I recently bought Michel Roux’s Pastry – not so much a recipe book as a beautifully illustrated crash course to the main French pastry types. I have been desperate to try out some of the techniques, so I decided to attempt some bite-sized pretty pastries, made with a Pate Sucree base – Pate Sucree pastry.
Pâte Sucrée, often referred to as sweet shortcrust pastry, is a fundamental pastry dough that serves as a delightful foundation for a wide range of sweet and dessert dishes. The name “Pâte Sucrée” translates to “sweet pastry” in French, which reflects its sweet flavor profile.
This Pate Sucree pastry dough is known for its buttery, crumbly texture and sweet, delicate flavor. It’s commonly used in various desserts, including tarts, pies, and pastries, and it provides a perfect balance of sweetness and richness to complement sweet fillings. Thanks to this sweetened shortcrust pastry, there are many awesome French desserts.
I am something of an impatient and impulsive baker – probably not the best characteristics when making pastries, and consequently did not leave the Pate Sucree pastry to rest in the fridge for the recommended 1-2 hours. My dough was more sticky, and I ended up with the centers being slightly cake-like, almost spongy, but this actually worked well.
(Note: You can refrigerate the dough for a few days before rolling it out or freeze it for as long as 2 months.)
Pate Sucree, it would seem, is incredibly versatile and easy to work with – enriched with eggs and icing sugar, it is closer to a biscuit than a pastry dough but does not spread in the oven, so it is perfect for trying out all kinds of creations.
I’ll share the best Pate Sucree pastry recipe I made up, but once you’ve got a basic Pate Sucree, there are endless things you could do with it, so enjoy experimenting! And here is how to make the Pate Sucree pastry.
Sweet Little Pate Sucree Pastry
For the pastry
- 250 g plain flour mine was a gluten-free blend
- 100 g icing sugar
- 100 g butter
- 2 eggs
For the toppings/flavourings
- Apricot jam
- 200 ml whipping cream
- 3 tsp ground coffee
- A handful of flaked almonds
- Fresh strawberries and blackberries
- To make the Pate Sucree, place the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Place the icing sugar and butter into the well. Begin to combine with your fingertips, slowly incorporating the flour, until you have a mixture resembling fine breadcrumbs.
- Make a well again, and add the eggs. Use a spoon to combine everything until you have a sticky dough. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge (in this case, for 30 mins. Preheat the oven to 180oC, grease a cupcake tin, and line a flat baking tray.
- Put spoonfuls of the pastry (just over half the mixture) into the cupcake tin, using the back of a spoon to flatten. Make a dip in the centre of each one. Fill with a teaspoonful of apricot jam. Place into the oven and bake for about 20 mins, or until the pastry is just turning golden.
- Meanwhile, add the ground coffee to the remaining pastry and mix well until combined.
- Use a teaspoon to make small circles of dough on the baking tray. Bake for 10-15 mins.
- While the pastries cool, whip the cream. When almost whipped fully, add a tbsp of icing sugar and whisk until combined. When the pastries have cooled, add a tiny drop of whipped cream to each biscuit and top with a sprinkling of flaked almonds. Dredge a small amount of icing sugar over each one.
- For the tartlets, wait until the jam is cooled fully, then top each one with whipped cream. Slice the strawberries and use these and the blackberries to decorate each tart.
- Serve with a good cup coffee and enjoy!