Pate Sucree is Sweet Pie/Tart Pastry
- 285g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 150g icing sugar, sifted
- 100g ground almonds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean pulp
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 490g all-purpose flour (chill this in the freezer if making it in the summer)
- Cream the butter using a food processor or a kitchenaid with the paddle attachment. Add the sugar and mix well. Next, add the almond powder, salt, vanilla and mix until the mixture is smooth, again scraping when necessary. Add the eggs and mix just until blended. Add the flour steadily. There is no need to wait for the flour to be incorporated thoroughly after each addition. Mix just until the ingredients come together to form a soft, moist dough that doesn’t clean the sides of the bowl completely but does hold together. Don’t overdo it.
- Shape the dough into a ball and divide it into 3 or 4 pieces: 3 pieces for 10-inch tarts, 4 for 9-inch tarts. Or, you can shape it into one large ball and cut off as much as you need. Gently press each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or for up to 2 days before rolling and baking. The dough can also be wrapped and frozen for up to a month.
Butter a tart ring and preheat the oven to 180ºC. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface (I roll mine between sheets of cling wrap so that it won’t stick) to a thickness between 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch. Fit the dough onto the bottom and sides of the ring and leave some of the excess. Prick the dough all over with a fork and chill for at least 3o minutes in the refrigerator
When you are ready to bake the crust, fit a circle of parchment paper or foil into the crust and fill with dried beans or rice or coins. Bake the crust for 18-20 minutes , until it is just lightly colored. If it needs more time in the oven, remove the rice/beans/coins and the parchment paper and bake for another five minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and trim off the excess dough using a sharp knife. Transfer the crust to a rack to cool.