Sweet Pastry Crust

Sweet Pastry Crust Recipe / Pâte Sucrée Recipe – Yield two 9-inch (23cm) Tart Shells.

A sweet pastry crust, also known as pâte sucrée, is a rich and sweet pastry with a crisp cookie-like texture. This pastry can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for months. This sweet pastry crust is also ideal for making both large and small sized tarts, especially those garnished with fruit, custard, lemon curd…

1.3 stick (150g) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp (1g) salt
3/4 cup (100g) powdered sugar
1 ea. large egg, at room temp
1 vanilla bean, scrap out the seeds or 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) vanilla extract
1.7 cups (250g) all-purpose flour.

Place the SOFTENED butter and salt in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl if whisking by hand and cream until completely smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and continue beating until homogenized. Mix in half of the the flour until just incorporated and add remaining flour and mix just until it forms a ball. Flatten the pastry into a square, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour or until firm (can be placed in freezer for about 30 minutes). The dough must be completely chilled before being used. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days or freeze for months.

Lightly butter, or spray with a non-stick vegetable cooking spray, an 8 - 9 inch (20 - 23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom.
Use two-thirds of the dough for one tart pan. Dust your work surface with flour and work the pastry until pliable and roll out the dough into a large 1/8-inch (3mm) thick disk. The dough should be souple but cool. Put back in the refrigerator if it is getting too soft. Evenly pat onto the bottom and up the sides of the greased tart pan and trim off excess dough. Gather trimmings with remaining pastry for your next pie. Prick the unbaked pie pastry 6 times lightly with a fork and let rest 30 minutes in the refrigerate or freezer before baking or adding the filling.

How to Blind Bake a Crust
Unlike quiche sweet pastry crust does rarely require to be pre baked. Baking the pie crust for a quiche before you add the filling is crucial. It prevents the crust from becoming soggy. Quiche is one example of a tart that requires a pre baked shell because the custard filling is liquid in its raw state. A sweet pastry crust would rather be fully baked.
The solution is to line the chilled pie with parchment, aluminum foil or 3 large overlapped layer of microwave safe plastic wrap and weight it down with dry beans, rice, pennies, dry cherry pits or pie weights.
Set the oven rack adjusted to the middle position with a baking sheet or a pizza stone.
Bake in a preheated 350ºF (180ºC) oven for about 20 minutes, remove pie weights and continue to bake the crust for about 10 minutes or until crust is dry and lightly golden brown. For a fully-baked crust, look for the bottom to turn light golden. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Baked crust can be stored at room temperature for 3 days or frozen for weeks.
Dry beans and rice can be reused indefinitely for this purpose, however both cannot be reused for cooking anymore. The heat adds bitterness to it.

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