Recipes Sweet Stuff Tarts And Pies

Martha’s Pâte Brisée

A buttery, flaky, reliable pie dough for both sweet and savoury creations. I found this recipe years and years ago in Martha’s Baking Handbook – a fabulous resource for those who love to bake. Sometimes I dabble with other pie dough recipes out of a sense of obligation, but I always come back to this one – it has never done me wrong.

If you make it by hand it will be puffier and flakier. If you use a food processor, less so. Reason : the butter melts while baking, creating steam, leading to puff. The bigger the butter, the puffier your pie.


300g plain flour

225g unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces

60ml ice cold water

fine sea salt – 1 tsp for savoury dough, 1/2 tsp for sweet

caster sugar – 1 tsp for sweet dough, omit for savoury


If using a food processor blitz the flour, salt (and sugar if using) and butter briefly, until some visible chunks remain. Don’t be afraid of chunks. It’s okay for them to be the size of half a walnut.

Slowly add the iced water one spoonful at a time until the dough comes together. It’s okay if it doesn’t come together into one ball of dough. Stop the processor and squeeze some together in your hands, if it stays together it’s ready. It’s okay if the dough seems slightly crumbly, it will hydrate more while resting. It will look like a lump of cellulite at this stage, and that’s desirable.

Divide in two, form into flat discs and wrap in cling film. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to a week. It also freezes well.