Easy French all-Butter Pastry
This is my very simple, everyday, anyonecanmakethis Gascon Kitchen All-Butter Pastry. I teach this to all students who come through Camont’s kitchen doors. It breaks the usual prissy pastry rules about chilling flour, butter and water. It is a forgiving sort of crust, a classic French pâte brisée perfect for everything from fruit tartes to the savoury tarte a la tomates that we shared with good friend David Lebovitz.
It’s easy. Be not afraid of crust. It will be delicious and your friends will love you and your tartes
1 1/2 cups (210 g) flour
4 ounces (125 g) unsalted butter straight from the refrigerator. Cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2-3 tablespoons cold water as needed.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). The oven should be very hot to seize the pastry to hold its shape.
1. Make the dough by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter cubes and use your hands to break in the butter by smashing the butter with your fingers into the flour. Continue until the mixture has a crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.
2. Mix the egg with 1 tablespoon of the water. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the beaten egg mixture, stirring the mixture until the dough holds together. If it’s not coming together easily, add additional water.
3. Gather the dough into a ball and roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, adding additional flour only as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.
4. Once the dough is large enough so that it will cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides, roll the dough around the rolling pin then unroll it over the tart pan. Prick the bottom of the pastry with your fingertips a few times, pressing in to make indentations. Who needs a fork?
You can then brush the pastry base with an egg, sprinkle with sugar or just fill and bake. How long? Depending on the filling about 25-35 minutes.