Pate Sucree Recipe

This pate sucree recipe is another one taken from my favourite pastry chef, Michel Roux. His pastry never fails. Pate sucree is a sweet pastry which uses egg to bind it together. It is similar to pate sablee, but it is much less crumbly and is a good choice for larger tarts for afternoon tea.

The size of the egg does make a difference. Medium eggs work best. With larger eggs, sometimes this pastry comes out a little too moist, but I just add a little more flour and it works out just fine. In his recipe, Michel Roux suggests using an egg at room temperature. I have never done this, since I keep my eggs in the fridge. And again, my pastry works every time.

This pastry needs to rest for an hour in the fridge before you use it. It really does make a difference if you do this. It firms up and it's much easier to roll out.


My top pastry tips

  • If you're having a baking day, make your pastry first. It's much easier to make pastry in a cooler kitchen.

  • The recipe does call for slightly softened butter, but not to soft. I have tried on several occasions to make pastry with butter at room temperature in warmer weather - and it just doesn't work. You need the butter to be softened because it's easier to rub in, but if it is too soft, the pastry doesn't hold its shape and you end up having to add flour and leave it in the fridge for longer.

  • Always use a light hand. Make the pastry quickly and handle it with your fingertips only until it's ready to knead, and then as little as possible.

  • Also, I have found that this recipe works very well if you bake it from frozen. I line my tart cases and prick them with a fork and then freeze them. You can then bake them direct from the freezer and you don't need to blind bake with beans, which is a bit of a faff.

    The only downside to this is if you are making a larger tart because sometimes the edges collapse in and shrink down a little. But it's still lovely.

This pate sucree recipe makes just the right amount for a 7 inch tart with the pastry being 2-3 mm thick, which is perfect for a tart of this size. It makes a rigid tart case which you can either bake completely and then fill with a pastry cream, or you can blind bake it for a shorter time and then add your own filling to bake, such as with the Yorkshire Curd Tart.

You can buy 7 x 1 1/2 inch cake pans online from Head Cook here. It's well worth the investment.

If you wish to use a larger tart tin, I recommend doubling the quantity and then saving the rest of the pastry for another project. When I do this, I use the remaining pastry to make small tart cases which I then freeze so that they are ready to use.

Pate Sucree Recipe

Time: 20 minutes plus 1 hour resting

Level: Easy

Quantity: Lines a 7" x 1" deep tart tin
or makes 12 mini tarts. 

Ingredients:

125g (3/4 cup) plain flour
50g (1/4 cup) butter
50g (1/3 cup) icing (powdered) sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg

Plus 1 egg for glazing


  • Sift the flour into a large bowl.

  • Sift the icing sugar into this bowl and mix the two together with a pinch of salt.

  • Rub in the butter using your fingertips until you have a mixture with a grainy consistency.

  • Add the egg at this point and bring it together with your finger tips to a pastry. If it is too moist and sticky, add a little more flour.

  • Knead it two or three times with the heel of your hand and roll it into a ball.
  • Wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for an hour before using.

If you are using this pate sucree recipe to bake a recipe from my site, then details for baking are given in the respective recipes.

However, if you are not, then these are the baking guidelines.

For fillings that do not need cooking

Once you have lined your tin with the pastry, prick the base all over with a fork.

Now line the pastry case with baking parchment or greaseproof paper and then pour in a layer of dried beans or chickpeas. 

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 (gas mark 4), unless a different temperature is specified in the recipe. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the beans and the greaseproof paper.

Brush the pastry all over with a little beaten egg. 

Return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes until it is just golden.

Once it is cool, you can fill it with your chosen filling.

For fillings that do need cooking

I prefer to blind bake my pastry before I fill it, because otherwise the pastry may be soggy and not cooked at the bottom. Also, it weighs the pastry down and stops it from puffing up and rising unevenly.

Follow the directions above to the point where you have brushed it with egg.

Return to the oven for 5 minutes.

Remove the tart from the oven and fill with your chosen filling and bake as long as the filling requires.