Rich Short Crust: French Pâte Sucrée & Italian Pasta Frolla

Huckleberry Galette

Huckleberry Galette

by Cat, August, 2007 (updated September, 2007, June 2008, May 2010) (Photo, right, by Cat)

These rich and slightly sweet pastries are very similar, and are most often used for fruit and other dessert tarts. In Europe they are used for other types of pies as well. When used for rustic tarts, they are rolled to shape.  Like their cousin Pâte Brisée, they can also be pressed into the pan, and/or crumbled over the top of a pie as a crumb crust.

Pâte Sucrée, or Sablée (Rich crust)

This recipe, adapted from Simca’s Cuisine by Simone Beck (3), is suitable for dessert tarts and pies.  Sweeter than pastry brisée; but otherwise similar. May be rolled to desired size/shape, or pressed into the pan like a crumb crust.

Makes one crust for a 8″ or 9″ pie, quiche or tart.

Ingredients & Equipment: 

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ⅔ cup unbleached white flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (or 1/16 tsp stevia)
  • pinch Unrefined sea salt
  • ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp butter (9 Tbsp)
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 yolk
  • bowl
  • pastry cutter
  • waxed paper
  • 8″ or 9″ pie pan, quiche pan, or removable-bottom tart pan

1 ½ Recipe, Pâte Sucrèe

For one 12” or two 7” rustic tarts (not yet tested):

  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar (or 1/16 tsp stevia)
  • pinch Unrefined sea salt
  • ¾ cup plus 1 ½ Tbsp butter (13 ½ Tbsp)
  • 1 whole egg plus 2 yolks


  1. Sift together flours, sugar (or stevia) and salt.  Cut in butter to resemble oatmeal. make well in center of mixture.
  2. Lightly beat egg yolk and pour into well.  Blend into flour mixture with fork until will form a ball.  Wrap and refrigerate for later use; or let rest on counter until ready to use.
  3. Can be rolled or pressed into pan.

Pasta Frolla (Italian Short Crust)

Because I’m having trouble rolling my crostata dough, I thought I’d research different dough recipes.  This one is typically used for a jam crostata, and made in a flat-bottom tart pan, rather than formed into a rustic tart, but I think it could be made as a rustic tart if desired.

Very similar to the French pastry sucrée (above), it includes the addition of egg instead of water, plus grated zest of lemon or orange.  I’ve adapted this from (1), to use whole grain pastry flour and stevia. If you don’t have whole grain pastry flour (from soft wheat) or whole spelt, then use combo of hard wheat and whole barley flour. See also Martha Stewart‘s recipe (2). I opted to use the more traditional lemon zest rather than the Americanized vanilla.

This makes pastry for one 8 – 9″ pie; or if you make a half-recipe, it would be just about right for 1 bag of frozen berries.

Or use 1 ½ recipe for making rustic tarts (crostata).

See below for testing this recipe. From testing, I learn that it is very important to cut in the butter when it is still cold; if it has warmed to room temperature the crust falls apart when you pick it up. I’ve modified accordingly.

Ingredients & Equipment:

for one 8 – 9: pie

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or 2/3 cup whole spelt and 1/3 cup barley flours)
  • ⅔ cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp stevia extract powder
  • ⅔ cup cold butter, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks
  • grated zest of half a lemon (or quarter orange)
  • 1 medium bowl (or large bowl for 1 1/2 recipes) for dough
  • 1 small bowl for egg mixture
  • baking sheet or pie pan

1 ½ Recipe, Pasta Frolla

For one 12” or two 7” rustic tarts (not yet tested)

  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Rapadura sugar
  • ⅜ tsp stevia extract powder
  • pinch Unrefined sea salt
  • 1 cup cold butter (2 sticks)
  • 3 egg yolks or 1 whole egg plus 1 – 2 yolks, depending on size
  • grated zest of ½ – 1 lemon (or of ½ orange)


  1. Combine flours, sugar (or stevia) in bowl.  Cream butter, then cut into flour mixture, handling as little as possible, until the texture of oatmeal. Make well in center.
  2. Combine egg, yolk, and zest; pour into well of flour mixture.  Mix with fork until dough comes together and pulls cleanly away from sides of bowl. If necessary, and icy water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until correct consistency is reached
  3. Form into a ball (or two balls for 1 ½ recipes), press into a disc on a piece of waxed paper, and let rest at least an hour on the counter (or overnight is even better – the pastry improves with age), before rolling.

Testing Pasta Frolla, 7/14/12: made as written for 1 ½ recipes, sifting together 1 cup hard white whole wheat, ¼ cup each kamut and barley, and ½ cup unbleached white with the sugar and stevia. Then I added the room temperature butter on top, ready to cut it in, when I realized I’d forgotten the other ½ cup of white flour.  So I scattered that over the butter, then cut it in. I used 1 small whole egg and 1 large yolk; that was enough moisture for the dough to come together. Divided into two 12-oz balls, pressed each into a disc on a piece of waxed paper, stacked them (with waxed paper between) and placed in a plastic bag in the fridge. Removed after 18 hours, then rolled after another 5 hours. It rolled easily but when I transferred it to my pans, it tore and had to be patched.  After filling and baking: Very flaky and tender. My patch/pinching of the torn crust mostly sealed well, so that there was little leakage of juices from the fruit. Nice flavor but a tad sweet.

Testing Pasta Frolla 7/20-22/12: made as written for 1 ½ recipes, using 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour and 1 cup unbleached white flour; used cold butter this time, and only a rounded ¼ tsp stevia and 2 tsp sugar, as I thought the previous recipe was a tad sweet. Also used 1 large whole egg and 1 yolk. Maybe could have used a bit more moisture, but didn’t add any.   Patted into 2 each 11.5 oz discs and wrapped in wax-paper to rest for several hours at 12:30 PM. Couldn’t make tart next day, so it rested 2 days before rolling. Easy to roll and held together when I picked it up; however, it did crack in places when I folded it over the fruit, so had to pinch together around edges. Result: I used it for a freshly-picked huckleberry tart, and a blackberry-huckleberry tart. The flavor of this crust was excellent, and it was also very very flakey – wonderful!


  1. Italianfood pasta frolla recipe (
  2. Martha Stewart recipe (
  3. Simca’s Cuisine by Simone Beck

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