In France, you can find quite a big range of pre-made pastries in supermarkets.
Most of them are already rolled out in a circle for you and it becomes harder and harder to find a block of pastry to roll in the shape you want.
You can find 3 different sorts of pastry: the “pâte feuilletée” which is puff pastry, the “pâte brisée” which is the equivalent of shortcrust but a bit different (I find it a bit more crispy and buttery) and then you have the “pâte sablée” which translates to “sanded pastry”, that pastry is used for sweet tarts and pies only. It’s very crumbly and buttery and a bit harder to work with as it contains less flour and more sugar than the two others.
I really like the pâte sablée because it gives a really crisp and sweet result, it tastes and looks much more like “French patisseries” than the other pastries.
I have made it myself since a while now. I normally use it for individual little tarts and I’ve used it a couple of times for big ones. The only down side is that it’s harder to work with.
When you actually make the pastry, it looks like cookie dough; it’s very sticky.
You’ll also need to chill it before you use it and the rolling requires a lot of flour on your worktop.
If you’re planning to make a large tart, I highly recommend using a loose bottom tin: when you roll out your pastry, take the loose bottom part of the tin and slide it underneath your rolled pastry.
Fold the edges of the pastry inside the edges of the loose bottom and return it to the tin, then you only have to unfold the edges to make the sides. This way your pastry won’t break away too much.
For 500g of pastry or pâte sablée (1 large tart), you’ll need:
– 140g of butter
– 100g of sugar
– 1 egg
– 200g of flour
– 50g of ground almonds
– vanilla powder or extract
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
Add the flour and ground almonds and mix until well combined but do not overwork it otherwise you’ll end up with tough pastry.
Put it in cling film and leave it in the fridge for 1h before using it.
You need to refrigerate it after it’s been rolled out in your tin.
The colder it is before you put it in the oven, the better it is.
If you’re planning on blind baking it, don’t forget to stab it with a fork in the tin and to use baking beans.
This pastry freezes really well. I usually make a lot of it and freeze it in little portions.
For a recipe on our blog using this type of pastry click the image below…