Pâte Sucrée

Pâte sucrée (in French), pasta frolla (in Italian), sweetened enriched short-flake crust: different names, same pastry. Falling midway between a classic pie crust and a cookie, this rich pastry is enriched with egg, butter, vanilla, and sugar to make a tender crust that’s sandy and crumbly rather than flaky. Traditionally the base for fruit tarts, it can be used for any sweet pastry.

Prep
20 mins
Bake
20 to 25 mins
Total
45 mins
Yield
one 9” square or 10” round tart shell
Pâté Sucrée

Instructions

  1. To make the pastry: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt, then work in the cold butter until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs.

  2. Whisk together the egg yolk, vanilla, and milk and stir into the dry mixture; the dough will be crumbly.

  3. Use a dough scraper or your hands to fold the dough over onto itself a few times then give it a few gentle kneads. When properly mixed the dough will be crumbly but should hold together when squeezed.

  4. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9” square or 10” round tart pan (preferably one with a removable bottom).

  5. Roll the dough about 1/8” thick, and press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Or if you prefer, simply press the pliable crust into the pan without rolling.

  6. Prick (dock) the crust all over with a fork and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  7. To bake the crust: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the crust with parchment or foil and fill with pie weights or dry rice or beans.

  8. Bake the crust for 12 to 15 minutes, until it feels dry and set.

  9. Remove the weights and parchment (or foil) and return the crust to the oven to bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.

  10. Remove the crust from the oven and cool it on a rack before filling as desired.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Pâte sucrée makes a wonderful base for almost any tart, especially custards or cream fillings topped with fruit. For a creamy, easy-to-make filling, see our Cream Cheese Tart recipe and make a full batch of the filling for a 9" round tart.