Pâte sablée

Pâte sablée

By
From
How to Cook Pastry
Makes
1 quantity
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Pâte sablée follows the same French pastry method as pâte sucrée, but by using icing sugar instead of caster, the pastry has a very tender, almost sandy, texture, hence its name (sablé is French for sand). It is a very soft dough and, unlike pâte sucrée, it often doesn’t need fraisering. When baking, as with pâte sucrée, try to keep the colour quite pale and remove from the tin or mould while still warm, to prevent it from sticking.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g plain flour
pinch salt
200g unsalted butter, softened
100g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
2-3 drops vanilla extract

Method

  1. Sift the flour and salt onto a clean work surface and, using the side of your hand, spread the flour out into a large ring.
  2. Place the softened butter, in one piece, in the middle of the ring and, using the fingertips of one hand, push down, or ‘peck’ on the butter to soften it a little more, but without it becoming shiny and greasy; it should be uniformly soft, but still cold. It is important that there are no small lumps of cold, hard butter as these can cause greasiness and holes in the pastry.
  3. Sprinkle over the icing sugar and continue to ‘peck’ until the sugar is just fully incorporated; it should be quickly absorbed.
  4. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mix and continue to ‘peck’ until the egg yolk is fully incorporated and there is no colour streakiness.
  5. Using a palette knife, flick all the flour onto the butter, sugar and egg yolks and, using the edge of the palette knife, ‘chop’ the flour into the butter and sugar mix. This technique helps to keep the flour from being overworked. As you continue to do this, you will create large flakes of pastry. Continue until there are no obvious dry floury bits in the pastry; it should be a fairly uniform colour. Often sablée pastry does not require fraisering, as it will have come together though the chopping process.
  6. Finally, bring the pastry together with your hands and shape into a flat disc. Wrap well in cling film and chill to allow the butter to firm up. Before chilling, the pastry is too soft to roll out and shape.
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