Pâte Sucrée Tart Shell

These delicious crisp sweet pastry shells are useful for all sorts of fruit tarts. The quantities given make 3 shells, so it is a good idea to make extra and freeze them. They cook beautifully straight from the freezer.


  • 380g/10½oz butter
  • 150g/oz caster sugar
  • 100g/oz ground almonds
  • 500g/1 lb 2oz plain flour
  • 1 whole egg plus 2 extra yolks
  • ½tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1tsp rum
  • pinch of salt


  • food processor
  • spatula
  • three 25cm / 10in loose-bottomed metal tart pans


Mise en Place

Dice the butter into small cubes.


Put the sugar, almonds and flour into a food processor and turn on at full speed for a few seconds. Add the butter dice and work again until just blended in. The mixture will resemble fine breadcrumbs.

Add the eggs and extra yolks, the lemon zest rum and a minute pinch of salt and work again until the pastry balls.

Scrape this out on a sheet of cling film and roll up the film to form the dough into a cylinder with a diameter of about 5cm / 2in, Chill for at least 2 hours. (Because of the high butter content this pastry can be kept in the fridge for a week and freezes well.)

The dough is impossible to roll out so cut thin discs off the end of the cylinder and overlap them slightly to cover the bottom and sides of each tart pan, pushing down with your fingers to make as even a pastry shell as possible. It should be slightly more solid round the edges and pushed right up to the top as it will shrink slightly as it bakes. Be careful to press into the comers, so there is no air between the pan and the pastry.