Recipe: Matthew Ravenscroft’s Pate Brisee

A simple pie crust from Matthew Ravenscroft, chef at Toronto’s Parts & Labour, that can be both savoury or sweet, depending on what you put in it. This dough is versatile and reliable for any pie or tart that catches your eye.

2/3 lb cold unsalted butter, cubed (approx.)

1 lb flour

1 cup ice water (approx.)

In large metal bowl or food processor, measure flour. Slowly incorporate cubed butter (the colder the better), using your fingertips to squeeze it into the flour, adding enough butter until it resembles coarse sand or crumbs. Be careful not to over-butter or the pie dough will fall apart when you bake it. Add just enough ice water until dough holds together when squeezed.

Split the dough and roll each half into a flat circular disk. Wrap each one separately. Refrigerate at least one hour before using (dough can be frozen for up to a month).

Roll out dough and use appropriate-sized circular cookie cutter to allow ½ inch or more overhang in each muffin tin. (Alternatively, make one large pie in a pie tin or cast iron pan.) Press edges with fork or use pinch sides so it looks clean and presentable.

Line each pie shell with parchment (or aluminum foil) and fill with pie weights or dried pinto beans. Bake in 400 F oven for about 12 minutes or until sides are set. Remove pie weights and pierce bottom of tart shells with a fork, then bake until bottom is set and pale golden. Let cool in pan or on rack.


Makes 1 large pie or 6 muffin-tin sized pie shells