Flaky Cookie-Like Tart Dough or Pate Sucree

  • Serves: Makes one 9-inch or 10-inch tart
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A flaky cookie-like pastry dough, also known as short dough or pate sucree or pate sablee, with a "sugary" and "sandy" texture, is best used when making tarts or pastries to hold creamy fillings and custards because it won't turn soggy. Because of the sugar in the dough, it is far more forgiving than traditional flaky pie crusts, and can be re-rolled without fear of it losing its texture.


Cream the butter and sugar together until you get a shaggy texture, and add the remaining ingredients until you get a smooth dough. The dough must be well-chilled in order to roll it properly because the recipe makes a really soft dough!

unsalted butter: 1/2 cup (1 stick) / 4 ounces / 113.5 grams; use cold - does not have to be at room temperature
sugar: 2 tablespoons / 1 ounce / 25 grams
egg yolk: 1 large / 0.65 ounces / 18.6 grams
vanilla extract: 1/2 teaspoon / 2 grams
unbleached all-purpose flour: 1 1/2 cups, plus extra for dusting; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim / 6.62 grams, plus extra for dusting / 187.5 grams, plus extra for dusting

egg white: 1 large / 1.05 ounces / 30 grams

1. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar on medium-low speed, taking about 1 minute. The mixture will be shaggy.

2. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and blend until smooth, 1 minute more.

3. Add the flour, slowly at the side of the bowl, with the mixer on low, until the dough comes together into clumps. It will be very crumbly when you remove it from the mixer.

4. Use a gentle touch to press the dough into a disk. Wrap the dough tightly and refrigerate for 20 minutes before rolling.

5. Prebake (blind bake) the crust before using:
Roll out the dough to about 10-inches in diameter. Place in the tart pan. Trim pastry dough to the rim of the pan.

Prick the bottom of the crust all over with the tines of a fork, called docking. Rest the crust in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking to solidify the butter and relaxe the gluten to prevent shrinkage during baking. Meanwhile Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Right before baking, line the chilled pastry crust with parchment paper or foil, fill partially with pie weights, dried beans or uncooked rice, and bake the crust about 10 minutes or until the dough is set and the edges look dry. Remove the pie weights and continue to bake another 10 minutes or until the crust begins to take on color all over.

Beat one large egg white. Lightly brush the crust all over with a pastry brush. Place the crust back on the middle shelf to bake for about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove when the edges are a deeper brown and the middle of the crust has taken on a little color. Let it cool on a wire cake rack before using.

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