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Pate Brisee

To ensure a flaky crust, chill the butter and the flour before using. A food processor yields the best results, but you can use a pastry cutter instead; work quickly so that the butter remains cold. This recipe provides the crust for our Spiced Apple Pie, Pear-Cranberry Pie, and our Maple Pumpkin Pie.

  • Yield: Makes enough for 1 double-crust or 2 single-crust 9-inch pies
Pate Brisee

Photography: Matthew Hranek

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2007


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 sticks (18 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 7 to 10 tablespoons ice water


  1. Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add butter, and pulse until coarse crumbs form, about 10 seconds.

  2. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream just until dough holds together and is not wet or sticky, no longer than 30 seconds.

  3. Divide dough into two portions, and shape each into a disk. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Cook's Note

Dough can be frozen up to 1 month; thaw in refrigerator overnight before using.


Reviews (13)

  • tericarper 3 Jan, 2013

    This is the best crust I've ever had. SO easy to make. I use 1/2 cup ice water & add it through the drip-tube in the top of my food processor. The douch then becomes one unform clump in the processor & is easy to work with. You can freeze this dough, defrost it, and it is still amazingly flaky & delicious. I've used it for Martha's spiced apple pie, quiche, pot pies, and pumpkin hand pies. Everyone has loved this crust.

  • JaimeeDrew 3 Jan, 2008

    This is just the BEST pie crust recipe there is. Other recipes don't tell you to keep adding water as needed- which can cause your crust to be too dry. This is just the perfect recipe for a perfect pie. So easy with the food processor!

  • AlexandraI 30 Nov, 2007

    Thank you everybody. I am so grateful for your assistance. Tomorrow we bake!!!

  • sandyred 26 Nov, 2007

    Hi Alexa,

    Here in Canada, as well as in the U.S., our "pounds" of butter can come in sticks, which is one-quarter of the pound. The closest metric equivalent is 125 ml, or 1/2 a cup, or 1/4 of the brick of butter. Good luck!!


  • stephanielowell 25 Nov, 2007

    Alexandral - 1 stick of butter is 4 oz. or 1/4 lb., which is also 113 g. I hope this helps

  • AlexandraI 23 Nov, 2007

    Could someone please tell me what a "stick" of butter weighs, and what is the capacity of your tablespoon/teaspoon measurements. I'm endeavouring to make this pie in Australia and we work in metric over here and whilst I can convert from one system to another, sticks has me totally beaten. Thanks for your assistance. Alexa in Oz

  • skiyouthere 21 Nov, 2007

    How do I know if I've overhandled the dough? I used a pastry blender and added about 10 tablespoons of water. It was mixed pretty smoothly, not chunky, but not sticky. Am I okay? Thanks!!!

  • Yellowhouse 19 Nov, 2007

    2 1/4 sticks is 8 8 2... 1/4 of 8 tbsp is 2... 2 1/2 sticks is 20.

  • princy00 19 Nov, 2007

    Erikalynne-You can totally use a pastry blender if you have one, or maybe a whisk. But you have to be careful not to over-handle the dough.
    Tandy- 2 1/4 sticks of butter is 18 tablespoons (8,8, and 2). 4 is half, not a quarter.

  • Adorable 19 Nov, 2007

    2 1/4 sticks of butter is, in fact, 18 tablespoons...8 8 2

  • BarbaraHunt 19 Nov, 2007

    If you do not own a food procesdor you can make it the old fashion way, with either a dowgh cutter, tow knives or your hands. I prefer my hands, I can get
    the butter mixed to the finist crumbs. Hope this helps.

  • Erikalynne 19 Nov, 2007

    what if i dont own a food processor? can i stir it by hand or use a hand mixer? help!

  • tandy 18 Nov, 2007

    Isn't 2 1/4 sticks of butter 20 tablespoons, 8, 8, and 4?

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