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 (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ 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 ¼ inch thick and about ⅛ 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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Comments

  • Hi! Is it possible to bake this ahead of time and store it to be filled later? I find when I’m making a tart the crust/shell takes so long and I was wondering if I can break up the labor and make it a day or two early, ahead of filling it. Does it keep in the fridge once baked?

    • — Rebecca on June 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Rebecca, Sure, you can make the shell up to a day ahead and refrigerate. 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 9, 2022
      • Reply
  • Bonjour Jen ,
    I only have on hand a 11 inch wide X 3/4 inch height removable bottom tart pie. Would this be suitable ? Any adjustments to do ?
    Merci !
    Martine

    • — Martine Belanger on June 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Martine, It will definitely work but it may be a little short. To be safe, I’d multiply all the ingredients by 1.25. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 9, 2022
      • Reply
      • TKS Jen- Did go to the mall to get the right size 🙂

        • — Martine on June 10, 2022
        • Reply
        • 👍

          • — Jenn on June 10, 2022
          • Reply
  • I substitute cane sugar with monk fruit (same ratio) and it was delicious. I’ll definitely will be making it again.

    • — Adriana on May 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’m making this right now and I’m wondering, is it ok that I’m making the crust today and assemble it tomorrow? If so, should I refrigerate it overnight or wrap it and leave it on the countertop? Thanks Jenn!

    • — Turtle on May 13, 2022
    • Reply
    • I’m probably weighing too late to help, but I’d refrigerate it overnight.

      • — Jenn on May 14, 2022
      • Reply
  • I am using a glass pie pan for the crust. Says to freeze 1/2 hour then put on cookie sheet and bake. Should I do that? Afraid glass will break during baking?

    • — Teri Lock on April 29, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Teri, I would refrigerate for 1 hour instead. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on April 29, 2022
      • Reply
      • I’m not the type of person to leave a review/comment on a recipe site, but it’s 100% necessary this time.
        *Everything * went according to plan when I made this recipe, and all of the instructions were perfectly clear. There was 0 struggle during the process.
        The tart shell turned out AMAZINGLY. Imagine a shortbread cookie, almost, but with a little more of a melty crispness and less sweetness.
        Luckily I made two tarts, because by the time I was done serving the first one, people were asking for me to cut into the second!!
        I truly wish I had taken pictures of the tart shells alone, but here’s one of a complete tart https://imgur.com/a/XSEHOHC

        Thank you for sharing this gem of a recipe! It will be bookmarked for eternity!

        My only feedback that I can give is that my edges (they seemed pretty even) darkened a little quicker than I wanted, so I just covered them in foil and popped the shells back into the oven for a couple more minutes. Ya know, like you do with pies sometimes.

        • — Jill N on June 4, 2022
        • Reply
  • This recipe is just brilliant! I actually made it gluten free by just using gluten-free flour instead of regular flour (no other moderations) and it turned out beatifully! Actually didn’t crumble everywhere. Held its shape. Would highly recommend!!!

    • — Lynn on April 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Perfect, one of the most accurate recipes I have ever made. It was dessert for today, Easter Sunday and it was well received. Made this along with the Classic French Fruit Tart recipe. https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/classic-french-fruit-tart.html

    **** DO NOT Underestimate your smearing power with this dough and the amount you can spread and smooth it around the pan. At first I thought I didn’t have enough dough, there was plenty. Upon forming it to the sides the corners had a lot of hidden dough there that I eventually kneaded out and moved towards the middle. This gave it a perfect crust that was just the right amount of flaky with a beautiful butter cookie type flavor.

    • — Sarah on April 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can I use a regular mixer if I don’t have a stand mixer?

    • — Manie on March 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, that should work. You may just need to increase the speed of the mixer a little.

      • — Jenn on March 17, 2022
      • Reply
  • This crust is scrumptious! Easy to make too, love the pat in the pan, and no need for blind baking. WoW! Thank you for sharing👍👍👍

    • — Helena Christensen on February 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • It was my first time making a tart, and I was really surprised by how well this turned out since I didn’t know what I was doing! I worried I made the sides of the tart too thick and didn’t think I was doing a good job of pressing the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Other recipes I saw call for docking, so it seemed like magic when the pate sucree didn’t shrink or puff up. My final tart looked and tasted great. Thanks for the recipe!

    • — Judy on January 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hello, and thank you for the recipe.

    Does the reference to freezing half refer to raw or baked dough?
    If raw, would it work to freeze it already pressed into the pie pan?

    In the past, I’ve frozen my pie dough (all butter; but using ice water instead of egg yolk, and much less sugar) in a 6″ disc, but with the change of ingredients perhaps there’s less danger of its drying out. Already pressed into the pan would be a welcome step saved Thanksgiving week, when I’d rather focus on friends and family.

    • — Ellen Thompson on November 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Ellen, I would freeze the dough raw, and it’s fine to freeze it already pressed into the pie pan. (If it’s a glass pie pan, let it thaw in the fridge before baking – going from freezer to oven may cause the glass to shatter in the oven.)

      • — Jenn on November 6, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this and this was the first time I was able to blind bake a crust without it sliding down the edge. Thanks.

    • — daniel Beck on September 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • Im trying to make this right now. I used room temp butter and followed instructions as far as how long to mix and such but dough is so wet I can’t even knead it. Help?

    • — KL on August 26, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi KL, If you measured everything properly, I would pop it in the fridge til it’s firm enough to handle.

      • — Jenn on August 26, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thank you for the reply! I was able to work with it even though it didnt feel right. But after baking it pretty much turned into a flat piece— the sides shrunk and the bottom puffed up. And yes everything was measured properly including spooning the flour and all that. I wonder what happened?

        • — KL on August 26, 2021
        • Reply
        • Hi KL, It’s kind of a mystery. What brand of flour did you use? Did you use butter (as opposed to something like margarine)?

          • — Jenn on August 27, 2021
          • Reply
  • 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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