Tart Pastry (Pâte Briseé)

James Beard

Author and Educator

Use this tart pastry (pâte brisée) as the basis for a classic French Quiche Lorraine or any other savory tart (see Spinach Quiche.) Quiche Lorraine is traditionally made with a combination of bacon or ham and cheese, generally a Gruyère or Emmenthaler, and a custard filling. But a simple tart of caramelized onions, served with salad, makes a satisfying meal as well. And tarts don’t have to be made in round tart pans anymore. You can find tart pans in a huge variety of shapes and sizes at most baking supply companies or retailers such as Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table.


  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, cut in 8 to 12 pieces
  • 1 egg, mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten


Place the flour, salt, butter, and whole egg and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture comes together to form a ball. This should take about 20 seconds or so. If the dough doesn’t adhere, add a small amount of water by teaspoonfuls until it does.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board or counter and knead a bit to make sure that all the butter has been incorporated. Form a thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least a half an hour.

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Roll out the dough on a floured board or counter and line an 8-inch or 9-inch pie pan or tart tin with a removable bottom. Lift the dough up gently on the sides and let it settle in the pan, pushing it into all the corners. Crimp the edges, forming a raised, decorative border. Place a piece of foil on top and weigh it down evenly with uncooked beans or rice or pie weights. This is to prevent the pastry from puffing up during baking.

Bake for 18 minutes, then remove the beans or weights and foil, brush the inside of the shell with a little of the beaten egg yolk, and bake 3 minutes longer. This glazes the center so it won’t get soggy. Cool a little before filling.


One 8-inch or 9-inch tart shell