This recipe for pâte brisée, shortcut pastry in English, came to Australia with my French husband. It is my go-to pastry for tarts, both savoury and sweet. It is versatile, simple to make, and easy to remember the quantities!
When you make your pastry from scratch, it not only tastes great, but you get to select the highest quality ingredients. Using the Heritage Farm Duck Eggs is an easy way of bringing extra flakiness to the end result as they have a higher fat content.
Recipe for Pâte Brisée – Shortcut Pastry
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooling time: 20 minutes
Large sized bowl
100g Butter, cold and in 1cm cubes
1 Egg, beaten
A pinch of salt (avoid if you’re adding a sweet topping)
2-3 teaspoons of water
1. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt.
2. Add the cubed butter and combine the butter and flour by using a rubbing action with your fingertips until the mixture takes on a sand like appearance.
3. Make a hole and add in the beaten egg and a two teaspoons of water. Knead gently until it forms a ball.
If it isn’t quite forming a ball, add another teaspoon of water until it does.
5. Cover the pastry and put into the fridge for 20 minutes before using.
If your dough is combining but it has a slight slimy feel to the hand, you may have added too much water. Sprinkle on a bit of flour on and work it through gently to bring it back to a consistency that feels smooth but not wet.
It is important as well not to over work the dough or to add too much warmth so that the butter melts. Combining it by placing it between the palms of your hands is not ideal.
If you are really short on time or prefer not to get your hands dirty, you can of course use some type of mixer to combine. I sometimes make this using my thermomix, but even when I use very short mixing times and gentle speeds, I find it overworks it and results in a contraction of the pastry when it cooks.
As mentioned before, this is my go-to when I’m making tarts. You can find some topping ideas below:
Leek and celery tart.
It also freezes well. So if you want to make a bigger batch and save some for a later date, you can easily do so.