June 18th, 2007

Pâte Sucrée (sweet pastry dough) recipe

Coco&Me - picture from the stall

(The other week, a photographer called Gideon came by my stall to take some pictures for a picture library. What was really nice was that he has sent me the pictures, like he promised to! – So refreshing, coz I’ve had so many photographers promising to send me a print, but then never do so… – Here’s one that I especially liked!)

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This week, it’s about the tart dough I make every week.
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Like all the recipes on my blog, it’s tried & tested – I can confidently say that it works & it’s the best. It’s actually tasty & flavourful, you can happily eat it on its own, – not like a bland tart casing that gets forked to the side of the plate with dissapointment.
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(O.M.G, I’ve come across sooo many unappetizing tart cases in cafes & restaurants, you wonder why you’ve bothered paying your hard-earned money for such a boring tart!

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And has anyone noticed that many of these establishments are now using ‘ready-made’ empty tartelette shells they buy in bulk from the catering wholesalers? When I was in Bond Street a couple of weeks ago, I had the time to wonder in to a reputable department store there, & as I do, I check their basement cafe, hoping for quality inspiration, & was bitterly dissapointed that the fruit tarts they had on display were using the ‘ready-made tart shells’! With a more than worthy price tag nevertheless! The cheek! £3.75 for a factory made, poorly made, puny fruit tart anyone?

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It reminds me a bit of that chef off the telly who keeps using ready-made sponge flan bases from the supermarket in his desserts – honestly, why use inferior products with additives & god knows what else in it, & spoil the taste of the dessert you’ve been slaving on?? It really angers me when I see such products advocated. I think the guy is missing the point of “fine pastry making”…)

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Pâte Sucrée:

Pronounced “paht sou-kray”, the texture of pâte sucrée is crisp & crumbly like cookies such as shortbread. The taste is buttery rich, but not overly sweet like what the name suggests. It can be used to make sweet tarts & as a thin sheet under mousse. The left over can become delicious cookies that children would love cutting shapes from. Pâte sucrée is known as a ‘short’ dough, because of its high fat content to flour.

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Please note, my recipe is a little different compared to the classic Pâte Sucrée recipes around, as it uses some almond powder in it. I think that’s what makes this pastry dough especially flavourful!

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Pâte Sucrée Recipe:

(To make enough dough for a 8 inch/ 20cm tart)

Ingredients:

Unsalted butter at room temperature … 55 grams
Castor sugar … 32 grams
Eggs … 20 grams
Almond powder … 15 grams
Plain flour … 100 grams

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  • 1. Place the room teperature butter in a deep mixing bowl (so that it doesn’t spit everywhere when you’re whisking).
  • 2. Cream the butter using a whisk or an electric mixer, beat it till it is ‘creamy’ soft, smooth & light from incorporating the air.
  • 3. Mix in the sugar.
  • 4. Add the eggs bit by bit & whisk it all in.
  • 5. Then mix in the almond powder.
  • 6. Next, in goes the flour. Using a spatula, mix it all in by pushing it against the bowl. Or do what I do, which is to wear food gloves & get in there with your hands. It’s so much quicker to do it like that when you have a large quantity like I do.
  • 7. Pat it in to one big mound, & clingfilm it tight.
  • 8. Refrigerate overnight.
  • 9. When time has come for you to roll it, first prepare a lightly floured clean surface (I use a lightly floured silpat).
  • 10. Get your chunk of chilled pastry dough in the middle.
  • 11. Lightly flour the rolling pin & roll firmly in one direction only, then turn it 90 degrees and roll again. Repeat until desired thickness. Never ‘stretch’ it by hand as this would cause the tart to shrink in the oven!
  • 12. Once the pastry circle is larger than the size of the tin, roll the sheet of pastry around your rolling pin & lift it up.
  • 13. Gently lower it on to your tin. Unroll.
  • 14. Using your fingertips, take the edge of the pastry & ease it in to the sides.
  • 15. Roll the rolling pin across the top to cut the excess pastry off.
  • 16. Put the tin in the refrigerator to rest for atleast 30 minutes before baking.

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Top Tips:

  • Do not over mix. It produces gluten & make the dough tougher.
  • Try to work quickly, minimizing the amount you’re handling it.
  • Work in a cool room. You don’t want the butter to melt in the dough.
  • I wear food gloves. Not only is it hygienic, my warm hands won’t be in contact with the dough.
  • Pick the surface with fork if you’re blind baking.
  • Be absolutely precise with the measurements. if not, you’d either end up with sticky wet dough, or a crumbly dry dough! I always use a digital scale.
  • If the dough becomes too soft while you are rolling, re-chill for a while until it’s manageable again. Adding more flour to it to make it firm is a definate no-no. It’ll unbalance the carefully considered measurements.
  • And remember, prepare in advance! You need to rest the dough in the fridge for a whole night to let the gluten relax. It’s to make the dough workable & to prevent shrinkage. And when you’ve rolled it on to a tart tin, you need to put the tins back in the fridge for 30 minutes atleast – again to prevent shrinkage.

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20 Comments »

  1. Sounds delicious.Gourmet coffee at http://www.coffeebreakusa.com

    Comment by carolina - June 20, 2007 6:28 am

  2. Thanks for the recipe. I made this last night and waiting to bake this today. Will let you know the result :)

    Comment by Alice - June 20, 2007 6:37 am

  3. Thank you Carolina.
    And Alice, yup please let me know how it turned out! I’m v.v.curious ;-)

    Comment by tamami - June 20, 2007 9:00 am

  4. Looks rather yummy! Now I need a tart pan. I got peaches. I think a peaches and blackberry tart.

    Comment by Jerry - June 20, 2007 2:49 pm

  5. Hey jerry, thanks for coming by my blog. Peaches & blackberry combo sounds luscious! Wow!

    Comment by tamami - June 20, 2007 7:06 pm

  6. Hi Tatami,

    I finally finished my ‘project” last night. The outcome was good. But I think I need your advice ,

    1. My dough get very sticky. It sticked to my floured slipat and rolling pin. at the end, I press the dough to the mould and let it rest in the fridge for 30 min.

    2. I baked my pastry for 20 min at 170C.

    I will make this again this Sat :)

    Cheers,
    Alice

    Comment by Alice - June 22, 2007 12:52 am

  7. Hello,

    Just one small question.. what oven temperature and what cooking times for baking blind or baking with a fruit filling?

    Comment by Sass - June 22, 2007 1:12 pm

  8. Hello Alice,
    Sticky dough = I think there could have been several reasons that I can think of, so here’s some questions to you to narrow the reason down:
    1. Did you rest it in the fridge overnight?
    2. Did you measure the ingredients precisely?
    3. Did you roll the dough straight after getting it out of the fridge?
    4. Is your kitchen hot?
    - The dough really should not be sticky if worked in the right conditions. Good luck this Saturday with the baking! Doing it again and again is what makes perfect!
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    And hi there Sass!
    For baking blind – I bake at 180 degrees, for 10 minutes. Don’t forget the parchment & baking beans to weigh it down! (I’ll try to write more about how to blind-bake one day on this blog)
    And for baking with filling – it really depends what you are filling with so I can’t say exact numbers I’m afraid!!

    Comment by tamami - June 22, 2007 2:02 pm

  9. Hi Tatami,

    I rolled the dough on the next day, however I didnt roll it immediately taken out from the fridge. Perhaps I shouldn’t wait for 10 minutes before I roll it. :) My room temperaure over here is around 30 degrees, all year round.

    Cheers,
    Alice

    Comment by Alice - June 24, 2007 3:33 pm

  10. Ah, I see! ;-) Wow, 30 degrees all yr round?! Not bad!

    Comment by tamami - June 24, 2007 8:06 pm

  11. I’m not much of a baker, but pate sucree is one of the few doughs I actually know how to make! I’ve never filled them with anything as beautiful as your tarts, though. Wish I lived in London so I could visit your stall at the market.

    Comment by Lydia - June 26, 2007 8:36 pm

  12. Thanks Lydia! Can I just say, I’m so happy I found your blog – in a sea of so-so food blogs out in the blogoshere, I think yours is interesting & informative, I’ve learnt a few foodie facts from your site!

    Comment by tamami - June 26, 2007 8:42 pm

  13. Hi!! Tamami, Im new in all this but your tarts are so cute^^! i really hope to go to london one day and have a chance to eat your delicious recipes. Thanx for sharing a little piece of your world :D
    sending hugs from Mexico

    ross (@_@)

    Comment by rosa - May 26, 2009 3:56 am

  14. Thank you Rosa!!! ^^

    Comment by tamami - May 26, 2009 12:37 pm

  15. brilliant site – love your style and openness, so can only wish you all the best, always!

    Having lived in France now for 8 years with my French wife, I can say that sucré is not pronounced quite the way you suggest (but your suggestion is still good, as it’s reeeeally hard to pronounce properly). The “su” part is a bit like a Scottish pronunciation of “hugh”, but shortened, like a hiccough! Not at all “ou” like “fool” (fou)… the “cré” part is harder to discribe as it requires making a face like a chicken, with your lips rounded and stuck out! You roll the ‘r’ a little, again like a Scot (no I’m not Scottish!) then the hard part, the “é”, which you pronounce, yes, like a Scot might say “hey you” – “é you” with the “you” rhyming with “hugh”, and shortened again!!!! Almost as challenging as some of your wonderful recipes! But I imagine that most people will find the recipes easier!!!

    Comment by tony - October 5, 2009 12:26 pm

  16. I see!! Thank you for the French tip Tony! Next time I’m at the market, I’ll get my stall neighbour who is French to say the word for me! I really wish I can speak the language…!

    Comment by tamami - October 5, 2009 1:00 pm

  17. Hey there,

    I just discovered your blog after struggling to get my pate sucree tarts to bake with an even edge. So I am going to try your method… however I couldn’t find almond powder, can I substitute it with ground almonds?

    thanks,
    Leona

    Comment by Leona - March 29, 2010 6:39 pm

  18. Hi Leona!!
    Thanks for checking the blog out!!
    Yes! Ground almonds & almond powder is the same thing!
    For even edge, just remember to refrigerate at step 16 – reeeaaally important!!
    Good luck!

    Comment by tamami - March 30, 2010 11:38 am

  19. Hello,
    My name is Marie and I am hoping you could help solve this mystery. I do sucree ones a week but for the past month my dough shrinks once a blind bake it. :( I blind bale it at 350 for 20 minutes, chill it before I place it in the oven and I make my dough one week in advance ( if not more and freeze it. The first couple of times, my shells where beautiful, and now I don’t know what’s going on. I uses 4″ nonstick mold. When I place my dough on the mold, I make sure it goes higher than the mold so when it shrinks a litlle it comes to
    The same level but it still shrinks more. Do you know what could be happening?

    Thanks

    Comment by Marie - May 23, 2013 5:27 am

  20. Hi Marie! :)
    Quick question:
    do you measure your eggs or do you just count the number of eggs? I am wondering wether the amount of liquid in the dough has changed, & that you are using a different size egg from before…! T xx

    Comment by Tamami - May 23, 2013 11:16 am

 

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