The egg yolk in pate sucre gives the crust a cookie-like texture, making it ideal for fillings that are moist and delicate. A crust baked like this is completely cooked and is used when the filling for the pie does not have to be baked.

MAKES ONE 9- TO 10-INCH CRUST

1в…“ cups unbleached white flour

Вј cup sugar

ВЅ cup (1 stick) chilled butter

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg white

  1. Put the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small bits, add, and toss with the flour.
  2. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or the tips of your fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Alternatively, pinch the flour and butter between your fingertips until it is evenly distributed and forms a coarse meal texture.
  3. Beat the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla together until well mixed and combine with the flour mixture. Gather the dough into a ball and knead it 3 or 4 times to evenly moisten the dough. Gather into a ball again, then flatten into a disk. (See Note on how to make the dough in a food processor.)
  4. Preheat the oven to 400В°F. Lightly flour a work surface and the top of the dough. Roll out the pastry slightly larger than the pie pan into which it will fit. To keep the pastry round, turn it regularly while rolling, and lightly flour beneath it if necessary.
  5. Drape the pastry over the rolling pin, carry it to the pie plate, and unfold it over the plate. Press it into the sides of the plate and flute the edges. If you are using a tart pan or quiche dish, then roll over the top of the pan with a rolling pin to trim the edges. Prick the crust a few times with a fork. Chill at least 30 minutes, or cover and chill for 24 hours, or cover well and freeze.
  6. To bake blind (without a filling) line the pastry with aluminum foil, then fill it with dried beans or aluminum pastry pellets to cover the surface and keep it from shrinking too much. Bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the crust from the oven, and remove the foil and beans or pellets. (Save the beans for future use.) Lightly brush the crust with some of the egg white to coat it—this will seal the crust and prevent sogginess. Prick the crust again, then return it to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes more, or until golden all over and crisp looking.
  8. Cool on a wire rack until ready to use.

NOTE: To make the dough in a food processor combine the flour, sugar, and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Beat the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla together and keep nearby. Set the metal blade in place and process for about 8 seconds, or just until coarse meal is formed. With the processor still running pour in the egg mixture, then stop the machine as soon as the dough begins to form a ball. There should be bits of butter visible in the dough; you don’t want it perfectly smooth. Gather the dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk.