may be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, or frozen for up to two 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.

Ingredients

  • 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.

    Flour, sugar, butter, water, salt, and egg yolks on a table
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  2. In a bowl, blend 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 on pulse mode 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
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  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.

    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
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  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