Pâte Brisée

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| Servings: One 1 l-inch shell or 5 or 6 small tart shells


  • 1½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 5½ tablespoons (2/3 stick) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, chilled
  • ¼ cup ice water


  1. Sift the flour, salt, and sugar together into a bowl; add the butter and shortening and cut them into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture is like coarse meal.
  2. Sprinkle on and blend in enough of the ice water to make a workable dough, mixing the water in lightly with a fork.
  3. Turn the dough out onto your work surface and, using the heel of your hand, smear the dough away from you, about ¼ cup at a time. Scrape the smeared dough into a bail, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. Unwrap the dough, place it on a floured work surface, and pound it a few times with your rolling pin to soften it. Roll it out inch thick, or to the desired thickness.
  5. Drape the dough over a quiche pan or tart pan, ease it into the pan without stretching, pat into place, trim off any excess, and crimp the edge if desired. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  7. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and prick the bottom and sides well with a fork. Line the pan with aluminum foil or wax paper; fill with beans or rice to weight the crust. Bake until the crust is just beginning to color, 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven, remove the weights and lining, and cool slightly. You now have a partially baked crust that can be filled and rebaked for a quiche or tart.
  9. For a fully baked crust–for a fresh fruit tart, for example-remove the weights and lining from the shell after 10 minutes and continue to bake until it is golden brown and crisply flaky, about 25 minutes total. Cool completely before filling.