One of the many things that I miss since being on a gluten-free diet is pastry. In fact the list is endless to what I actually miss but many of the gluten-free versions of food that is available in the shops are not bad. But the one thing that still seems to be challenging the food industry is good gluten-free pastry.
This week I set myself the challenge to make gluten-free shortcrust pastry. To keep things simple I went back to my baking roots, jam tarts. Perhaps not the most challenging of bakes but when it was mentioned to many of my taste testers it brought a smile to their faces.
My earliest baking memory was being charged with the tea-spoon to fill the jam tarts in my grandma’s kitchen. I wanted to recreate these little red gems and take a trip down baking memory lane but this time gluten-free.
My taste testers’ verdict was really positive, they all enjoyed the tarts and some did not even realise that it was gluten-free. That’s a big thumbs up for me, because the one thing I apologise for the most, is the fact that my baking is gluten-free and may not have the best crumb structure.
I think I have just about cracked the recipe and have got some top tips especially when it comes to rolling out the pastry.
1. To stop the pastry from cracking you need to make the pastry mix a little wetter than normal pastry.
2. When rolling out, for the first roll do it in between cling film, it will reduce the cracking. Then turn it out onto a work surface that is floured and roll out with a floured rolling pin.
3. Keep turning the pastry and work quickly. Don’t over flour the surface as you will dry out the pastry too much and it will crack.
I hope that you enjoy these jam tarts and that you successfully make gluten-free short crust pastry.
This recipe makes 12 jam tarts. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C or gas mark 5.
150g plain gluten-free flour
100g cold butter cut into small cubes
50g caster sugar
50ml cold water
For the filling:
1 jar of raspberry jam or any jam you like
1. In a bowl put the flour, sugar, salt and butter. Using the tips of your fingers and thumbs, you will need to rub the butter into the flour. Do this until all the butter and flour is combined. It should be small pea sized.
2. With a metal knife, stir the mixture through and then make a well in the middle. Add a little of the water and mix with the knife. The mixture should start to come together, then add a little more and mix. Keep doing this until all the mixture comes together and is slightly wetter than normal pastry. If you don’t need to use all the water then don’t.
3. Then turn the pastry mix out onto cling film and put into the fridge and rest for 30 minutes.
4. While the pastry is resting, butter a 12 holed tin and put to one side. You will need a cutter that will fit the holes. Also, lay out some cling film on the work surface – large enough so that you can roll out the pastry. You will need another piece the same size to put over the top of the pastry.
5. Once the pastry has rested, take out of the fridge and place on top of the cling film. Lay the other piece of cling film on top and with a rolling pin, roll the pastry out. You will find that it will stick to the cling film due to it being wetter than normal, don’t panic. Once you have done this, remove the cling film and gather the pastry up and then roll out on a floured work surface to approx 5mm. But the thickness is up to you.
6. Once rolled out, cut out your circles and place into your tin and put a generous teaspoon of jam in the middle of the pastry.
7. Before putting into the oven, brush a little cold water around the edges of the pastry. Put the tarts into a pre-heated oven to bake for about 20-25 mins. The edges of the pastry should be a light golden brown.
8. Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool.
I hope you enjoy these jam tarts and happy gluten-free baking 🙂