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Pâte Brisée (Pie and Tart Dough) Tutorial

September 22, 2011

Making your own pie dough can be intimidating if you haven’t done it before (trust me, I’ve been there), but once you get the steps down you’ll be amazed at how easy it is. Also, don’t let the term “pâte brisée” discourage  you if you are already intimidated–it just sounds fancy because it’s French.

I make my dough in a food processor, which makes the process super fast and easy, but you can also do it by hand in a regular mixing bowl. [As a side note: if you don't have a food processor, consider getting one. They are life changing!] This is a classic all butter short crust pastry that works well in both sweet and savory pies and tarts and the key to making this is keeping the dough cold throughout the entire process. You can even stick your flour in the fridge if you like! Here’s a step by step tutorial:

Pate Brisee Tutorial Part 1 Step 1: Pulse 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a food processor until thoroughly mixed.
Step 2: Add 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, cold and cubed.
Step 3: Pulse the mixture until it resembles cornmeal; there should still be some large pieces of butter throughout.
Step 4: Drizzle 1/4 cup of ice water over mixture and pulse until the dough comes together. If the dough is still too dry add an additional tablespoon of ice water at a time (another 1/4 cup max).

Pate Brisee Tutorial Part 2 Step 5: Divide the dough in half. Place one half of the dough on a piece of plastic wrap.
Step 6: Use the plastic wrap to form the dough into a disk (about 1/2 inch thick), using a rolling pin if needed. Work quickly so the dough does not become too warm.

Repeat steps 5 and 6 with the other half of dough. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to a day (the other half of the dough can be frozen for up to 3 months if you are not using it right away).

This recipe makes enough dough for 2 9-inch single crusted pies or tarts, 1 9-inch double crusted pie, or 10 4-inch mini tarts.

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