Flaky Tart Pastry – Pate Brisee
From In the Sweet Kitchen ( I forgot to take a photo before I filled it - oh well...next time)
Preparing dough: 5-10 minutes
Chill time: 2 hours to 4 days or frozen for up to 2 months
Rolling time: 5-10 minutes
Chill time: at least 1 hour or overnight before pre-baking or filling
Bake time: Blind baking – 20-25 minutes: to completely bake – add 10-12 minutes after liner is removed
Makes 1 (10-11”) single crust tart shell or 6 (4 ½”) shells or 12 ( 2”) shells
Special equipment: 9” tart pan with a removable bottom
1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, cold, in small cubes
3-5 tbsp ice water
1. Preparing the dough:
Food Processor Method –and my choice
Place flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter cubes and pulse using short bursts until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of large peas. Add the ice water through the open feed tube while using long pulses, until the dough comes together. Stop the machine and feel the dough. It should hold together well when squeezed. If the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add a little more water – a teaspoon at a time.
By-hand method-place the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and stir to blend. Add the butter cubes and, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut them into the dry ingredients until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of large peas. Add the water, beginning with 3 tbsp all at once, and use the tips of your fingers to lightly and rapidly toss and rub the mixture until the dough holds together when squeezed. If necessary add 1-2 more tbsp until the desired consistency is achieved.
2. Chill time: Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic to help form the dough into a flattish disc. Wrap tightly and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 4 days. At this point the dough can be frozen – wrap well – for up to 2 months.
3. Rolling out the dough: Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and let it temper slightly. If the dough is too cold when you begin rolling it, it will resist the rolling and pull back into the disc shape. Let it sit covered with a piece of plastic or clean kitchen towel until it is a little warmer.
(Ruth’s tip: Because I am truly a novice baker and always have trouble with dough sticking to the surface I’m rolling it out on, I place a sheet of parchment paper that is larger than the tart pan on the table and then roll the circle of chilled & tempered dough to fit the size and shape of the tart pan. Lift the parchment and place the dough side down over the tin and ease the dough into it). Trim the edges of the pastry to about 1” overhang and tuck this edge under, pressing the fold gently to seal it and coax out any air bubbles.
Cover the shell with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight before prebaking or filling and baking.
4. Blind baking:
Preheat oven to 375° F/190°C.
For a partially baked shell, prick the chilled shell all over with a fork. Line the bottom of the shell with a circle of aluminum foil or parchment paper that is larger than the pan and fill the liner with pie weights or dried beans (Ruth’s note: I save the dried beans after, to use again – but just for this purpose). Place the shell in the center of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are just coloring and the bottom of the pastry is beginning to cook. Remove the liner and weights and return the shell to the oven for another 5 minutes or until the bottom of the shell feels mostly dry but is still pale. To completely bake you will continue to bake until the shell is completely dry and golden.
Cool completely before filling. Preparing the shell can be made a day ahead.