This classic French recipe for sweet shortcrust pastry dough, or, pâte sucrée, is perfect for tarts. Richer than a standard shortcrust pastry, it is sweet, buttery, and good to the last crumb.
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SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY RECIPE VIDEO
Here’s the video to watch how this sweet shortcrust pastry dough recipe is made. If you like what you see, I hope you’ll subscribe to my YouTube channel for regular episodes!
FOR THE BEST TARTS, MAKE A SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY DOUGH
The crust, next to the filling, is arguably the most important part of any tart or pie. A good filling can redeem a bad crust, but why have a sad crust in the first place? They’re not hard to make! Let me tell you, though, I’m a happy camper whenever I dig into a tart to discover a sweet shortcrust pastry crust. Pâte sucrée (what I call it at home) is practically a dessert in itself, tasting almost like a cookie. This makes for one decadent slice that most folks will gobble right up. So? What’s the secret behind it tasting so darn good?
WHAT’S IN SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY DOUGH?
Pâte brisée (a shortcrust pastry dough), is the plain counterpart to pâte sucrée. Made with butter, flour, salt and water, it makes for a flaky and flavourful crust. If you didn’t already know, butter is the secret behind making just about everything taste good. This is why it’s a key ingredient in this sweet shortcrust pastry dough, as well. Pâte sucrée also gets flour, but then everything else in the recipe gets a whole lot richer. For one, there’s icing sugar. Second, there are eggs and egg yolks for added richness. Lastly, there’s a bit of almond flour which can also be subbed out for ground hazelnuts. I told you it’s kind of like a cookie!
HOW DO I MAKE SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY DOUGH?
Normally I like mixing by hand, but today I’ll be showing you how to mix pie dough in a stand mixer. This is a convenient method if you’re pressed for time or don’t want to get as messy. The downside is you’ll have a couple more dishes. If you want to learn how to mix a pie dough by hand, you can check out my post on shortcrust pastry dough for the nitty gritty. What will it be?
WEIGH THE INGREDIENTS
If you’re used to measuring with cups, you’re not alone. I also measure with cups when I cook. When I bake though, I bust out my handy dandy kitchen scale. The scale is one of my favourite baking tools because it allows me to be precise. Unlike cooking, baking is like a science. It’s full of chemical reactions, so to get the perfect outcome, it’s important to weigh. Makes sense, right?
SANDING THE INGREDIENTS
After everything is weighed, the dry ingredients (the flour, icing sugar and almond flour) go into the mixing bowl. The butter, which should be cold and cubed, follows. Using the paddle attachment (the one that kind of looks like a leaf), start mixing everything together on low. The reason? If you begin with a higher speed, you’ll likely get dusted with flour. After 30-60 seconds, turn the speed up to medium until you have a sandy, pebbly mixture. Like this:
Next, add the egg. By the way, I apologize for this. It’s a super awkward measurement, as you will see. For one 12″ tart crust (which can also make a 9″ pie and three or four tartlets), you’ll need less than one whole egg and a wee bit less than two yolks. Yolks typically weigh in at 20 grams a piece, so if you add in the extra five grams (the recipe calls for 35), I won’t tell. A large egg, on the other hand, weighs around 50 grams. I’m going to ask you to use half an egg. Isn’t that ridiculous? You’ll need to beat the egg to do this successfully. If you save the whites from the yolks, you can make a little scramble the next day with that extra half egg! Or, you can make a double batch of dough and freeze it for a rainy day.
BRING IT ALL TOGETHER
Eggs in, turn the mixer on and bring it up to medium speed. After about 30 seconds, it will start coming together, resembling a crumble topping, texture-wise. Stop the mixer and test the dough by squeezing it in your hand. If it binds together, it’s done. Be careful not to over mix, as this will activate the gluten in the flour. We want a crumbly cookie crust, not a tough bird.
WRAP IT ALL UP
Next on the list: dust the work counter and scoop out the dough from the mixing bowl. Working quickly, press the dough together to form a ball. Flatten it out, shape it into a rough disc, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Transfer it to the fridge to chill for at least two hours before using.
CAN I FREEZE SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY DOUGH?
As previously mentioned, yes! When I freeze pie dough, I make sure to double up by placing my saran-wrapped disc into a ziplock bag to protect it from freezer burn. Make sure to label it so you know what it is and when you made it! No one likes freezer mysteries, do they?
HOW LONG CAN I FREEZE SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY DOUGH FOR?
I wouldn’t keep it any longer than six months, but I’m not one to waste. If it still looks good and doesn’t smell like freezer, I will use it as long as I know what it is! As a side note, freezer smell is high up on my list of least favourite odours.
WHAT CAN I MAKE WITH SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY DOUGH?
I mentioned at the very beginning that this recipe is ideal for tarts, but don’t close the door on pie either! Try it out with chocolate ganache tarts and lemon tarts. I used sweet shortcrust pastry making a lemon meringue pie the other day, and it was scrumptious. If you’re not using pâte brisée, it’s a beautiful option for fruit and vanilla custard tarts. If it’s autumn, make an apple tart, or a pumpkin pie to remember. What will you use yours for?
THANKS FOR DROPPING BY THE KITCHEN!
If you were in my actual kitchen, I would offer you a slice of pie. I guess in this case though, it would have to be a tart. I recently asked my followers on my Facebook page what their favourite pie was and I was pleased to see how diverse the answers were. No one offered the same answer twice, believe it or not! What’s yours? If you make this recipe for your own tart or pie project, I hope you’ll let me know how it goes. I love hearing from my readers and try to respond to each and every comment.
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SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY DOUGH INGREDIENTS
MAKES ONE CRUST
150g unsalted butter
250g all purpose flour
90g icing sugar
40g almond or hazelnut flour
35g egg yolk
SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY DOUGH INSTRUCTIONS
Add the dry ingredients and the butter to the stand mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment, mix it on low for 30-60 seconds.
Bring the mixer up to medium speed until you have a sandy, pebbly texture.
Add the egg and egg yolk. Mix on medium for another 30 seconds.
Test the dough by squeezing it your hand. If it comes together, it's ready.
Dust the work counter and turn out the dough. Quickly ball it together. Press it and shape it into a rough disc. Cover it in plastic wrap.
Chill for a minimum of two hours before using, or place it in a ziplock bag and freeze for up to six months.
PRINTABLE SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY DOUGH RECIPE CARD
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Dough (Pâte Brisée)
- 150 g unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 250 g all purpose flour sifted
- 90 g icing sugar sifted
- 40 g almond or hazelnut flour
- 25 g egg
- 35 g egg yolk
- Add the dry ingredients and the butter to the stand mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment, mix it on low for 30-60 seconds.
- Bring the mixer up to medium speed until you have a sandy, pebbly texture.
- Add the egg and egg yolk. Mix on medium for another 30 seconds.
- Test the dough by squeezing it your hand. If it comes together, it’s ready.
- Dust the work counter and turn out the dough. Quickly ball it together. Press it and shape it into a rough disc. Cover it in plastic wrap.
- Chill for a minimum of two hours before using, or place it in a ziplock bag and freeze for up to six months.
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Love and gratitude,