Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bulletproof Recipe For Pate Brisee

This is a classic French pie pastry, which works well for both sweet and savoury dishes. It's almost the same as traditional short crust pastry - which uses one portion of fat to every two of flour - but uses egg and a higher fat ratio (64% rather than 50%) and rolls much better.

It also has a richer flavour and crumblier texture, and is perfect for Cornish pasties or similar. Indeed, we used this to make amuse bouche pasties filled with confit pheasant and grapes for a function at the college where I'm studying my Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Catering (see pics below).

As with all pastries, it's vital not to overwork the dough. Just bring it together with a spoon, and when using your hands, use your fingers rather than the heel of your palm as you would with bread dough, as the heel is the warmest part of your hand. It's also essential to chill the dough well before you roll it out.

Pate Brisee

160g butter
5g salt (or one level teaspoon)
250g plain flour
1 egg
1 tbsp cold water

Use chilled butter straight from the fridge and cut it into small squares. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl and add the butter. Using the tips of your fingers, crumble the flour and fat together to make breadcrumbs.

Then add the egg and water, and using a spoon, work it all together into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and leave in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Roll out the pastry to about the width of a £1 coin and use for tarts, pasties, pies etc.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I would like to know if the NVQ course you are undertaking is based in London? I am looking to enter my career as a chef after spending the majority of my time in Finance/Business. The options appear to be:

Enter the industry with no experience, as a kitchen porter/ commis-chef- I am currently attempting this method and it appears to be very tough route.

Attend a culinary school- I have read a few successful stories for past alumni, however with courses averaging GBP18-23,000, I find these cost not feasible.

Thus I am most intrigued with the NVQ route you undertook. I would very much appreciate your advices

Thank you