Learn to make pate brisee, a flaky, buttery pastry crust great for pies, tarts, and quiches.
Step 1: Combine the ingredients Place the flour, salt, sugar, and butter in the food processor fitted with a chopping blade.
TIP: Freeze the butter chunks for 10 minutes before adding them to the food processor to chill them thoroughly.
Step 2: Process the mixture Pulse for 10 seconds until the mixture has clumped together in coarse pieces the size of peas.
Step 3: Pour water into mixture Slowly drizzle the cold water into the feed tube while the food processor continues to run. Pulse the dough until it holds without being too sticky or wet.
TIP: Don’t add all the water at once. For a tender crust use as little water as possible.
Step 4: Test the dough’s consistency Test the dough to see if it holds together when pinched. If it is still crumbly, add more ice water one tablespoon at a time and pulse again. Don’t over-mix: you should be able to see pieces of butter throughout the pastry, which gives the crust its flakiness.
Step 5: Divide and shape dough Remove the dough from the processor and divide it in half. Shape each half into a flat disk, but be careful not to over-knead the dough. Sprinkle each disk with flour on all sides to prevent sticking, and wrap each half in a large piece of plastic wrap.
Step 6: Chill or store the dough Let the dough rest and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to three days. It can also be frozen for up to a month; be sure to defrost the frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight before using. Before rolling it out, let it sit at room temperature for five to 10 minutes.
Step 7: Roll out dough Sprinkle flour on top of the dough when it is ready to be used. On a flat surface, flatten it out with a rolling pin to a 12-inch circle with 1/8-inch thickness. Add a little flour if the dough continues to stick to surface.
Step 8: Line pie dish Fold the flat dough crust gently in half and place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Unfold the dough and press down to line the dough into the pie dish. Add your filling, and you’re ready to bake!
FACT: The 1838 Pastry War between France and Mexico started when a French chef living in Mexico claimed Mexican officers had ruined his pastry shop.