International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Pâte Brisée

Pate brisee in a tart pan

(French pastry crust for savory tarts and pies)

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Pâte brisée is a basic, all-purpose pastry dough used to make tender crusts for tarts, galettes and small hors d'oeuvre.

All the ingredients should be well chilled for best results. Ingredients that are too warm will tend to make a tough crust. Wrapped tightly, this dough freezes well. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Makes enough dough for one 8 to 10-inch tart pan

  • Flour, chilled -- 1 1/4 cups
  • Unsalted butter, cubed and chilled -- 4 tablespoons
  • Shortening -- 2 tablespoons
  • Salt -- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cold water -- 2 to 4 tablespoons

Method

  1. By Hand: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, butter, shortening and salt quickly with your hands, breaking up the pieces of butter with your fingers, until it takes on an oatmeal-like texture.
  2. Stir in the cold water a little at a time until the mass comes together. Continue with Step 3 below.
  1. By Food Processor: Add the flour, butter, shortening and salt to the processor bowl and pulse until it forms a mixture with a breadcrumb-like texture.
  2. Pulse in the cold water a little at a time until the mass comes together. Continue with Step 3 below.
  1. Remove the dough to a floured work surface and press a portion at a time away from you with your palm to finish working the butter into the dough. Form into a disc with your hands, wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.
  2. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to desired shape and thickness. Fold in quarters and unfold into the desired pan or tin. Chill for another hour or so to firm up the pastry and allow it to rest. Bake as indicated in the specific recipe.

Pâte Brisée Variations

  • An all-butter crust can be somewhat brittle. A mixture of 4 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of shortening will produce a tender, firm crust with a fine buttery flavor.

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