Pate Sucree is one of the three basic French pastry dough recipes. It’s sweet and used for a variety of sweet pie fillings. It’s perfect for cream based pies that have a lot of moisture. Scroll down for all you need to know to become a Pate Sucree master!
How to Make a Pâte Sucrée
The name itself may be intimidating, but Pâte Sucrée (pronounced pat sue-KRAY) simply put, is sweet pie dough that is enriched with extra fat in the form of an egg yolk and cream. It is more crumbly than it is flaky. Additionally, it is sturdy so it holds up to a heavier pie filling, such as cream pie or a chiffon pie. It’s made in a food processor–though you can make it in an electric mixer if you’re short on time– and comes together quickly. After you make the dough, it must rest for a period of time to permit the dough chill and allow the gluten to relax (chill and relax, two things I’d like to do myself!)
What is the difference between a sweet pie crust and a flaky pie crust?
The pâte sucrée is more like a cookie, with its added sweetness and crumbly texture. In comparison, a flaky pie crust is more like a croissant or puff pastry. A pâte sucrée pastry uses similar ingredients to a flaky pie crust (also known as a Pâte Brisée), with three big exceptions: powdered sugar, egg yolk and cream. The added sugar and fats enrich the pie dough with a sweeter taste and change the texture making it more sturdy.
What can it be used for?
This dough can host many sweet pie fillings. I use this pie crust for most of my sweet pie fillings that are going to be served cold. The main reason being that the crumbly shortcrust pastry tastes good cold! Personally, I find the taste of a flaky pie crust straight from the refrigerator to taste stale. Think about a flaky pie crust like a croissant: a croissant definitely does not taste good straight out of the refrigerator. So when I’m making a pie that needs to be served cold, like a cream pie, I pair it with this pâte sucrée, which has a nice buttery snap to it when it’s cold.
How to Make Pâte Sucrée Crust:
Using the food processor makes this dough easy to put together. Follow these steps:
- Add the dry ingredients to the food processor. Pulse until they are well combined.
- Add the butter and pulse until it’s broken down into small pieces, no bigger than the size of a pea. Be careful not to over-process at this point. Over-processing would look like the dough forming into one ball. You want it to look more crumbly at this step.
- Whisk together the egg and the cream.
- With the machine, add the egg mixture and process until the dough comes together.
Unlike a flaky pie dough, you’ll want the dough at the end to be one cohesive ball, without any large butter pieces remaining. If you do have a large pieces of butter, it can create problems when rolling it out and baking it. If by chance you happen to see any large pieces of butter after you’ve made it, you can fix it by smearing the butter into the dough so no large chunks remain.
Tips for Working with a Pâte Sucrée
- Let the dough rest. I never advise making dough the same day you plan to bake it. It’s essential for the dough to hydrate properly, 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, and freeze it for 30 minutes before you bake it. Dough that is made the same day it’s rolled out and baked can be more difficult to handle and possibly deform in the oven because the butter hasn’t chilled enough and the gluten hasn’t had time to relax (remember, chill and relax!). It will still taste good, though.
- 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 high 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 effect 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 ensure you achieve your goal.
- Roll out the dough when cold and between two pieces of plastic wrap. This dough is slightly sticky because of the added sugar. Make sure it is somewhat chilled when rolling it out. It should be chilled but still malleable, so let it sit at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes before rolling. Roll it out between two pieces of plastic wrap. If at any point the dough feels too warm, stick it in the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes.
- Bake at a lower temperature. This pastry has a high sugar content, so you’ll have to bake at a lower oven temperature to ensure it doesn’t burn.
How to Blind Bake this Sweet Pie 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 pie dough. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes, while the oven preheats to 350ºF. To prevent the pie dough from slipping into the tin before its fully baked, you’ll want to weigh it down. Cover the pie crust with tin foil, including the edges. Add in some pie weights. Truthfully, I just use dried rice and lentils; I even re-use these “weights” over the years! I find this weighs it down just enough to prevent the pie dough from slipping or puffing up while baking, yet doesn’t weigh enough like an actual “filling”, so the dough can bake appropriately.
Bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the “weights” (or rice and lentils, in my case) and foil, and dock the pie crust. Return it back to the oven to fully cook about another 10 minutes for a par-baked crust, or 20 minutes for a fully baked crust.
Check out these pies that go perfectly inside of this Pate Sucree crust:
- No Bake Orange Creamsicle Pie
- Strawberry Cream Pie
MAKE SURE TO TAG @EVERYDAYPIE ON INSTAGRAM OR COMMENT BELOW IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE OR IF YOU USE THIS PIE DOUGH FOR YOUR OWN CREATION!Print
- 1–¼ cups all-purpose flour (150 grams)
- ½ cup powdered sugar (55 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed (4 ounces)
- Add the flour, powdered sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse until combined.
- Add in butter and pulse 5 times.
- In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolk and the cream.
- With the motor running pour in the cream mixture and let process until the dough forms together into a cohesive ball.
- Scrape the dough from the bowl and place 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.
- Dough can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Or frozen for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before ready to use.
- Let the dough sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes for rolling.
- This dough is best rolled between two pieces of plastic wrap.
- Please note if you use the scaling button on the recipe it will only scale the amount in cups, not the gram amounts.
Keywords: Pate Sucree