Firm or Flaky? Pâte Sucrée vs Pâté Sablée

Pâte Sucrée vs Pâté Sablée

Oh boy, is there anything tastier than shortcrust pastry?

If you ask me, the answer is a resounding “no”!

Not only are they loved the world over for their delectable taste and texture, but there’s no doubt that without them, the recipes that use Pâte Sucrée and Pâté Sablée just wouldn’t taste the same without them.

Whether it’s the refreshing, sweet taste of a fresh fruit tart or a decadent cream pie, there really is no substitute for them.

And by them, we’re talking about two of the most popular shortcrust pastry doughs – Pâte Sucrée and Pâté Sablée. While they’re both out-of-this-world tasty, there are things that make each of them unique in their own way.

That said, the main difference between Pâte Sucrée and Pâté Sablée is the texture of the dough once it’s baked. Pâte Sucrée yields a light and flaky crust whereas the crust of Pâté Sablée is prized for its crumbly, sand-like texture.

Of course, there are some other differences between these two scrumptious shortcrust pastry doughs which we’ll cover in much more detail.

So if you’re ready, let’s get right to it!

What is Pâte Sucrée?

Pâte Sucrée is a type of French shortcrust pastry that is distinguished by the higher amounts of sugar relative to other shortcrusts. Aside from imparting a noticeably sweeter taste, the sugar serves a secondary purpose – it inhibits gluten formation which results in a delicate, tender crust that makes it ideal for delicacies like tarts.

Pâte Sucrée Uses

Since Pâte Sucrée is a sweet dough, the uses for it should make sense. Mostly, Pâte Sucrée is used to make tarts (both fruit and cream filled), cream or chocolate ganache pies.

Pâte Sucrée Meaning

The easiest way to remember the meaning of Pâte Sucrée is to think about sugar. Pâte Sucrée roughly translates to mean “sweet dough” or “sweet shortcrust pastry”. The reason for this is quite simple – of all the shortcrust pastry doughs, Pâte Sucrée uses the most sugar.

Pâte Sucrée Ingredients

Sugar not included, Pâte Sucrée also uses butter, eggs, salt, flour and vanilla as ingredients. To prepare it, Pâte Sucrée is creamed by beating room temperature butter with sugar prior to combining it with the other ingredients.

The reason the butter must be room temperature is that it helps to create air bubbles in the mixture when beaten. The result is a dough that imparts a remarkable flakiness that is light and sweet.

Is it any wonder that it melts in your mouth?

How Long Does Pâte Sucrée Last?

Freshly rolled Pâte Sucrée refrigerates well for a couple of days. If you need to freeze it, it can be stored for up to two months. Also, just-baked Pâte Sucrée can be kept in an airtight container without additional refrigeration for two or three days.

What is Pâté Sablée?

Like Pâte Sucrée, Pâté Sablée is also a French shortcrust, but it differs in that it uses less sugar and the finished crust is far more crumbly because it uses higher amounts of butter and also incorporates egg yolks. In some ways, it is reminiscent of a shortbread crust both in terms of its texture and also its flavor.

Pâte Sablée Uses

Thanks to its crumbly texture, the taste and mouthfeel imparted by Pâté Sablée makes it ideal for tarts, especially fruit tarts and for other foods where a crumbly crust is desired like mouthwatering biscuits!

Pâté Sablée Meaning

Pâté Sablée when translated loosely from French, means “make sandy” which is derived from the French word “sabler”. Basically, this describes the finished texture of the dough once it’s baked but it also refers to the method used to make it known as sanding.

Sanding is done by working with cold butter and combining it with flour by hand. By working the mixture vigorously, this results in a grainy, or sandy, texture. The goal in doing this is to reduce the action of the gluten in the flour before baking it.

Pâté Sablée Ingredients

Similar to Pâte Sucrée, Pâté Sablée also uses sugar (usually in lesser amounts), flour, salt, and vanilla but unlike Pâte Sucrée, Pâté Sablée uses egg yolks which is what contributes to the crumbly texture.

Of the two, it’s usually a good idea to consume desserts made with Pâté Sablée as soon as possible. While it can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days, it’s often best to eat them right away. Allowing the crust to sit for too long causes it to lose its delicate texture.

How Long Does Pâte Sablée Last?

Pâté Sablée can be kept in the fridge if freshly prepared for a few days. Alternatively, it can be kept frozen as well and will last for up to three months. Interestingly, it’s believed by some that the flavor of Pâté Sablée is enhanced if frozen prior to be baked and eaten.

Why Is Pâte Sablée Called a 1-2-3 Dough?

The reason Pâte Sablée is referred to as a 1-2-3 dough is because of the ratio of ingredients it contains. Specifically, the 1 refers to fat, while 2 refers to sugar and 3 refers to flour or more plainly, 1 parts fat to 2 parts sugar to 3 parts flour.

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