Pate Brisee for a Savory 9-inch Tart

I’VE ALREADY WRITTEN about my favorite dessert tart crust — Pate Brisee Sucree. But what about a crust for savory subjects? For these you can count on Pate Brisee, minus the Sucree! The step-by-step recipe:

First, pour 1 1/2 cups all-purpose (“plain”) flour and a pinch of kosher salt into the work bowl of your food processor. Process for a second or two just to blend.

On a side-note, I’m not wild about Cuisinart’s new “Elite” food processor. The lid is a pain in the neck to attach/detach. My older Cuisinart, which lasted for 10 years before it developed a crack, was much easier to use.

Thank you for caring.

Then dice up a stick of cold, unsalted butter, and scatter it over the flour.

Pulse the machine 10-20 times, just to break up the butter.

With the machine running, add 3 tablespoons ice water.

Process just until the dough begins to mass on the blade (or when the machine’s steady “hum” changes to a clunky “roar”), and then promptly hit the “stop” button.

Properly processed, the pastry will will resemble the coarse crumbs you see pictured above. These will hold together when pressed with your fingers.  (If the dough doesn’t hold together when pressed, just process in another tablespoon of ice water.)

Dump the crumbly mass onto your non-floured work surface, and form it into a ball.
Flatten the ball into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and then chill it in the fridge for at least one hour.

Or, freeze it, baby. Frozen Pate Brisee will remain viable for about 3 months.

Now grab a 9-inch removable bottom tart pan, and place it on a baking sheet. You can lightly grease the pan or not . Honestly, there’s so much butter in Pate Brisee that it is not likely to stick.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry into a 12-inch diameter round. Or, for a less-thick edge, roll it to just 11 inches. The choice is entirely yours.

Fold the dough into quarters…

And then unfold it onto your tart pan, lifting the edges, and working it gently down in the mold.

Fold the overhang inward, towards the rim of the pan…

and use your thumbs to press the edge against the fluted rim.

Prick the bottom (not the sides!) all over with the tines of a fork.

To insure the crust holds its shape, cover it with a big piece of aluminum foil. Gently press the foil into the contours of the pan.

Fill the lined tart with 2 pounds of dried beans or pie weights.

This next step is critical: Freeze the shell for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, set the oven rack at the center position, and preheat the oven to 400°F.

Bake for 15 minutes. Then remove the beans and foil, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Baking is complete when the crust colors slightly, and its bottom and sides feel dry to the touch.

You can fill the shell at this point. Or, you can unmold it, and let it cool completely on a wire rack. It will stay fresh and wonderful for up to 24 hours at room temperature.

For longer storage, seal the pastry in a plastic bag, and freeze it.

At this point you’re probably wondering why you can’t simply use a store-bought, ready-made crust for your tarts.

Shall I tell you why?

It’s because ready-made crusts have the taste texture of cardboard. I don’t think they contain any real butter at all.

You’re going to run to the store and buy some ready-made crusts, right?

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Related Posts:
Fougasse aux Herbes de Provence
Shirred Eggs with Herbs and Garlic
Perfect Gluten-Free Pancakes


  1. I made your wonderful lemon tart and the pate brisee and wondered if you were using a deep 9-in. tart pan with the removable bottom? I had at least 3/4 cup of lemon filling remaining. Of course, I just filled a small augratin dish and baked it off as is. We didn’t even wait until that was cooled. Yum. Also the tart baked much faster than recipe suggested and my pastry crust edge was just too hard. Again, I will make the adjustments for the next time (which won’t be very long). I looked again at your photos and possible depth could be the reason for a few of my not so earth shattering dilemmas.

  2. I don’t bake much anymore, but when I did, I always found Oronoque Orchards frozen pie crusts to be more than acceptable, made with ingredients you’d have on hand, no chemicals or preservatives. A great time and money-saver. An older sister re-shapes the edges to pass the pastry off as her own, lol!

  3. I think I can do this!! Will give it a try within a couple of weeks. Thanks Kevin!

  4. What kind of flour?

  5. Hi Ellen – I use all-purpose (“plain”) flour for this recipe.

  6. Thanks Kevin. After chilling dough in fridge for 1 hour, I found it incredibly stiff to roll out and started to split in all directions. Does this happen to you too?

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