What Is Pâte Brisée?
Pâte brisée is a type of shortcrust pastry, similar to pâte sablée (the classic crust with a “sandy” texture used in delicate fruit tarts), and pâte sucrée (a sweetened dough with added structure from the addition of egg).
Pâte brisée has a higher ratio of butter to flour than the average pie crust and no added sugar, making it an ideal base for savory creations like quiche or vegetable tarts. Pâte brisée dough is made by combining sugar, flour, salt, and cubes of butter with ice-cold water.
4 Ways to Use Pâte Brisée
- Pies: As a pie dough, pâte brisée functions as a blank slate, taking its flavor cues from the filling. Use it with fruit pies like apple pie, or spiced, savory pies like pumpkin pie or mincemeat. The dough is also suited for hand-pies—just fold and crimp quickly, to avoid heating the dough too much with your hands.
- Quiche: Pâte brisée is the perfect base for a creamy baked egg dish like quiche: It has enough structure to stand up to wet ingredients and a crispy texture when baked to balance the soft, custardy filling.
- Tarts: Using pâte brisée as a tart crust allows a bit more leeway than delicate, crumbly sablée. It’s less likely to fall apart or burn and still allows for a neat, elegant finish.
- Galettes: Pâte brisée works great in freeform, open-faced pies like galettes, too: Use a filling with lots of jammy natural sugars, like stone fruit or berries, or go savory and pair it with wild mushrooms, spring onions, and aged Parmesan.
Pâte Brisée Recipe
Makes2 discs dough, enough for 2 9–inch pies
Prep Time10 min
Total Time2 hr 10 min
- 2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 sticks of chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1–inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ cup of ice water, plus more as needed
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and chilled butter. (If you don’t have a food processor, a mixing bowl and a pastry cutter will work just fine.) Using the pulse setting, process until the butter is reduced to small pieces and the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the cold water in a steady stream and pulse once or twice more to incorporate.
- Turn 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 keeping things as cold as possible by not overhandling it.)
- Separate into two halves and form into discs; seal tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. (You can also store one disc in the freezer for future use.)
- When ready to use, roll out the dough to a thickness of ½ inch with a rolling pin, and fit it into a pie or tart pan. Line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights for a quick blind bake before adding the filling.
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