Basics: Pâte Sablée

 Pâte Sablee | Koekbook
You may have noticed it has been a bit quiet on my blog lately. Sorry to keep you all waiting so long! I was trying out recipes for the cake/tart/pie competition I posted about earlier (in Sleen, Drenthe). I was completely blocked creatively, and when I finally came up with something, it didn’t turn out great. I had to think of something different, and luckily patissier Christophe Michalak provided me with some much needed inspiration (not that he was aware in any way). I will be competing with a strawberry and pistachio tart called “Nutty About Strawberries”, and it is absolutely DELISH. For those of you who want to get a taste, I will be at at Festival der Zoete Verleidingen in Sleen, the 7th of August. The competition starts at 14:30 but there is plenty to see and taste beforehand. For those of you who can’t make it, don’t fret! I will post the recipe on my blog later this week. Thanks for your patience!



Now to get to the matter at hand – pâte sablée! The tart I will be presenting at the competition features this sweet pastry, and as it is so versatile, I thought I might as well post the recipe on my blog for everyone to enjoy and adapt to their preferences. This pastry is great for sweet tart(elette)s and can be baked blind or baked with a filling (this is what I did). You can even use it for cookies. It is super soft and crumbly, but you will need a bit of time (and preferably a cold kitchen..ahem) to get it just perfect. Most of the time you’ll spend waiting, though, time which you can spend on other useful things.  I made the pastry the day beforehand, and you can even freeze it! This recipe is apparently by Pierre Hermé, but I couldn’t find the original source. I found it at French patisserie blog Il était une fois la patisserie. The French do know their patisserie. 
After adding flour: very soft!


That reminds me, I bought two new baking books! I bought “Atelier Tartes” and “Le Petit Larousse Pâtissier” online from FNAC, a huge French multimedia/electronics/houseware store. To my surprise, the books got here overnight! Oh and spoiler: the Petit Larousse isn’t so petit..And the edges are colored silver, which is quite luxury but has the downside of turning me in a wannabe Twilight vampire. Anyhow, you’ll probably see recipes from those books on my blog soon.

Recipe Pâte Sablée

yields: dough for 2 24cm tart shells


140   gr unsalted butter, diced and at room temperature
75     gr icing sugar
2      gr salt
25     gr ground almonds
seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod
1      egg
250   pastry flour 

1. Mix butter, sugar and salt until it looks creamy and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until the egg has been fully incorporated (this could take a while). Mix the ground almonds and vanilla seeds in until evenly dispersed. Finally, add the pastry flour and beat until you have a smooth, soft batter (I’m hesitant to call it a dough at this point because it is really very soft!).

2. Turn batter/dough out onto a piece of clingfilm and shape into a ball with the help of the clingfilm. Wrap it into the clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for at least two hours. 

3. To blind bake: divide dough in half and roll one half out into a circle large enough for a 24 cm tart tin (3-5 mm thick). Line the tin with the dough and leave to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour. 

4. Preheat the oven to 180C.

5. Once chilled, prick the base all over with a fork. Line tart shell with baking parchment and add baking beans. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove parchment and beans and bake for a further 6 to 5 minutes. Leave to cool, then fill with your filling of choice.

6. For smaller tarts, blind bake shells for 15 minutes.

7. For cookies, roll out to 5mm thickness. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, place on baking sheet and chill for at least 30 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes. Great for making linzer cookies! 

source: Pierre Hermé via Il était une fois la patisserie

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