Pâte Sucrée

A classic French sweet pastry, great for all varieties of tarts.

Makes enough to line three tart shells.  I use the steel ones with the removable bottom.

Combine in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment:

  • 3 2/3 cup white pastry flour or All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Add and mix until mostly combined (some pebble-sized pieces are acceptable):

  • 3/4 # (3 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Whisk together:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3-4 T heavy cream 

Add egg/cream to the butter/flour, mixing slowly until the mixture JUST comes together.

Pat into a circle and wrap well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before sheeting.

SHEETING  - aka ROLLING and LINING A TART SHELL

First, remove sucree from fridge and spray a 9-inch tart shell with nonstick baking spray. 

Break of pieces of the pastry and soften up in your hands. Working with half the amount prepared above, gently knead several times until it becomes more smooth. Quit kneading as soon as this change takes place. You don't want to overwork the dough.

Dust work surface and top of pastry with flour and begin to rolll out with a rolling pin. Flip it and move it regularly to ensure it's not sticking, using more flour as necessary while taking care not to use too much. Roll to an even thickness of about 3mm and gently transfer to tart shell. I usually double up the thickness of pastry on the sides for reinforcement. Do this by rolling the excess over or under the bottom layer of pastry and gently pressing it into itself. Use your thumbs to gently press the pastry into the fluted sides and corner of the tart shell. Allow the pastry to stand a 2mm or so higher than the tart shell (it will shrink back while baking).

Retire the lined shell to the fridge or freezer to rest for at least 30 minutes before baking.

BAKING

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place a large piece of parchment paper over tart shell. Fill with pie weights, dry rice or beans and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Carefully remove the weights and parchment and prick the bottom of the shell all over with a fork. Return the shell to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes or so until lightly golden.