Pâte Sablée is one of the three basic French pastry dough recipes. It’s sweet, crisp, and tender and is most commonly used for sweet tart dough. Scroll down for all you need to know to become a Pate Sablee master!
Pate Sablee Recipe (Tart Dough)
The name itself may be intimidating, but Pâte Sablée (pronounced pat sah-BLAY) simply put, is sweet crumbly tart dough. It is sturdy so it holds up to a heavier tart filling, but delicate enough to have that light buttery crispness to it. It’s made in a food processor–though you can make it in an electric mixer if you don’t have a food processor– and comes together quickly.
Using a dedicated pastry just for tarts is good for a few reasons. Often tarts, especially fruit tarts, are served cold. Choosing the right pastry when it comes to pies or tarts that need to be chilled or ones that are meant to be served cold is important. Butter-based flaky pie dough, when made right, tastes like a puff pastry or even a croissant. In my opinion, this type of pie dough should not be made to be refrigerated. It can taste stale. For a pie or tart that needs to be served cold, this crumbly pie crust is a better option. The pastry is almost cookie-like due to its sweetness and much crisper. It holds up well with chilled pies and still has it’s integrity when refrigerated.
Let’s Talk French Pastry
This Pate Sablee is the final addition to my trilogy of french pastry recipes. Let’s take a basic look at all of them to discern the differences!
Pâte Brisée: This classic French pastry is the most well known. Also known as butter pie dough! It’s buttery, super flaky, and perfect for classic pie crusts that do not need to be refrigerated before serving.
Pâte Sucrée: This is also known as sweet pie crust. This pastry uses similar ingredients to flaky Pâte Brisée, with one big exception: granulated sugar. The added sugar not only makes the pie dough sweet, but it also makes it crisper and more tender because of the granulated sugar cuts through the gluten formation. It has some flake to it, but not as much as a flaky pie dough without sugar. It’s great if you want a classic pie crust, but for a pie that needs to be refrigerated before serving, such as a chocolate cream pie.
Pate Sablee: This has some of the same ingredients as the previous two, but with some added fat in the form of an egg, and almond flour. In addition to adding extra fat in the form of almond flour, it also adds a nice crisp textural component to the pastry. And powdered sugar is added, instead of granulated sugar
Ingredients Needed for Pate Sable
- all-purpose flour
- almond flour
- powdered sugar
- unsalted butter
How to Make Pate Sablee Pastry:
These are the essential steps to making this sweet tart dough:
- Pulse together the flour, salt and sugar.
- Add in the butter pieces and pulse until it is well combined, but the mixture still looks sandy. You’ll notice a difference in sound in the processor once all the butter is broken down.
- Whisk together the egg in a bowl. While the processor is running, add in the egg in a steady stream. Be careful not to pour it directly on to the bottom of the processor bowl, but into the flour instead. Continue to process until the dough comes together around the blade of the food processor. It can take a minute or two.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place in plastic wrap and wrap tightly.
- Roll out the dough while it is in the plastic wrap to help to create an airtight seal and then let rest at least 2 hours, or better overnight.
Tips for Working with Sweet Tart Dough
- Let the dough rest. I never advise making pastry the same day you plan to bake it. It’s essential for the dough to hydrate properly and so the dough should rest at least overnight. If you absolutely need to, you can make the dough and bake it all in the same day, but you must let it rest at least 2 hours before you roll it out. Try to plan accordingly.
- Weigh your ingredients! An electronic kitchen scale is not a huge investment. You can get one for around $25. I can’t recommend enough that if you want to get good at baking, get a scale.
- Use better quality butter and flour. Both of these ingredients can wildly vary in quality. Poor quality butter is going to have a higher water content and less fat. Lower quality flour can vary in the protein structure and that will affect your final pie crust. In the end, I’d still choose a homemade pie crust made with cheap butter and flour over anything store-bought. However, with that said, if you are looking for a really amazing pie crust buying quality ingredients will make a difference.
- This dough is stickier because of the sugar. You can either roll it on in plastic wrap, which I find useful. Or roll it out as you normall would, but You’ll need to use more flour than you typically would so it doesn’t stick. If there is a lot of excess flour on your dough after it has been rolled out, you can brush some of it off with a dry pastry brush.
- Bake this crust at a lower temperature. This pastry has a high sugar content and almond flour, so I recommend to bake it at 375º to ensure it doesn’t burn. If you want to use this crust with a pie recipe that requires high temperature for a long time, it probably isn’t the best choice. However, it can be use in a recipe that calls for a high temperature in the beginning, but then lowers it. Cover the edges if they’re are browning too quickly.
How to Blind Bake Tart Dough
Blind baking means to bake the pie crust empty, without any filling in it. There are a few reasons you would need to blind bake a crust, but the main one is that the pie has a no-bake filling! In that case, you’ll need to fully bake the pie crust before adding in the filling.
To achieve the blind bake, start with rolling out the tart dough and placing it in the tart pan. Pierce the bottom of the pastry with a fork to allow the steam to escape when baking. Place the pastry in the freezer for 10-30 minutes, while the oven preheats to 375ºF. Line the pastry with a parchment round piece of paper and then add pie weights to fill (or dry rice or beans or lentils), making sure to push pie weights to the edges. Bake for 20 minutes on the lower rack, then remove from oven and remove the parchment and pie weights. Return to oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes for a partial blind bake or about 10 minutes for a full blind bake. If the edges start to brown at any point cover them with pieces of aluminum foil.
For more information about blind baking pie crusts, check out this Guide to Blind Baking.
More Pastry Recipes:
Make sure to comment below and tag @everydaypie on Instagram if you make this Pâte Sablée or if you have any questions!Print
- 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) almond flour
- ⅓ cup (40 grams) powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg, whisked together
- Add the all-purpose flour, almond flour, powdered sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor.
- Process for 30 seconds to combine.
- Add in the butter and pulse 5 times.
- With the motor running pour in the egg and let the dough process until the dough forms together into a cohesive ball around the blade.
- Scrape the dough from the bowl and place it in a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disk and wrap tightly.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it stretches to the corner of the plastic wrap to ensure a tight seal.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight, before use.
- See the body of the post for tips for working with this dough, including baking it and rolling it out.
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