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Pate Brisee for Pies, Tarts and Hand Pies


This is the dough to use for pies, tarts or hand pies.

I have been using this recipe for at least 15 years, since I found it in Martha Stewart Living magazine.  It is simple, quick and a darn good crust.

You can make it a day ahead to help cut down on assembly time of your pies, or tarts.  You can freeze the dough to pull out later, like say during the holidays when your time is limited.

Pate Brisee 2

Pate Brisee for pies, tarts and hand pies

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice cold water


  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt; pulse to combine.
  • Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds.
  • With machine running, add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky.
  • Do not process more than 30 seconds.
  • Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Turn out dough onto a clean work surface.
  • Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap.
  • Shape into flattened disks.
  • Shape into the shape you will need; round for pie or round tart, rectangle for hand pies or rectangular tarts
  • Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.


The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.



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3 comments on “Pate Brisee for Pies, Tarts and Hand Pies”

  1. Avatar photo
    Heather P @The Owl with the Goblet

    My mother has been using this recipe for years as well! It really is the best, no-fail pie crust!

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