Versatile Pate Brisee

Prep Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Makes 1 large disk or 2 small disks

This simple recipe is an ideal base for many pies and tarts, sweet or savory.


  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • Salt

  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water


  1. Pulse flour, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Drizzle 1/4 cup ice water evenly over mixture. Pulse until mixture holds together when pressed between 2 fingers (dough should not be wet or sticky). If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse.

  2. Shape dough into 1 large disk or 2 small disks, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. (Dough can be refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 3 months. Let chilled dough stand for 10 minutes and frozen dough thaw before using.)

Cook's Notes

To make the pastry leaves for Pumpkin Mousse, roll out dough (scraps can be used) to a 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface, and cut out leaves using floured cookie cutters. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 350 degrees, rotating sheet halfway through, until pale gold, about 12 minutes.

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