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Sweet French Tart Crust (Pâte Sucrée)

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This Sweet French Tart Crust, also known as Pâte Sucrée is an all round great recipe. It’s a slightly sweet shortcrust crust that is perfect for things like French fruit tarts that have no-bake fillings, all the way to baked tarts like my Crème Brûlée Tart. This recipe can be used for large pies, and small ones too!

French Pastry Tart Crust Pate Sucree 24 - top down shot of baked tart

This recipe was originaly posted on January 21, 2021. The recipe was re-worked and updated on June 15th, 2024.

Why you’ll love this French Tart Crust

What I love about this sweet tart crust is that it’s perfectly flaky, light and buttery. It’s also lightly sweet, and the perfect little thin layer of pastry to compliment any filling, no-bake or a wet filling that needs further baking!

What’s Sweet French Tart Crust (Pâte Sucrée)?

Put simply, a tart is a pastry crust that has any number of delicious fillings! This particular one is a shortcrust tart shell. It’s crispy, buttery and flaky rathet than puffy in texture. In this recipe I’ll be taking you through each step to make the dough, roll it out and blind bake it. More on that later! First though, I have some great recipes that use this wonderful tart shell. Check them out here!

What does this tart crust taste like?

This crust is buttery, this recipe is rolled thin and when baked using my method. It stays  crisp because of the blind baking method. More on that below!

French Pastry Tart Crust Pate Sucree 24 - extreme close up of baked tart

Why do we blind bake this crust?

Well, there are pie crusts that can be baked with wet fillings and then there are crust recipes like this, that need to be blind baked. Blind baking is when you pre-bake the crust by filling it with baking beads. That way when you add the filling the crust stays nice and crisp.

What are the ingredients I need?

  • All-purpose flour – also known as plain flour.
  • Powdered sugar – also known as icing sugar.
  • Vanilla ExtractAlways use good quality vanilla extract when baking, it makes a huge difference. I have a great recipe here for it if you’d like to try your own!
  • Butter – I used unsalted butter, straight out of the fridge. It’s got to be chilled.
  • Egg – this tart used to use egg yolks, but I found that it resulted in a soft tart crust and not a nice crispy one which is why I changed it over to one whole egg. Plus there’s no waste!

Making the crust using a food processor

  • Add the flour, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to the bowl of a food processor and blitz for 20 seconds to combine. Next, add the butter and pulse until you reach lentil sized pieces.
  • Add the egg and blitz until small clumps of dough form.

Making it by hand is easy too

  • Add the dry ingredients to a bowl
  • Then add the cold butter and rub it in using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs
  • Add the egg and mix it through using a spatula
  • Then bunch it with you hands to make sure it’s mixed in properly.
  • Turn the crumbly mixture out your workbench and bunch it together (without kneading).
  • Wrap it up in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for one hour.
  • Preheat a fan forced oven to 160°C / 325°F. Dust your workbench with flour and use a rolling pin to roll out to 14 inches wide.
  • Carefully roll over the rolling pin and then transfer and
  • Unroll over a 9-inch tart tin with removable bottom.
  • Carefully lift the dough over the tart to allow it to naturally fall into the corners of the tart. You don’t want to stretch it or it will shrink as it bakes and become uneven.
  • Roll the rolling pin over the excess dough to cut clean. Discard excess dough. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Place the tart tin on a baking tray. Use a fork to prick holes into the bottom of the tart shell.
  • Place the tart tin on a baking tray. Scrunch up a large piece of baking paper and then un-scrunch it. Place on the inside of the tart tin. Fill with baking beads. I used dried chickpeas. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Take it out of the oven, carefully lift out the beads using the corners of the baking paper
French Pastry Tart Crust Pate Sucree 24 - side shot of baked tart
  • Bake for a further 10 minutes. Once baked, allow to cool completely.

My Top Tips!

  • Don’t stretch the dough! – When you unroll the dough back into the tart tin, you must lift the dough to let it fall to the bottom of the tart tin instead of stretching. If you stretch the dough it will shrink as it bakes and become uneven around the top. 
  • Transferring the dough. – To easily transfer the dough from your workbench to the tart tin, simply roll it over the rolling pin then unroll back over the tart tin.
  • How to easily cut off excess dough! – Here’s a really fun tip! It’s my favourite part of making this recipe because it takes second and is so satisfying. Simply use your rolling pin and roll it over the top of your tart. It will perfectly cut it off!
  • Baking Beads – You can use dried chickpeas or rice instead of actual ceramic baking beads which can be expensive. Simply fill them as you would baking beads then once you’re finished with them, let them cool completely in a bowl before placing back in a container or zip lock bag.

Why is this recipe is in grams and not cups?

The short answer is accuracy! It is far easier, more accurate and you get more consistent results when you measure ingredients by weight, especially in dessert and bread baking! I wrote all about this in my post about using digital kitchen scales!

Gave this a go? Don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Hungry for more? Join me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok for more great recipes!

French Pastry Tart Crust Pate Sucree 24 - thumbnail image 01

Sweet French Tart Crust Pâte Sucrée

This Sweet Tart Crust, also known as Pâte Sucrée is buttery, flaky and not too sweet, making it a great all round pastry dough for big or small tarts!

Serves 1

5 from 3 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Calories: 1840kcal

Ingredients

Sweet Tart Crust

  • 235 g all-purpose flour, plain flour
  • 50 g powdered sugar, icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110 g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 large egg, 55g, whisked


Instructions

Crust (food processor)

  • Combine dry ingredients – Add the flour, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract to the bowl of a food processor and blitz for 20 seconds to combine.
  • Add butter and egg – Add the butter and pulse until you reach lentil sized pieces. Add the whisked egg and blitz until small clumps of dough form.

Crust (by hand)

  • Combine dry ingredients – Add the flour, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl and use a whisk to combine.
  • Add butter and egg – Add the butter and use your fingertips to rub into the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs that look like they’ve been flattened. Add the whisked egg and use a spatula to mix in until the dough begins to clump together and becomes too hard to mix with the spatula.
  • Form dough ball and chill – Turn the mixture out your workbench and bunch it together (without kneading). Form a rough disc shape and then wrap in plastic. Chill for 1 hour.
  • Roll out dough – Lightly dust your workbench and rolling pin with flour. Use a rolling pin to slowly roll dough disc out to 14 inches wide. This recipe is for a tart shell up to 10” but can be used for tart shells smaller than that. Turn your dough as you roll and pinch together any cracks that might form around the edges as you roll.
  • Transfer dough over tin – Carefully roll over the rolling pin and then transfer and unroll over a 10-inch tart tin with removable bottom.
  • Form the tart – Carefully lift the dough over the tart to allow it to naturally fall into the corners of the tart. You don’t want to stretch it or it will shrink as it bakes and become uneven. Roll the rolling pin over the excess dough to cut clean. Discard excess dough.
  • Chill your tart – place the formed tart in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat a fan forced oven to 150C / 300F (170C / 340F for no fan).
  • Dock the tart – Place the tart tin on a baking tray. Use a fork to prick holes into the bottom of the tart shell. This is called ‘docking’ and will prevent your tart from puffing up as it bakes the second time.
  • Blind baking your tart shell – Scrunch up a large piece of baking paper and then un-scrunch it. Place on the inside of the tart tin. Fill with baking beads. I used dried chickpeas. Bake for 15 minutes. Take it out of the oven, carefully lift out the beads using the corners of the baking paper. Whisk together 1 egg with 1 tbsp of milk and brush it on the tart shell. Bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Once baked, allow to cool completely before using. You can use this tart shell recipe with both baked and unbaked fillings. For baked fillings, proceed to add the filling and bake as needed. The tart shell may slightly darken in color.

Notes

Baking Beads
You can use dried chickpeas or rice instead of actual ceramic baking beads which can be expensive. Simply fill them as you would baking beads then once you’re finished with them, let them cool completely in a bowl before placing back in a container or zip lock bag.
Storage – This tart crust can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to three days.
Nutrition – is an approximate and is based the entire tart shell. Obviously, you’re not going to eat the entire thing. Just divide the nutrition information by about 8 which is how many people this tart shell would serve.
A note on measurements – this recipe is offered in weight measurements. This is in an effort to offer the most accurate way to get the best results. Cup measurements simply aren’t accurate enough for a recipe that needs precision and cup sizes differ depending on where you are in the world. Here is where you can learn more about how to measure ingredients using digital kitchen scales!

Nutrition

Calories : 1840kcal
Carbonhydrates: 215g
Protein: 29g
Fat: 96g
Saturated Fat: 58g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g
Monounsaturated Fat : 25g
Trans Fat : 4g
Cholesterol: 400mg
Sodium: 662mg
Potassium : 324mg
Fiber: 6g
Sugar : 50g
Vitamin A: 2987IU
Calcium: 85mg
Iron: 11mg
Nutrition Disclosure
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2 comments

Angel February 17, 2022 - 7:18 pm

5 stars
I already tried this recipe and it works perfectly! Thank you for share! (Greetings from Chile!)

Reply
Nick Makrides August 8, 2022 - 3:35 am

Thanks so much Angel! So glad to hear that! N x

Reply
5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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