Sweet Pastry Crust
(Pate Brisee Sucree)
This recipe, from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One (Knopf, 1961) by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck, is one we often turn to when we want a good, foolproof pie crust.
- 1 1⁄3 cups flour
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1⁄4 tsp. salt
- 8 tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 tbsp. cold vegetable shortening
- Put flour into a large bowl and mix in sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender, work butter and shortening into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add as much as 4 tbsp. ice water and blend quickly with one hand, fingers held together and slightly cupped, as you rapidly gather the dough into a mass. Then press dough firmly into a rough-shaped ball. It should just hold together and be pliable but not sticky.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. With the heel of one hand, not the palm (which is too warm), rapidly press pastry by two-spoonful bits down on floured surface and away from you in a firm, quick smear of about 6″. Gather dough together, then knead it briefly into a fairly smooth round ball. Sprinkle it lightly with flour and wrap in waxed paper. Either freeze dough for 1 hour or refrigerate it for 2 hours or overnight before using.