Pâte sucrée (tart dough recipe)

Pâte sucrée is a sweet shortcrust that is often used to make fruit tarts. It is buttery, flaky and oh-so-easy to make. This recipe makes enough dough for TWO 8" round tarts. Freeze leftover dough. 
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Print Recipe
Total Time: 35 mins
Serves: 2 9 1/2" tarts

Pâte sucrée is a sweet shortcrust pastry dough that is buttery, flaky, and only takes 15 minutes to make. It’s even easier to make than pie dough and is basically a giant shortbread cookie. Fill it with silky pastry cream to make a fresh fruit tart or with frangipane to make a red wine poached pear tart. This recipe is incredibly tender and makes a delicious crunch when you cut it with a fork.

PÂTE SUCRÉE (TART DOUGH) INGREDIENTS

pate sucre ingredients

Pro Tip – Make sure your butter is room temperature. Room temperature butter is when it’s soft enough to leave an indent with your finger but it still holds its shape and is not melted all over the plate. I make my butter room temperature by microwaving it for 10-second increments until its the right consistency.  

PÂTE SUCRÉE STEP-BY-STEP

Step 1 – Add the room temperature butter into the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds until its smooth.

Step 2 – Add in the vanilla and the egg to the butter and mix until combined. 

Pro Tip – Cold eggs must be room temperature to combine with the butter properly. Place cold eggs (while still in the shell) into warm water for 5 minutes to bring them to room temperature. 

pate sucre ingredients in the bowl of a mixer

Step 3 – Add your powdered sugar to the butter mixture (I sift mine to remove lumps) and add the salt. 

Step 4 – While mixing on low, gradually add your flour and mix until everything starts to come together and a dough forms.

tart dough in a mixing bowl

Step 5 – Divide the dough into 2 pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into disks. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour before using your dough. If you skip this step, your crust will melt in the oven. 

tart dough on plastic wrap

MAKING A TART SHELL

Step 1 – Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Take your tart dough out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before rolling it out. It should be slightly flexible but still firm. 

tart dough on plastic wrap on a white background

Step 2 – Lightly flour your surface and rolling pin and roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick. The type of rolling pin you use does not matter as long as it’s flat. Begin by evenly rolling out your dough and moving it on the floured surface frequently to prevent sticking. Rotate frequently, add flour to keep from sticking and press any cracks together. Don’t worry about too many cracks!

Pro-Tip: If your dough keeps cracking, it could be too cold. Let it rest for 10 minutes and try rolling again.

tart dough rolled out on a white background with wooden rolling pin

Step 3 – Roll the dough up onto your rolling pin and lay it into the pan. I prefer a 91/2″ tart pan with a removable bottom. That way you can see the beautiful edges of the tart after baking. The removable bottom also makes it easy to take the crust out of the tin. 

tart dough in tart pan with ingredients around it

Step 4 – Carefully lift the dough up on the sides and press it into the pan. Use your fingers to press the dough into the ridges on the side. Don’t press too hard that you press through the dough. Make sure you get into the bottom corners!

Step 5 – Roll your rolling pin flush across the top of the tart shell to remove the excess dough. Or you can use a paring knife to cut off the excess evenly. Squish together the leftovers and save them to make another tart.

tart dough in tart pan with trimmings surrounding it on white background

Step 6 – Freeze the tart shell for 20 minutes. Do NOT skip this step!

Step 7 – Press a layer of tin foil into the tart shell, all the way into the corners and fill (to the top) with pie weights, These are the pie weights I use but you can use dry beans or rice instead.  These weights will stop the dough from puffing up while baking. 

tart pan with tinfoil inside and pie weights

Step 8 – Place on top of a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Rotate to promote even browning and bake another 15 minutes.

ProTip: When you make a fresh fruit tart that is not baked, you have to bake your tart shell on its own first and let it cool before filling it. This is called blind baking or pre-baking.

Step 8 – After 30 minutes of baking, check to see if the foil is releasing from the dough by pulling back gently. If it’s sticking then the tart needs to be baked for longer. Check every 2 minutes until the foil is able to release from the side of the tart without sticking. Take the tart out of the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes.

Step 9 – Gently lift the foil to remove the pie weights. Then return the tart shell back to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown and the sides of the shell start to pull away from the edges of the pan.

tart pan on blue sheet pan

Step 10 – Place the whole tart and pan into the fridge to cool down until its totally cool.

Step 11 – Once the tart is cool, you can remove the outer ring by gently lifting up from the bottom of the tin. You can serve your tart on the base or you can gently remove it from the base by separating it with a paring knife. There is a risk of breakage when you do this though so I tend to not risk it and just serve it on the base.  

Pro Tip – Brush the surface of the tart shell with some melted chocolate (optional) to keep the fillings from making the crust soggy (you can skip this step if you don’t like chocolate but then you should fill your tart no more than 4 hours before serving). 

Step 12 –  Add in your favorite fillings like pastry cream, lemon curd or frangipane and decorate with fruit like strawberries, kiwi fruit, or get fancy with some red wine poached pears.

fresh fruit tart

CAN I SUBSTITUTE GRANULATED SUGAR?

Granulated sugar tends to aerate the butter and make the dough fluffy which is not what we want. The air pockets expand and cause the dough to shrivel and shrink during baking. 

CAN I DO THIS WITHOUT A STAND MIXER?

You can definitely make tart dough without a stand mixer. You can use a hand-held mixer or you can even just mix with a fork by hand.  

HOW TO STORE PÂTE SUCRÉE

Leftover dough can be kept in the fridge for a week or frozen for up to 6 months. If you have the freezer space, it’s actually really great to make your tart shell ahead of time (inside the pan), wrap it in plastic wrap, and put it in the freezer until you need to bake it. A great time-saving tip for those last-minute desserts. 

CAN I MAKE MINI TARTS WITH THIS?

Yes definitely! To blind bake mini tarts using mini tart pans, poke a few holes in the bottom of the tart dough with a fork and then freeze the dough for 20 minutes. Bake the mini tarts for 10-15 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden, then let them cool fully before filling. No need to use foil or pie weights.

Dessert tarts with raspberries and blueberries on a wooden table. Closeup of fancy gourmet fresh berry dessert tarts.

RELATED RECIPES

Almond Sablé Cream Tart

Red Wine Pear Frangipane Tart

Pie Crust 101

Fresh Fruit Tart

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!

Pâte sucrée (tart dough recipe)

Pâte sucrée is a sweet shortcrust that is often used to make fruit tarts. It is buttery, flaky and oh-so-easy to make. This recipe makes enough dough for TWO 8" round tarts. Freeze leftover dough. 
1 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
chill: 1 hr
Total Time: 35 mins
Serves: 2 9 1/2" tarts
Calories: 443kcal

Ingredients

Pâte sucrée ingredients

  • 8 oz (227 g) room temperature butter
  • 4 oz (113 g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 oz (340 g) all purpose flour

Equipment

  • Stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • Tart pan with removable bottom (or a regular pie pan)
  • Tin foil
  • Pie weights (or dry beans/rice)
  • Rolling Pin

Instructions

How to make Pâte sucrée

  • Add the butter into the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds until smooth and creamy.
  • Add in your sifted powdered sugar and salt and mix until combined and smooth.
  • Add in the vanilla and the egg and mix until combined.
  • Gradually add your flour while mixing on low until everything starts to come together and a dough forms.
  • Divide the dough into 2 pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into disks. Refrigerate for minimum of 1 hour before using your dough. If you skip this step, your crust will melt in the oven. 
  • Leftover tart dough can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for 6 months.
  • To bake your tart, bring the dough out of the fridge or freezer for 30-60 minutes or until it's flexible enough to bend without cracking
  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF
  • Roll your tart dough out to 1/8" thick using a rolling pin and a flour dusted surface
  • Roll the dough up onto your rolling pin and unroll it into your tart pan
  • Carefully push the dough against the sides and corners of the tart pan
  • Then use your rolling pin to roll across the top of the dough to trim off the excess
  • Freeze your tart for 30 minutes
  • Place some tinfoil into the tart pan and fill it with some pie weights (or you can use dried beans or rice instead). Place the tart pan on a larger cookie sheet to easily lift and move it in the oven.
  • Bake your tart for 30 minutes, rotate the pan halfway through baking to promote even browning
  • Remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes to evenly brown the tart
  • Let the tart cool completely before filling it with things like pastry cream, lemon curd or ganache!

Notes

  • Make sure your butter is room temperature. Room temperature butter is when it's soft enough to leave an indent with your finger but it still holds its shape and is not melted all over the plate. I make my butter room temperature by microwaving it for 10-second increments until its the right consistency.  
  • Cold eggs must be room temperature to combine with the butter properly. Place cold eggs (while still in the shell) into warm water for 5 minutes to bring them to room temperature. 
  • If your dough keeps cracking, it could be too cold. Let it rest for 10 minutes and try rolling again.
  • When you make a fresh fruit tart that is not baked, you have to bake your tart shell on its own first and let it cool before filling it. This is called blind baking or pre-baking.
  • Brush the surface of the tart shell with some melted chocolate (optional) to keep the fillings from making the crust soggy (you can skip this step if you don't like chocolate but then you should fill your tart no more than 4 hours before serving). 

Nutrition

Calories: 443kcal (22%) | Carbohydrates: 93g (31%) | Protein: 10g (20%) | Fat: 2g (3%) | Cholesterol: 52mg (17%) | Sodium: 313mg (13%) | Potassium: 110mg (3%) | Fiber: 2g (8%) | Sugar: 28g (31%) | Vitamin A: 75IU (2%) | Calcium: 21mg (2%) | Iron: 4.2mg (23%)