Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Sandy Bottom Isn't Always a Bad Thing - Pâte Sablée

Pâte Sablée, French for Sandy Dough, is VERY different from the other 2 types of pastry dough. It is remarkably similar to a shortbread cookie dough. The 3 commandments kind of get thrown out the window on this one... It's the Rebel of the bunch. But there is a method to the madness. You need soft butter to cream with the confectioners' sugar, and you need the confectioners' sugar or the pastry will be tough. The cornstarch in the confectioners' sugar actually tenderizes the dough a little.

The resulting dough is extremely sticky and must be refrigerated before it can be used. It is also virtually impossible to roll out, thus must be pressed into the pan that it will be baked in. AND it must be at least partially baked before being filled.

The texture, unlike the flakiness of or the crispiness of Pâte Sucrée, is very tender and grainy or "sandy", thus the name. And to be honest the method of construction is just like the process used to mix most cookie dough.

Pâte Sablée

4 oz (113g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup plus 2 TB (4 oz) (115g) Confectioner's Sugar, sifted after measuring
1 Large Egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups plus 1 TB (7 oz) (200g) AP flour
1/2 cup (1.7 oz) (50g) Almond flour or finely ground almonds (I used Chestnut flour instead, cause I had it)

Place soft butter in a medium bowl and sift powdered sugar over the butter.

In an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add egg and salt and beat until combined.

Whisk the Flour and Almond Flour together.

Then slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture,

mixing until just combined

Using a spatula, cause it's kind of... OK, it's REALLY sticky, dump the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap.

Fold the plastic over and smoosh (that is a technical term) the dough as flat as possible.

Wrap completely and chill for at least 4 hours.

When Ready to use, you will have to warm it up slightly, press it into your tart pan and re-chill it for 30 minutes before blind baking.


Danielle said...

Now I'm curious as to which dough you're gonna use for what kind of pie! Get baking!! We need pie!! :)

Bob said...

I love this kind of pie crust but I had never known it's proper name. I want to see what you're doing with it too! :)