This is the article for you if you need to know what kind of pastry dough you need. There are so many types of pastry and many kinds of pastry dough. The many variations are mixed for different purposes depending on the dish you want to make, sweet or savory and moist or dry.
In this article we will look at the short crust pastry and its three main recipes. Of course, this all depends on the baker and how she or he prefers to vary from the original mix!
Three Types Of Pastry Dough
The actual ingredients for each type of pastry are found on their individual pages and I have supplied links on this page to them for your convenience.
This page explains and provides tips on how to make each one for best results and what type of pastry delight they are used to make.
There are so many wonderful French pastry recipes, but people are often afraid to make them! They think you might have to be a trained French pastry chef and therefore it is too difficult. But that is not true, unless you are preparing food for luxury restaurants and eateries.
So please, don't be afraid to try and make them, because you have lots of help here – it is only practice that makes perfect. It's easy when you know how and soon you will have the skills!
So, before making your pastry shell recipe you will need to think about what you want it for. A sweet or savory filling, or juicy or dry.
How To Choose The Type Of Short Crust Pastry Needed
- For savory pies and quiches, or fruits with a very juicy nature such as plums, the pastry to use is the shortcrust pastry or the paté brisée.
- For sweet tarts such as lemon tart or raspberry tart etc. the paté brisée sucrée is the perfect one to use.
- Pâte sablée has a crumbly texture when mixing but yields a cookie or biscuit finish which is wonderful for making many treats, such as a dessert pizza with fruit toppings!
Secrets For Making Foolproof French Pastry Recipes
- For all French pastry recipes, the ingredients are so important. We need to get it right. The French use a special low gluten flour, but you can produce a good pastry using all-purpose flour if you cannot buy French flour.
- The French also use unsalted butter, and this gives a crisp texture but, you can use three parts butter to one part vegetable fat, which produces a light crisp pastry to be proud of.
- You can either make your pastry by hand or in a food processor. However, it is really a good idea to make it by hand, to begin with, so as to learn the skill of making a good pastry, to get the feel of the pastry in your hands, and to learn the basics first. "Il faut mettre la main a la pate!" Get your hands dirty!
- The most important part of making all French pastry is the hand mixing. You must work quickly and not handle the dough too long. This is to prevent it from getting warm as you do not want the butter to soften too much. So, work with light fingers and very quickly.
- If you choose to make your pastry recipes in a food processor, do not overdo it, just mix for a short time or the pastry will be hard.
How To Get The Dough Into The Pastry Pan Successfully
- Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5)
- Prepare your flan tin by lightly greasing it if that is what you are using. If using a pie pan that is made of stoneware there is no need to grease it. An 8-inch flan tin is suitable for most flans or quiches. Choose smaller ones for individual tarts etc. A straight-sided flan tin with a loose bottom is the best (more traditional) to use for a quiche.
- Roll out your pastry just a little larger than the flan tin. To do this, you can reverse roll the pastry onto the rolling pin, hoping it won't break! But no worries if it does, just lightly press it back together.
- Or you can fold it in half and then lay it in the tin and unfold it. Use your fingers to lift the edges of the pastry and let it fill the entire tin.
- Gently press the pastry into the tin to line the base and sides. When you've pressed it all round with your fingers (not finger tips, because this may puncture the pastry), I use my knuckles too to ease the dough into the bottom corners. Lifting the edges that hang over the tin to ease it in down the sides is helpful to avoid stretching the dough which will create shrinking when baking. Once the pan is covered nicely with the dough try to ease back down any pastry that is sticking up above the edges, so that you reinforce the edge. Make sure there are no large holes in the bottom, or the filling will leak through!
- You can use your rolling pin to roll over the top of the tin to trim off the edges. You can of course use a knife if you prefer.
- At this stage make a decorative edge around the rim if you're feeling artistic. To inspire you try one of Craftsy’s ideas. https://www.craftsy.com/post/pie-crust-edges/.
- Prick the bottom of the pastry case with a fork which will keep the dough from ballooning up while baking.
- At this stage you have a choice to prevent the bottom of the pastry case from puffing up/ballooning when cooking.
- Baking blind: Fill the pastry case with a round of baking paper and add baking beans (you can purchase ceramic baking beans in kitchen supply stores or from Amazon) to weigh the bottom crust down.
- Brush the base and sides all over with beaten egg, which will provide a sort of waterproof coating so that the pastry stays beautifully crisp even after the filling has gone in.
- Place in your preheated oven for about 8 minutes if it only needs to be partially baked or 20-25 minutes or until browned for fully cooked. Keep an eye on it through the window. Resist the urge to open the oven and let out the heat.
- Remove from the oven and remove the paper and beans. Place the shell back in the oven for about 2 minutes more (just starting to turn light brown on the edges).
- This is your partially cooked pastry shell.
- For a fully cooked pastry shell continue baking for another 5-10 minutes or until the pastry is a golden-brown color.
Sweet Recipe Examples With Paté Brisée Sucrée
- Strawberry Tart - is best made with paté brisée sucrée for the extra sweetness the added sugar adds for a dessert recipe.
- Lemon Tart - is also made with paté brisée sucrée for the extra sweet flavor in the crust.
Savory Recipe Examples With Paté Brisée
- Onion Tart and Quiche Lorraine - are savory dishes and so are suitable for the paté brisée crust as most savory recipes would be.
- Plum Tart - not a savory dish but because it is not only a sweet dessert dish it is also juicy, so it is best to use the paté brisée.
Practice Makes Perfect
With these French pastry recipes as with cooking in general the more you do it the more success you will have.
Now that you know the type of pastry you need for your chosen dish you can dive into practice. And make sure you eat your practice runs!
Let's start with a simple pastry using a cooked shell and an easy filling. This is a favorite of mine when I'm pushed for time!
Strawberry Tart – French pastry recipes can be easy with something simple to start you off like this little gem. Mouth-watering summer strawberries with a delicious soft cheese filling. Enjoy!
Raspberry Tart With Creme Patisserie – For a more traditional filling for your strawberry tart or indeed any fruit tart, a delicious custard cream filling is what you need. This is very simple to make but again many are a little nervous that it is too difficult to make or that it will go lumpy. No, indeed it is quite simple and if I can do it, you can do it too. The custard in this recipe is so easy to make and makes the smoothest, richest custard you will ever make (with just milk, no cream involved).
All this important information about pastry shells in the printable recipe card below so you can have it handy for easy reference.Print