WHAT IS PATE BRISEE?
Pâte Brisée is the multipurpose crust of classic French cuisine. Pâte brisée translate to “broken pastry”, probably because the dough is not smooth and supple like a cookie or bread dough. It is a great base for fruit pies, galettes (open fruit pies) and turnovers. It’s equally good for savory dishes from vegetable charts to meat pies.
SUGGESTIONS WHEN MAKING PATE BRISEE
- It’s all in the technique
To succeed at making a short crust, there are a few tips to remember: First, make sure your butter is cold. Second, don’t over mix it. Believe it or not, a food processor is the best for this job–as long as you pulse gently. Last, the water has to be ice cold and don’t use too much.
When your dough comes together it should be sort of rough looking. In fact, sometimes short pastry is described as “shaggy” but it is this “shagginess” of the short crust that makes it crispy and flaky. The idea is to mix in equal amount of butter and flour so that the butter remains in fairly good sized pieces. After you’ve rolled out and formed your dough–either in a pie or tart dish or free from (like a galette), chill it down again for the best effect.
- From this point it’s all chemistry
So how does all this translate to crispy crust? Chemical reactions. When the cold pie crust hits the oven, the butter which is encased in the dough melts and release steam. The steam puffs up the dough and leave air pockets–voilà, flakes!
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH PATE BRISEE?
This is the perfect all purpose crust for a tarte or pie or even a Quiche Lorraine. Remember that there are 4 different types of pie crusts, Flaky, Brisee (all purpose since no sugar), Sucrée (sweet), Foncer (egg yolk, savory) and Sablee (Foncer + sugar, dessert). (written by Chef Stef)