All purpose pastry crust: pâte brisée or shortcrust
This is the basic shortcrust or pâte brisée which is used for all fruit tarts, quiches, and savoury tarts. It can be shaped in a traditional tart shape with sides or flat.
Recipe type: Basics
Cuisine: French
  • 1 egg
  • 120g cold butter
  • 250g flour
  • 1 tbs (env 12 g) caster sugar (if sweet)
  • 1 tbs brown or raw sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a bowl put the flour and the cold butter cut in cubes. Add the pinch of salt.
  2. With your hands, rub the ingredients between your palms until you get a sandy texture. I remember my grand-mother doing that very quickly.
  3. Add the water and the egg. With the tip of your fingers, work the dough to make a ball but do not overwork it. If you keep it a bit crumbly not to play-dohy. If it is too "worked" it will be too hard when cooked.
  4. Wrap the ball in plastic film or put it in a zipped plastic bag or even wrap it in a humid tea towel. Put it in the fridge for at least 50 mins. You can freeze it at this stage too or keep it for up to 2 days in the fridge.
  5. Pre-heat oven at 180°C (356°F). Take your ball of dough out of the fridge. Place baking paper (parchment) on your bench longer than the size of the circle of pastry you want to achieve. Cut another piece of parchment the same size. Put your dough in the middle of the first sheet, place the second on top and with a rolling pin, flatten the dough to 4 to 5mm (0,16 to 0,2in) thick in a circle (or rectangle if you have a fancy rectangle mould). As I am not much of an artist in tart presentation... I create a very organic roundish shape which will fit in my oven tray. Feel free to create any fancy shape (heart, rabbit, turtle, flower, etc.)
  6. Place the flat pastry in the oven tray grabbing the baking paper on both sides. With a fork, prick the dough all over, leaving no large space untouched to prevent the pastry from raising. Spread a spoon of raw or brown sugar on it.
  7. Bake the "empty" crust it until golden.
  8. Slip the pastry on a nice serving plate. Leave it to cool.
  9. Cream: When the pastry is cool. Take the cream bowl out of the fridge. Pour rum in the bottle's cap. and then pour it on the cream. Whisk it very well to give it a smooth aspect (the cream looks a bit hard when it comes out of the fridge).
  10. Spread pastry cream (crème pâtissière) on the crust leaving an inch free all around.
  11. Place your chosen fruits and enjoy!
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  13. NOTES: go mad and make savoury versions (add spices, herbs, pepper, salt) or sweet version (put sugar, add vanilla, try grated tonka bean, funny colours).
Recipe by The Flo at