Pâte brisée is a simple flaky pastry crust that you can use for sweet or savory dishes. Adding a small amount of sugar will give this pastry some sweetness and also help brown it.
The key to this recipe is keeping everything cold.
1-1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter,cubed and cold
3 plus tablespoons ice water
Mix dry ingredients together.
Drop cold butter into flour. Rub the flour in by hand (or use two knives to cut in). You can also pulse until crumbly in a food processor - about 10 seconds.
The mixture should look crumbly. You still want to see bits of butter, none bigger than large peas.
Add the 3 tablespoons ice water and mix with a spatula (or a few pulses in the food processor). You want this to just come together - it will not form a ball -but when you press it in your hand it holds its shape. Add another tablespoon of ice water if necessary.
Form the dough into a disc. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
Chill for minimum 20 minutes, an hour if possible. (Overnight if you have time.)
This pastry freezes very well so make a double batch and you'll always have some on hand.