For those who have never heard of it, pâte brisée translated to "broken dough," is a variation of shortcrust pastry. As such, it is a mealy dough used for pie and tart recipes and is prepared the same way but there are some minor differences that separate the two. On the surface, pâte brisée looks like basic pie/tart dough but its consistency is much lighter and frail in comparison due to the subtle changes made to its formula.

In terms of moisture, a pâte brisée formula usually calls for eggs. Some variations to it substitute water for the eggs or call for a combination of the two.

Sugar can also be added for a sweet pastry or omitted for a savory one. Lastly, the quantity of butter called for pâte brisée can be much larger compared to regular shortcrust pastry. While the flour to butter ratio for shortcrust pastry is usually 2:1, pâte brisée calls for a ratio of 4:3. Due to its consistency, this dough is often times used for the preparation of quiche. Speaking of which, here is a simple recipe for quiche lorraine.

Today, we'll be learning to put together our very own pâte brisée for one pie shell coming in a 9 inches. However, this recipe is a fast and simple way to make this dough compared to the usual shortcrust pastry method. It's a proven method that calls for the use of a food processor and works for most pastries.

Hence, if you have one, this will be a breeze. if not, then stick to the regular means of mixing the dough like using a pastry blender or knife to cut the butter into it.

The recipe


  • 2 cups (250 g) flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 1/4 sticks (150 g) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg

The directions

  1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and run. Add the butter cubes to the food processor while it's still on. Keep mixing for 10 seconds or until the contents resemble a coarse meal.
  2. Add the egg and continue pulsing until the dough begins to hold together. Do not overmix.
  3. Mold the dough into a ball, then flatten into a disc on a baking sheet lined with parchment. This will allow the dough to chill much faster and evenly than it would be in a larger shape. Cover the dough in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or overnight. N.B: The pâte brisée can be frozen and will last for up to 1 month.
  4. When it's time to use the dough for baking, cover with flour, then gently roll it around a rolling pin, and unroll it over a 9-inch pie or tart dish or quiche pan.

Serves: 1 pie shell (9-inch)