Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Tart Dough)

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A pâte sucrée is a crisp yet tender pastry crust that is slightly sweet. It maintains its shortbread-like texture when chilled, which makes it ideal for tarts that require refrigeration.

Enriched with egg yolk, butter, and sugar, pâte sucrée is a crisp yet tender pastry crust that is slightly sweet. (In French, pâte means dough and sucrée means sweet.) The dough maintains its shortbread-like texture even when chilled, which makes it ideal for tarts that require refrigeration, like a classic French fruit tart.

Pâte sucrée dough is typically rolled out using a rolling pin, but since it’s very prone to tearing, I find it easier to simply press the pastry into the bottom and up the sides of the pan; there’s also less risk of overworking the dough this way.

This recipe makes enough dough for one 10 x 1-inch high fluted tart pan with a removable bottom or a 9-inch pie shell. Feel free to double the recipe and freeze half for another time; it keeps well in the freezer for up to 3 months.

What You’ll Need To Make Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Tart Dough)

pate sucree ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, and salt.

butter, sugar, and salt in mixer

Beat on medium speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the flour.

adding the flourMix on low speed for about 30 seconds, until the flour is incorporated, and then add the egg yolk.

adding egg yolk to pate sucree dough

Mix on low speed until the yolk is evenly incorporated and the dough is clumpy, about 30 seconds.

mixed pate sucree dough

Using your hand, lightly knead the dough into a ball inside the bowl.

pate sucree dough kneaded in bowl

Remove the dough from the bowl, press it into a 6-inch disk, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. (The dough can be tightly wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before using.)

pate sucree dough wrapped in plastic wrap

Lightly spray a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom or a 9-inch pie shell with nonstick cooking spray with flour. Place the chilled dough inside the pan. Pinch off pieces of dough and press them against the sides of the pan to reach just shy of a 1/4 inch thick and about 1/8 inch above the rim.

pressing pate sucree into tart pan

Using the heel of your hand, press the rest of the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. It will look like a mess, and it may seem like you won’t have enough dough at first, but have faith, it will come together.

pressing pate sucree into tart pan

Be sure there are no seams in the dough, and press it squarely along the corners where the bottom meets the sides to avoid extra-thick edges. Use a paring knife to trim the top edge of the dough so it is even with the rim of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes to chill.

pate sucree pressed into tart pan

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the chilled pâte sucrée on a baking sheet (for easy handling).

pate sucree on baking sheet

Bake for 23 to 26 minutes, or until lightly golden.

golden brown tart crust

Let cool to room temperature.

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Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Tart Dough)

A pâte sucrée is a crisp yet tender pastry crust that is slightly sweet. It maintains its shortbread-like texture when chilled, which makes it ideal for tarts that require refrigeration.

Servings: One fully baked 10-inch tart shell or 9-inch pie shell
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes, plus at least 1 hour to rest and chill the dough

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Nonstick cooking spray with flour, for baking

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, until the flour is incorporated. The mixture will look like wet, clumpy sand. Add the egg yolk and mix on low speed until the yolk is evenly incorporated and the dough is clumpy, about 30 seconds. Using your hand, lightly knead the dough into a ball inside the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl, press it into a 6-inch disk, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. (The dough can be tightly wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before using.)
  2. Lightly spray a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom or a 9-inch pie shell with nonstick cooking spray with flour. Place the chilled dough inside the pan. Pinch off pieces of dough and press them against the sides of the pan to reach just shy of a 1/4 inch thick and about 1/8 inch above the rim (you'll trim the top later). Using the heel of your hand, press the rest of the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. (It will look like a mess, and it may seem like you won't have enough dough at first, but have faith, it will come together.) Be sure there are no seams in the dough, and press it squarely along the corners where the bottom meets the sides to avoid extra-thick edges. Use a paring knife to trim the top edge of the dough so it is even with the rim of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to chill.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  4. Place the chilled pâte sucrée on a baking sheet (for easy handling) and bake for 23 to 26 minutes, or until lightly golden. Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn,
    I am in the process of making this dough but I don’t have cooking spray with flour. What will be the difference if I use straight cooking spray-no flour?

    • — Suzyidol on July 8, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi there, You can use your cooking spray and then just dust the pan lightly with flour.

      • — Jenn on July 8, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn,
        The fresh fruit tart was delicious. My husband raved about the custard. The pate sucree came out great; pretty as a picture, and so delicious. It stayed crisp in the refrigerator until the tart was gone.
        Thanks for all your great recipes. I’ve gotten rave reviews for your key lime pie.

        • — Suzyidol on July 12, 2021
        • Reply
        • The recipe states 10″ tart pan, but the link is to a 9.5″ pan. Please confirm which pan is best. This is my mother’s favorite dessert, so I want to get it perfect.

          Thanks!

          • — Trish on July 16, 2021
          • Reply
          • Hi Trish, either one will work perfectly fine. Hope your mom enjoys!

            • — Jenn on July 16, 2021
  • I used this dough for the fruit tart on this site and it was perfectly tender and crisp as described. I have always struggled with rolling out pate sucree dough, so the press-in method worked much better for me. My tart was beautiful!

    • — Lynne on July 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • Just used this recipe to make peaches and cream tarts, and it was fantastic! The recipe filled four 4.5″ mini tart pans exactly. Because they were smaller, I checked them around 20 minutes, and they were nicely golden brown. Thank you! Your recipes have NEVER let me down… I often check your website first when I need a particular baking recipe because I know it will be a winner. 🙂

    • — Amy on July 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! So excited to try this recipe for the 4th! If I bake the crust tonight but plan to assemble tomorrow, should I refrigerate the crust overnight or leave it out on the counter? Thanks for your help!

    • — Jo on July 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jo, You could honestly go either way, but I’d probably just leave it out on the counter. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on July 3, 2021
      • Reply
  • How much is one stick of butter in cups?

    • — B. Campbell on July 1, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi B, 1 stick is the equivalent of 1/2 cup. 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 2, 2021
      • Reply

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