Tuesday, February 2, 2010


This French pastry is ideal for tarts and quiches. It freezes beautifully, so when preparing the dough, make extra and freeze single recipes in zip-lock bags to have on hand. Set out dough to thaw and roll when cold but not frozen. This recipe is a more generous portion than our normal pie dough, which allows for fitting into a 10 or 11 inch tart pan. It can also be used to make small tartlet shells, approximately 6 shells.

Pate Brisee

1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
pinch of sugar
5 1/2 tablespoon (2/3 stick) chilled unsalted butter
3 tablespoons chilled shortening
1/4 cup ice water

Sift the flour, salt and sugar together into a bowl. Add butter and shortening and cut them into dry ingredients with a pastry blender.*

Blend in enough water to make a workable dough. Turn dough onto floured surface, work dough by smearing away from you several times, scrape into a ball put in plastic bag and refrigerate for 2 hours or longer.*

Place chilled dough on floured board or between two sheets of waxed paper. Pound dough several times with a rolling pin to soften. Roll out 1/8 inch thick or desired thickness.
Put dough carefully over pan, pat into bottom and sides, trim off excess and crimp edge. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven 400 degrees. Remove chilled dough and line with foil and fill with beans or rice to weight the crust. Bake 10 minutes, until dough is set and beginning to color. This crust is ready for a quiche or tart. For a completely baked crust (like a fresh fruit tart), bake 10 minutes, remove foil and beans and continue to bake until golden brown and crispy flaky, about 25 minutes. Cook before filling.
*I use a food processor and skip the shifting, cutting in butter and shortening and smearing dough. I think this is a good and fast way to make all pastry dough, just be sure and not over process, just until the dough forms a bowl in the machine.

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