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What Is Pâte Sucrée?
Pâte sucrée (French for “sugary dough”) is a type of French pastry dough made with egg yolks, butter, flour, and sugar. The flaky shortcrust pastry is typically used as a pie crust for fruit tarts and other sweet desserts. Pâte sucrée is traditionally made by hand or directly on a work surface, but you can also use a food processor or stand mixer to bring the dough together. The dough is then blind baked in a tart pan with a removable bottom until golden brown, crispy.
How to Use Pâte Sucrée
The most common way to use pâte sucrée is to make tart shells by pressing the dough into tart pans and blind baking (baking with pie weights or dried beans instead of a filling). If you blind bake the tart dough, you can then fill it with ingredients that don’t require baking: pastry cream or custard for a French fruit tart, or chocolate ganache, caramel sauce, and flaky sea salt for added decadence.
What Is the Difference Between Pâte Sucrée and Pâte Sablée?
Pâte sucrée and pâte sablée share similar ingredients and are both used as tart shells in French baking, but there are a couple of notable differences between the two shortcut pastries.
- Pâte sablée is harder to work with. To make pâte sablée dough, bakers cream together butter and powdered sugar before adding eggs and dry ingredients, much like cookie dough. The shortcut pastry dough is known for its delicate, shortbread crumble. Almond flour is typically added to pâte sablée to create a finer, crumbly texture. This texture makes the dough more difficult to work with than its pâte sucrée counterpart.
- Pâte sucrée is sweeter. To make pâte sucrée, bakers cream together butter, granulated sugar, and eggs before incorporating dry ingredients. The recipe for pâte sucrée contains more sugar than pâte sablée and does not feature almond flour.
Classic Pâte Sucrée Recipe
MakesOne 10-inch tart shell
Prep Time15 min
Total Time45 min
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and chilled
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Sift the flour onto a clean work surface and make a well in the center of the flour pile. Add the butter, sugar, egg yolks, and salt to the center of the well and use your fingertips to mix, gradually incorporating the flour into the wet ingredients.
- Use a bench scraper to incorporate any flour remaining on the work surface and cut the dough with the bench scraper until it forms a coarse meal. Use your hands to press the dough into a ball, adding a little more flour if it is too wet to form a ball.
- Knead the dough until smooth, then form into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Flatten into a disc and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to three days.
- To use the dough, remove from the refrigerator and lightly flour a work surface. Knead the dough until smooth and workable, about 2 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and roll out with a floured rolling pin.
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