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Fruit tarts can become exceptional when they are nestled in the right pastry shell. The masters of pastry are the French and French expert is Michel Roux. In Pastry: Savory and Sweet he introduces all the classic pastry types and has wonderful recipes to employ them. I’ve reviewed the book in an earlier post and included some of his dream recipes [Cream Puffs with Coffee and Drambuie Mousse].

Here I want to share his recipe for Pâte Sucrée, the sweet dough that can make your fruit tart a masterpiece. One secret to this recipe, as compared with other good ones, is that he uses two eggs, not one. The dough is a bit softer, easier to work with, and ultimately richer.

We get our eggs a couple of miles down the road. You can pull into the driveway and see a dozen beautiful chickens dart around the yard, staying clear of the two goats. Fresh eggs just help make this recipe even better.

Be sure to have the eggs at room temperature when you make this pastry. Baking and candy making are the culinary areas that are most like that high school chemistry class you loved. Temperature and measurements are very important here.

Look for my earlier post for French Lemon Cream Tart, and try this pastry. You’ll be quite pleased.

Pâte Sucrée

Yield: 1 tart


  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (100 grams) butter, cubed and slightly softened
  • 1 cup (100 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 medium eggs, at room temperature


Put the flour in a mound on a counter (ideally marble) and make a well. Put in the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt. Mix together with your fingertips.

Gradually draw the flour into the center and mix with your fingertips until the dough becomes slightly grainy.

Again, make a well and add the eggs. Work them into the flour mixture, using your fingertips, until the dough begins to hold together.

When the dough is well amalgamated, knead it a few times with the palm of your hand until smooth. Roll the dough in to a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and rest in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before using.

When the dough is rested and your ready to use it, unwrap and roll out on a lightly floured counter to a 1/8 or slightly less thickness. Line a tart pan with the dough, trip, and prick the bottom with a fork.

Bake blind, with pastry weights, for 20+ minutes at 375°F. Check for doneness after 15 minutes and be careful not to over bake.

Source: Pastry: Savory and Sweet by Michel Roux