Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Pastry)

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Do you love French pastries?  

I can never resist the beautiful display of tarts and confections at my favorite bakeries and I love recreating them at home.  The base for many of these wonderful treats is pâte sucrée, and you can make it at home with five simple ingredients.

Pâte sucrée, or sweet pastry, is one of my foundation recipes.  It’s a go-to pastry for most of my tarts because it has a subtle sweet flavor and sturdy texture, yet it is delicate enough to slice through with a fork.  Once mastered, it has so many uses.  From individual tart shells filled with fresh fruit, pastry cream, and topped with Italian meringue

pâte sucrée oval tart

to a perfect fluted crust filled with lemon curd, delicious blueberries and topped with macarons.

pâte sucrée blueberry tart

With this recipe, you can bring the French bakery to your kitchen!

What you’ll need:

pâte sucrée ingredients

Butter

Unsalted, room temperature butter.  Unlike a typical pie or biscuit dough where the butter is cut into the flour, this recipe starts by creaming the butter and sugar together.  This process incorporates air into the butter, creating a mixture that is lighter and more easily combined with the flour.

Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar is used because it quickly dissolves into the butter.

Egg yolks

The egg yolks bind the ingredients together and help give structure to the dough.

Salt

My go to when baking is Mortons Coarse Kosher Salt

Flour

All purpose flour works well here.  If you have pastry flour, feel free to swap!

How to make the pastry:

Step 1 – Making the dough

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter to soften.  Add the powdered sugar and mix on high for 3-5 minutes.  The mixture will become much lighter and turn pale yellow.

pâte-sucrée-mixer

Add the egg yolks and mix on low to incorporate.

pâte sucrée mixer egg yolks

Scrape down the bowl before adding the salt and flour.  Mix on medium speed and stop as soon as the flour has been absorbed.

Pro Tip:

The mixture will change from white to yellow- that is the exact time to stop!

pâte sucrée mixer dough

The dough will look really crumbly, but if you pinch a piece it will hold together.

Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and gently knead it several times to bring the dough together.

pâte sucrée dough

With a bench scraper, divide the dough in two.  Flatten and wrap each piece in plastic wrap.

pâte sucrée dough 2

Chill for at least one hour before rolling out.  At this stage, the dough can be stored in the refrigerated for two weeks or frozen for two months.

Step 2 – Baking the pastry

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325º F.  Take one package of dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to warm up slightly.  Flour a work surface and roll out the dough to 1/8″ thick, turning the dough often to prevent it from sticking.  In these next steps, I’m using my favorite tart forms.  These perforated metal rings come in many shapes and sizes.  The process is a little more complicated than a standard pie or tart pan, but the finished pastry looks very professional.  If you are using a standard tart pan, gently place the rolled-out dough into the pan and press to form the shape.

This is how I make a rectangular tart shell.  Press the tart ring into the dough like a cookie cutter to form the bottom.  Cut out long strips of dough to use as the sides.

pâte sucrée dough tart

Line the walls of the tart, pressing the dough onto the sides and bottom to join together.  Trim the excess with a sharp knife, using the metal edge as a guide.  Place on a sheet tray lined with a perforated baking mat or parchment paper and chill for 30 minutes before baking.  The butter in the dough will have softened, so if it goes into the oven now the final shape will not be quite as sharp.

pâte sucrée tarts lined

After the tarts have chilled for 30 minutes, pull the tray from the refrigerator and place onto the middle rack of the pre-heated oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to turn golden.  Allow the tarts to cool on the tray completely before removing the rings- the dough will still be slightly soft when it comes out of the oven, but it will crisp and dry as it cools.

pâte sucrée tarts baked


Pro Tip:

These are the tools that I use to help make perfect pastry (click on the images for links to purchase).

Rolling pin with adjustable rings, so you can roll out dough to exactly the right thickness

6 wheel pastry cutter– this is awesome for cutting long strips of dough, or any time you need perfectly even cuts!Perforated pastry rings– these are great for pastry because the dough is secured into the perforated holes, so it isn’t necessary to line the inside with pie weights!  I get much more consistent and professional looking results with these rings.

Silpat bread– this nonstick mat is perforated, so the tarts bake much more evenly on the bottom and the finished product has a texture like a professionally baked pastry!

 

 

Step 3 – Filling the pastry

Now you get to be creative!  Fill the tart shells however you like.  My favorite is simple- lemon curd topped with Italian meringue.  The possibilities are endless!

pâte sucrée lemon tart

pâte sucrée recipe

Pâte Sucrée

This is the perfect sweet pastry for tarts and crusts. This makes enough for (2) 8 inch tarts or (8) 2 inch tarts.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: pastry
Makes: 2 rounds of pastry
Author: Corey Grimsley

Equipment

  • stand mixer
  • tart rings

Ingredients

  • 227 grams butter unsalted, room temperature
  • 100 grams powdered sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp salt I use Mortons Coarse Kosher
  • 325 grams all-purpose flour

Instructions

Making the Pastry Dough

  • In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter to soften.  Add the powdered sugar and mix on high for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the egg yolks and mix on low to incorporate.
  • Scrape down the bowl before adding the salt and flour.  Mix on medium speed and stop as soon as the flour has been absorbed.
  • Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and gently knead it several times to bring the dough together.
  • With a bench scraper, divide the dough in two.  Flatten and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.

Baking the Pastry

  • Pre-heat the oven to 325º F.
  • Take one of the doughs out of the refrigerator and allow to warm up slightly.  Flour a work surface and roll out the dough to 1/8″ thick, turning the dough often to prevent it from sticking.  Press the tart rings into the dough like cookie cutters to form the bottoms.  Cut out long strips of dough to use for the sides. Line the walls of the tart, pressing the dough onto the sides and bottom to join together. Trim the excess with a sharp knife, using the metal edge as a guide
  • Place on a sheet tray lined with a perforated baking mat or parchment paper and chill for 30 minutes before baking.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to turn golden.
  • Allow the tarts to cool on the tray completely before removing the rings- the dough will still be slightly soft, but it will crisp and dry as it cools.
Did you try this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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About me

Corey Grimsley

I’m an artist and art restorer who spends an equal amount of time in the kitchen. Follow along as I put an artisanal touch on all of my bakes!

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