Sponsored Links

How to prepare the ultimate pate brisee for savory pies and quiches

and everything you need to know about baking and storing tarts and quiches

We’ve said it many times – we love pies. And all types of savoury quiches, tarts and tartlets, too. Once you get the basic rules this kind of dish gives you an incredible freedom – every piece of cheese, ham, bacon, meat, poultry or vegetable could be incorporated in it. You can prepare almost every step of the recipe well in advance – freeze the shortcrust pastry or bake it first and then refrigerate or freeze it. Or, freeze the ready quiche and heat it, when you need it. Now, how about that?

Savoury tart with tomatoes and feta cheese

Having said all of the above, you should never miss the opportunity to have a homemade dinner made from scratch. And this is one clever and easy way to do it… that is to have a freshly made savoury pie or quiche in no time.

In our not so extended cooking experience we managed to try and test lots of recipes for pies and tart crusts. Some were … well, let’s say not that bad but others were really good (like the one for the savoury tart with tomatoes, feta and basil). Nevertheless, until recently I had the feeling that the search for the ultimate pastry crust was somehow not complete.

Different sources recommend various fat-to-flour ratios from “half-fat-to-flour” ratio to four-fat-five-flour parts. Fat is rubbed into the flour to create a loose crumbly mixture that is then bound using a small amount of ice water.

After reading about the subject in number of books, culinary blogs and articles, we finally found the right ratio for us. Well, it may not be a surprise, but let’s tell you once again – Julia Child is great! This post is based mainly on her notes about Pâte brisée – because it is all you need to know in order to prepare incredible tasty and tender crumbly crust for any savoury quiche, tart or galette.

Basic rules for a really good pate brisee (and any other pie pastry):

  1. For best results, keep everything cold – butter, water, hands and utensils.
  2. Always sift the flour and salt, after measuring, together into the mixing bowl; this helps to lighten the mixture.
  3. Good flaky pastry is judged by the evenness of the flakes and their distribution – this is achieved by even size and distribution of the butter particles that have to be smaller than a pea.
  4. Take care that fat and flour are blended thoroughly before the liquid is added – this will ensure that gluten is less likely to develop.
  5. Handle the pastry as little as possible and always use the finger-tips, and not the palm of your hand.
  6. Be careful not to overwork the dough – this makes the gluten strands longer and creates a tough greyish product, rather than light and crumbly or flaky.
  7. When ready always keep the pastry in a refrigerator, so it remains firm.
  8. Roll in one direction only and rotate the dough between the rolls. Avoid stretching the pastry as this causes shrinkage in baking.
  9. Pastry requires a hot, well-preheated oven. Low oven temperature causes pale, hard and flat pastry.

Pâte brisée - grated cold butterHere is the basic recipe:


140g / 5 oz / 1 ½ cups plain white flour
112g / 4 oz / ½ cup chilled butter
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
4 tbsp ice cold water

And some commentary about them:

This quantity of dough is sufficient for an 8- to 9-inch shell. For a 10- to 11-inch you need to prepare 1 ½ times this amount.

This proportions (5 parts flour to 4 parts butter) works better for soft wheat flour blended with some hard wheat, like the British plain white flour or the French flour. But if you live in a country, where plain white flour is made mostly from hard wheat, like America, you can slightly change the recipe in order to achieve a more tender crust. Substituting part of the butter with vegetable fat or leaf lard will help counteract the brittle quality of hard wheat. In this case butter will give the pastry a rich flavor, whilst the lard ensures optimum texture.

Julia Child, as many others recommends cutting the cold butter into small cubes ( ½ in. / 1 cm). Diced butter is better if you going to prepare the pâte brisée in a food processor, but if you want to do it by hand, I found working with roughly grated cold butter to be much easier. You can also use the so called pastry blender.

Pâte brisée - adding the cold waterHow to prepare the dough:

Place the sifted flour, salt, sugar and butter in a big mixing bowl. Rub quickly the flour and butter together between your finger tips until the fat is broken into pieces the size of oatmeal flakes.

The mixing of the pastry should be accomplished rapidly in a way that the butter will soften as little as possible. Julia Child recommends the use of “very quick, light finger movements” and not to “linger on the dough at all with the warm palms of the hands”.

Add the water and blend quickly with one hand and rapidly gather the dough into a mass. Press the dough firmly into a roughly shaped ball – it should just hold together and be flexible, but not damp or sticky.

Now we came to the so called fraisage - place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and with the heel of one hand (and not the palm) press the dough down and away from you in a firm, quick smear. This will ensure an even blending of fat and flour.

Gather the dough in a mass again and knead it briefly into a fairly smooth round ball. Wrap it in a cling film or greaseproof paper. You can now leave the dough in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for about an hour, until it’s firm but not congealed.

Pâte brisée - rolling out the pastryRolling out the dough:

Because of the high butter content rolling out must be as quick as possible, in order to work with cold dough. Once it starts to soften, it will become sticky and difficult to handle. Place the cold dough on a lightly floured surface and form a flat circle. It must be just enough flexible so that it can be rolled out with no cracking.

Lightly flour the top of the dough and start rolling the pin across centre back and forth with firm but gentle pressure. First you just need to start moving the dough. Then, with a movement from centre away from you roll to the far edge. Lift it, turn it at a slight angle and give it another roll. Continue this way, sprinkling some flour over the board and the dough if necessary.

At the end the circle must be around 0,3 cm/ 1/8 inch thick and about 5 cm/2 inches larger than the baking tin.

Any difficulties so far?

If you are not very practical in rolling, don’t be afraid – it is not so difficult. Well, probably the first few times your circle will not be even – mine were more strangely angled oblongs. If that is the case, you can cut a piece where is too much and glue it with water where you need it. Then simply press the two pieces of pastry together and smooth them with the rolling pin.Pâte brisée - transfering the pastry

The dough should be used as soon as it has been rolled out, so that it will not soften. If you can’t bake it right away, just refrigerate it with the baking dish.


French tarts, quiches and pies are straight sided and stand supported only by their pastry shell. You can bake the shell in a bottomless flan ring or straight-sided cake tin, or shape it using two matching pie tins. You can also bake in a glass, heat-resistant pie pans, as well as in ceramic ones – they conduct the heat evenly and the crust bakes thoroughly.

Butter the inside of the tin and, reversing the rolled dough on to the rolling pin, unroll it over the tin. Another way to place it in the tin without risking to break it will be folding it in half and in half again and then lay it in the tin and unfold it there. Use that second way only with dough that is cold enough and will not stick together when folded.

Press the dough lightly into the bottom. Lift the edges of the dough and work it gently down the inside edges of the tin with your fingers. Trim off the excess dough by rolling the pin over the top of the tin or use a knife to trim it.Pâte brisée - transfering the pastry 2

Then with your thumbs push the dough a bit above the edge of the tin, to make an even rounded rim all around the tin edge. You can also press the edge around the rim with the dull edge of a knife, to create a decorative pattern.

The last thing to do before baking will be pricking the bottom with a fork here and there, line the pastry with baking paper and fill it with dried beans or ceramic baking balls. The weight of this filling will hold the pastry against the bottom and it will not rise. For this purpose I have my small, rounded river stones, well washed – I keep them in a kitchen drawer just for this reason.

Chill the shaped pastry for half an hour before baking. It can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, well covered in a plastic bag or cling film or deep-freezed.

Pâte brisée - cutting the boardsBaking

At this point you have to know what the filling of your pie will be – pate brisee can be used for both savoury and sweet tarts, but depending on the filling you can fully bake the shell – the so called blind baking, partially bake the pastry or bake the pastry and the filling all together. The last option is recommended for fillings like unbaked custard, although for the sweet tarts and pies we prefer other pastry, like pate sucre.

Generally, for the savoury fillings Julia Child recommends using partially baked pastry shells – she prefers cooking (also partially) the filling over the stove top, and then finish all in the oven. It may sound a bit too laborious, but her method gives complete control over all the ingredients and this ensures everything will be nicely cooked.

So, as we dedicated this post to savoury tarts and quiches, here the instructions for partially baked shell:

Pâte brisée - ready for bakingBake in a preheated to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 oven on the middle rack of the oven. Bake with the baking beans for 9-10 minutes, then remove them and bake for 5-6 more minutes. When the shell starts colouring and shrinking from sides of the tin, remove from the oven. If it seems to you that the sides of your shell are too fragile, bake a bit more or just don’t unmold it, until your tart is filled and finally baked.

For a fully baked shell leave it in the oven for 8-10 more minutes, until it is lightly browned.

You may need to bake a bit longer if you use ceramic baking dish – consider 5 to 8 minutes more.

Partially or fully baked, when the shell is done unmold carefully and slip it on a rack to cool. This way your tart shell will not get soggy. The shell can be baked (partially or fully) hours ahead and can be finished just half an hour before serving.


Any mixture of bacon or ham with cream and eggs, or cheese and milk, or tomatoes and onions, or vegetables and eggs that your imagination can create can be used as quiche filling. The only thing that is important is that the mix is not too runny.

The quantity of pate brisee above is enough for 21-23 cm/ 8-9 inch shell. This size of shell can hold about 350g/12oz filling or about 1,5 cup. The filling should fill the shell by no more than 3/4 – this way it will have room for puffing slightly without spilling.

Final baking is usually made in a preheated to 190C/375F oven, in the top racks of the oven for 20-25 minutes. The partially baked shell is placed over a baking sheet and filled with the mixture. Your quiche is ready to serve when a knife plunged in the middle comes out clean.

Pâte brisée - half-baked and ready for the fillingStorage

Unrolled dough, well wrapped in plastic film, can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or 6 to 8 mouths in the freezer. When to be used, the deep frizzed dough must be thawed for 3 hours in the fridge.

The rolled pastry can also be stored under the same conditions, like the dough.

You can also deep-freeze a semi-baked pastry shell with the filling in it, but it is not recommended for other than fresh berry fillings, because both the filling and the crust will get soggy when thawed.

Fully baked quiche can be stored in refrigerator for 4-5 days. Baked quiches can be successfully frozen, wrapped in air-tight packaging, of course and should be used within 3 months.

Here the Julia Child’s recipe for an amazing Roquefort Quichе

Sources:Mastering the Art of French Cooking (2 Volume Set)
Baking 911

60 comments to How to prepare the ultimate pate brisee for savory pies and quiches

  • Meryl Natchez

    I love the idea of grating the butter! I’ve been using Martha Stewart’s recipe–pulsing the dough in my Robot Coupe. Very fast and easy, though I know Julia says DON’T. Any thoughts on that method–it keeps the warmth of your fingers away from the dough and sure speeds the process. Lovely photos!

  • chanel Artsy Gm

    discounted chanel bags
    Hi there, just wanted to say, I loved this post.
    It was helpful. Keep on posting!

  • download locke free

    I do consider all of the concepts you’ve offered to your post.
    They are really convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless,
    the posts are too brief for starters. May just
    you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  • learn how to lose weight in your thighs

    My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different website and
    thought I might check things out. I like what I see so now
    i am following you. Look forward to finding out about
    your web page for a second time.

  • active adult real estate

    With more land available, improved connectivity and proximity
    to IT corridors, the suburban and peripheral locations are witnessing the
    emergence of a number of residential projects at competitive prices.
    Adequate liquidity is essential for the business to minimize location effects.
    Because,real estate investing executed with correct evaluation of the property (and its true
    value), can result in good earnings.

  • spasimee.com

    Hello my friend! I wish tto sayy that this article iss amazing, nice
    written and include approximately all significant infos.
    I’d like to look extra posts like this .

  • Stacie

    Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok.
    I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  • Demetria

    Many organizers work together with a few more resorts a number of different
    charges structures. Nearly all of customers like a discount and that is deducted to sum
    up charge schedule. A listing of resort selections (and prices) are available any time browsing the online world.
    Through the internet, customers can certainly book exactly what they really want, where ever they really want, and also
    the organizers will likely be happy to entertain their customers for those or part of their holiday!

  • http://chomikuj.pl/surben41

    Serious injury meant that Taaffe was unable to ride in the 1956 National after a fall at Kilbeggan, where he didn’t
    regain consciousness until he got to a Dublin hospital. It also relates the ownership
    of the gasoline to Venezuelan President Chavez, but decries Chaves as an enemy of America and
    an enemy of democracy. She also wholesales to Nail Salon owners and does some direct retailing
    as well as selling on e – Bay.

  • 90 Second Fat Loss Book

    Great post but I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic?

    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
    Bless you!

  • Запчасти

    Definitely believe that that you stated. Your favourite reason appeared to
    be on the internet the easiest thing to take into account of.
    I say to you, I definitely get irked while other people consider worries that they
    plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing with no need
    side-effects , folks could take a signal. Will probably be again to
    get more. Thank you

  • telnet into router linux firmware

    After looking over a few of the blog posts on your website,
    I really appreciate your technique of writing a blog.
    I book-marked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back
    soon. Please visit my website too and tell me what you think.

  • longer race

    Having read this I thought it was really informative.
    I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this short article
    together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and commenting.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  • Elyse

    It is extremely important to have a organization grip in today’s market.

    Instead, it forms a thinner layer on the surface of the card that
    gives cards a cheap look. The entire world relies on these services to our customers.
    Reading is the printing services chance to make a great first impression and follow that up
    with consistent high-quality printed materials.

  • garcinia cambogia reviews

    Fresh fruits and vegetables, disrupting his/her
    diet. If you go weight loss out to eat a healthy diet.

    It takes dedication and work, but it will also give you
    a much needed energy boost from the exposure to fresh air.
    This good reputation, however, pros and cons of walking for weight
    loss is concerned.

  • BackPagePoster

    The ads should use wisely and describe your company’s services in terrific
    detail. I support these three sites even though there is plenty of room for all
    three to improve. Always choose the right website to get more traffic; think from the customer perspective and follow all the steps and guidelines for posting classified ads carefully.

  • whatsapp sniffer

    Once with your account you will see that whenever you would like, plus the android Traveler software also files what time
    often the chat occured, so you can observe that also. Not just would you see what time but
    you can furthermore who was becoming chatted to since this information can also be stored through the android Secret agent software
    with the total contact directory through Whatsapp.

  • Winrar password cracker

    * Auto-save – Automatically save the recovery process every 15 minutes by default, so that you can resume the RAR password
    recovery project after previous interruption or stop.
    When Win – RAR finishes creating the archive file, you can access it without password
    protection. Click Recovery in the task bar, and then select
    Dictionary attack.

  • Beatris

    Attributing to its powerful antioxidant and is coq10
    an amazing chemical cofactor which iis basically
    responsible for converting energy into forms that the combination might be effective.
    They help to convert food into energy. Patterns of diagnosis and acute dilatation enlargement of the
    CoQ10 and other forms of cancer disease. Old mice were largely immobile and poorly rexponsive due to

  • best web hosting social networking sites for bands

    I’ve been browsing online more than three hours today,
    yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me.

    Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever

  • Okna lublin ceny

    I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet viewers, its really really good paragraph on building up new blog.

  • astuce criminal case

    It is the unbelievably thick middle and upper layer of
    completely redundant management that aare the problem.

    Heidi Howard, The Courts & Media Coverage, Lect – Law.
    A lot of judges do not want people too represent themselves given iit meaans it will lessen the pace of the legal
    course of action.

  • Brookline MA consequences of drink driving

    I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet visitors,
    its really really pleasant paragraph on building up new website.

  • Penelope

    Awesome issues here. I am very satisfied to peer your post.

    Thanks a lot and I’m having a look forward to contact you.
    Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  • artdevons.com

    Hi, after reading this awesome post i am also delighted to share my familiarity here with friends.

  • Berniece

    Every weekend i used to pay a visit this site,
    for the reason that i want enjoyment, since this
    this site conations truly fastidious funny stuff too.

  • Télécharger Fiston film

    It’s very effortless to find out any topic on web as compared to textbooks,
    as I found this piece of writing at this web page.

  • time goes by so slowly

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare
    to see a great blog like this one today.

  • run shoes

    I think that what you published made a great
    deal of sense. However, think about this,
    what if you added a little information? I mean, I don’t wish to tell you how to run your
    website, however suppose you added a headline that makes people want more?

    I mean How to prepare the ultimate pate brisee for savory pies and quiches | The world of food and cooking is kinda plain. You could glance at Yahoo’s home
    page and see how they create post titles to grab viewers to click.

    You might try adding a video or a related pic
    or two to grab readers excited about everything’ve written. Just my opinion, it might bring your posts a
    little bit more interesting.

  • nike air max

    Hi, after reading this remarkable post i am too happy
    to share my know-how here with friends.

  • Repossession Software

    I know this web page gives quality based articles and other information, is there any other web page which offers
    such data in quality?

  • formula t10 ingredients

    Hey there! I simply would like to offer you a big thumbs up for your
    excellent information you’ve got here on this post. I am returning to
    your site for more soon.

  • http://prohormonesblog.com

    I’ve learn a few excellent stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how a lot effort you put to make the sort of excellent informative site.

  • gold ira companies

    If you desire to grow your know-how simply keep visiting this
    site and be updated with the most recent news update pposted here.

  • shutterfly.com

    I’ll immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or
    newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me recognise in order that I may just subscribe.

  • xt_blog

    I am really grateful to the owner of this web site who has shared this impressive piece
    of writing at at this place.

  • http://www.mdczw.org

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve visited this website before but
    after looking at some of the articles I realized it’s new to
    me. Regardless, I’m certainly pleased I came across it and
    I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

  • hypnotherapy to lose weight

    This site definitely has all of the information and facts I
    wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  • super online casino

    Great article! We are linking to this great article on our
    site. Keep up the good writing.

  • fast cash Loan

    Hi, its fastidious piece of writing regarding media print, we all
    know media is a wonderful source of data.

  • The Best Impound Towing Software Management

    Wow, fantastic blog structure! How long have you ever been blogging for?
    you made blogging glance easy. The overall glance of your website is fantastic, as neatly as the content!

  • attorney criminal law

    Fine way of telling, and pleasant psragraph to get facts regarrding myy presentation subject, which i am
    going to convey in university.

  • anuncios gratis blido

    A logistics programs designer now wanting to develop into a freelance.
    Personal bankruptcy should be a last resort in debt
    management and debt consolidation. Promotional “anuncios gratis” most likely
    will definitely get imprinted regarding the envelopes
    applied by the enterprise institutions.

  • solar cell

    Outstanding post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject?

    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further.

  • Car Dealers

    Hey are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m
    new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you need any
    coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Rhonda

    WOW juust what I was seazrching for. Came here by searching for savory pie

  • dil dooba song download

    No huge shock these toys can result in a transformation in your life.

  • Travel

    If some one desires expert view about blogging and site-building
    then i propose him/her to go to see this web site, Keep up the nice job.

  • Brenton

    Why people still make use of to read news paplers when in this technological globe everything is accessible on net?

  • habitualpeniten62.blog.com

    Article writing is also a excitement, iff you
    be acquainted with afterward you can write if not iit is difficult to write.

Leave a Reply