Pies and tarts. Elegant or rustic, filled with smooth lemon curd, salted caramel or sweet cinnamon spiced apples, these are my favorite pastries.
During summer season pies and tarts are perfect desserts for any occasion and so easy to bake ahead and fill with whatever jam or custard you prefer.
To make the perfect crust you’ll need a good pastry dough and there are many variations. With or without egg, cold or soft butter rubbed or creamed into the flour. I’ve tried a few recipes along the way and I thought I would share my basic go-to-dough when it comes to sweet shortcrust pastry or – I’m not French but I’ll use the word anyway because it’s just adorable – pâte sucrée. The secret lies in rubbing soft butter into flour and using a whole egg, instead of only the yolk. This will give you a crisp and light, but still solid crust, full of flavor.
Now, go, bake.
Pâte Sucrée or Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
Use preferably organic ingredients.
250g/8.8 oz. plain flour
160–200g/5.6–7 oz. butter, softned
90g/3.1 oz. raw granulated sugar
1 egg, organic (at room temperature)
a pinch of salt
1. With your fingers, rubb the soft butter into the flour and form small crumbs, in a bowl or directly on the table. You can use a mixer also, but I believe using your hands makes it easier to feel the doughs consistency.
2. Make a well in the butter-flour-mix and add the sugar, egg and salt. Quickly, without overmixing, form the dough into a ball.
3. The dough needs to rest for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours or longer. Press it flat onto a piece of parchment paper. Wrap it tightly in plastic before placing it in the fridge.
4. After resting, press the dough into a tart or pie pan and blind bake in 190C/374F for 12–15 minutes. Note! If you make petit fours you might need to shorten the baking time a bit. Use ceramic beans to prevent the sides from collapsing while baking.
5. Let the crust cool before filling it. You can use this crust for a baked filling as well.