Pâte Brisée (Shortcrust Pastry)

Posted 22 November 2012 by

Pâte brisée is a shortcrust pastry. It’s not sweet, so it can be used for both savoury and sweet dishes, and it is a little bit lighter and more delicate than pâte a foncer (flan pastry). Shortcrust pastry is ideal for pies and tarts. Here, I’ve used Michel Roux’s recipe for pâte brisée, from his Pastry book (which is excellent).

Pate brisee shortcrust pastry, wrapped around a rolling pin

Ingredients (makes approx. 450 g/1 lb pastry)

  • 250 g (8.8 oz; 2 cups) plain flour
  • 150 g (5 ¼oz; ⅔ cup) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch of caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp cold milk
This recipe uses metric measurements; conversions are approximate

Pour the flour into a heap on your work surface. Make a well in the centre.

A heap of plain flour with a well in it

Into the well, add the butter, sugar, salt and egg.

An egg and cubed butter, surrounded by plain flour

With your fingers, cream the ingredients together, and then gradually rub in the flour. The mixture will start to form a grainy dough.

Rubbing butter and egg into plain flour to make pate brisee pastry dough

Add the milk, and keep rubbing until a smoth dough is formed. With all shortcrust pastry, it’s important not to overwork the dough, otherwise the gluten strands in the flour lengthen, and the pastry will be tougher. So, you need to handle it as little as possible to keep it short (light and crumbly). Wrap the dough in cling film (wrap) and refrigerate until you need to use it.

A ball of pate brisee shortcrust pastry dough

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