What Is Pâte Brisée?

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Pâte brisée is French for short cut pastry or pie crust. It is similar to pâte sablée, the classic dough used in French fruit tarts and pâte sucrée, with added structure of eggs and sweetner.

What Is Pâte Brisée

Pâte brisée is made from equal parts fat (butter, lard, margarine or shortening) and flour, which is worked together and then seasoned with a touch of salt and sugar and some cold (very important to use cold) water to hold it all together. It is not a sweet dough per se, and thus works great with more savory dishes such as quiche, pot pies or vegetable tarts.  

A pâte brisée has a fragile, crumbly texture and does not rise when baked. When learning how to make this dough, it is important not to over mix it or it will become too stiff and tough. Instead, the outcome when mixed just enough, should be nice and flaky. It is the pastry of choice for quiche and tarts and can be used for both savory and sweet dishes. The pastry can also be made with or without a small quantity of sugar, just enough to taste. 

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What is Pâte Sablée?
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Pâte Brisée

Prep Time10 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Cuisine: French
Servings: 2 9in pie crusts

Equipment

  • hand mixer
  • Rolling Pin

Ingredients

  • cups flour
  • cups chilled shortening
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup ice cold water

Instructions

  • Combine flour, salt, and chilled butter in a food processor, mixer or with a pastry cutter. Process mixture until the butter is reduced to small pieces and the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the cold water and mix again to incorporate.
  • Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times, just until it begins to come together. The key to this dough is not adding too much flour, overworking it and keeping the mixture as cold as possible by not overhandling it.
  • Separate the dough into 2 equal parts, wrap with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours.
  • When ready to use, roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and fit to a pie pan or pastry tart pan. Blind bake before adding the filling.

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