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Pastry Dough - Tarts Part 1

Pâte Sucrée or Pâte Sablée: The Secret to Sweet Tart or Cookie Dough

Tart doughs, pâte sucrée, and pâte sablée offer a finished product similar to pie crust dough (pâte brisée), but these doughs contain more sugar and incorporate eggs or egg yolks into the recipe. The mixing method and addition of egg to the batter makes this dough more forgiving than pie crust dough. When making pie crust dough, there is a delicate balance of fat, moisture and mixing method that must be followed in order to achieve optimal results.

Mixing Tart Dough

The mixing method for pâte sucrée is slightly different than that of pâte brisée. The sucrée dough can stand up to more aggressive mixing in a food processor, if desired, with little chance of over mixing.

Pâte Sucrée vs. Pâte Sablée

The difference between pâte sucrée and pâte sablée is the sugar content. Pâte sucrée, literally translated, means "sweet pastry" and can be used for sweet and savory tarts, with recipes varying the sugar from three to six tablespoons.

Pâte sablée, meaning "sand," in French, contains a much higher sugar ratio, resulting in a crumbly shortbread cookie style crust. Because of the high ratio of sugar, pâte sablée can be difficult to roll, and is often added to the tart pan in chunks and then smoothed out with the bottom of measuring cup.

About the Author

After receiving degrees from the University of Wisconsin and the Culinary Institute of America, Andrea Rappaport moved into a full-time career in the restaurant business. For over 12 years, she worked in various culinary jobs, including as a cook for Wolfgang Puck at Spago, and ultimately as the executive chef and partner of the highly revered San Francisco restaurant Zinzino. For the past seven years, Andrea has worked as the private chef for one family in the San Francisco area, and continues to expand her culinary portfolio by catering, teaching, and consulting.