Gluten-Free Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
This is a recipe for a gluten-free sweet shortcrust pastry. The pastry is quite similar in taste and texture to all-butter shortbread cookies. So in a pinch you could use this dough to make those cookies if you like.
Hey, I have a much better recipe now for gluten-free sweet pastry for pies and tarts. So if that’s what you’re looking for please check out that recipe.
Why did I decide to make a biscuity-sweet pastry? Because … well … see I had this lovely idea that I was going to put together the makings of an afternoon tea. Bits of which I could freeze. And then I could easily put together a gorgeously scrumptious gluten-free afternoon tea on some dark dreary day when I needed some sweet sweet indulgence.
The caramel chocolate cake bars are perfect for this.
And I wanted to make some fruit tarts. I love fruit tarts. Especially those strawberry ones. Love them!
The plan was to make some to have that day and then freeze the rest of the baked pastry shells filled with crème pâtissière.
It was such a good plan…
I had another reason for making the fruit tarts on here though. I really want to say –
Thank you to all the fruit pickers out there!
Wherever you are from, you are appreciated and welcome. Thank you!
And while I’m at it I want to say thank you to everyone who is providing essential work at the moment. Thank you to the shop workers, food producers and providers, refuse collectors, cleaners – the list is too long to include everyone – obviously thank you to the healthcare workers! But thank you to everyone who is providing an essential service.
And I really want to say thank you to anyone who has come over to Ireland to work with our farmers or food producers. I hate to see food going to waste. Which is exactly what would happen if you weren’t here.
Anyone who doesn’t get that food is as essential as healthcare needs to sit down for a bit. Maybe have a cuppa and something nice to eat. You’re giving out about people who are doing necessary work.
So what went wrong with the Afternoon Tea plan?
The pastry was, I felt, too sweet to be used in a fruit tart. Admittedly it is the best sweet gluten-free pastry I’ve made to date. But it would need a very tangy filling – like it would be perfect for lemon-cream tart.
So why didn’t I make a lemon-cream tart then? Well … because I wanted to use the fruit and cream I’d bought. But I could have made lemon tarts with the cream and paired them with fresh fruit in a light sugar syrup… … … Where were you two days ago???
Right well … instead of making crème pâtissière to fill the baked pastry shells I decided to try something more tangy. So I made a boozy cream with some double cream, finely chopped mint, a squeeze of lemon juice, a dash of kirsch, a dash of Chambord liqueur, a tiny bit of brandy and just a hint of vanilla bean paste. I then topped it with berries sprinkled with icing sugar. And then just grated a little white chocolate over it.
I know, it sounds nice. And it was.
Next I made a banoffee pie. I melted some dark chocolate and coated the top of the pastry shell with this. I then topped this with leftover salted caramel sauce. sliced banana and double cream whisked together with brandy and some vanilla bean paste. And then topped with some grated dark chocolate. It was nice too. It would have been nicer with a tiny dash of espresso added to the cream – but no it was good.
So … what went wrong?
I ate the pies all in one afternoon. And now I’m really over the whole notion of Afternoon Tea.
It will be fruit salads not fruit tarts I make for the foreseeable future.
I now use this recipe when I need a gluten-free sweet shortcrust pastry. I have more than doubled the butter in the recipe below because believe me it needs it. But I haven’t remade this pastry since so I do not know how well it works. I can tell you that the gluten-free pastry for sweet pies and tarts works well. – Whichever you choose, have a delicious day of baking!
- 400g gf plain flour mix (I used Dove's Farm mix)
- 150g icing sugar
- 215g salted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for greasing baking tins
- 1 very large egg
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- white chocolate
- First into a large bowl sift together the plain flour and icing sugar. If you want to make the pastry by hand, rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips, until all the flour has a crumb-like consistency. If you using a food mixer add the flour and butter into the bowl and pulse until the mix has a crumb-like consistency.
- Whisk the egg, milk and vanilla together until it's all well combined. If making by hand, make a well in the centre of the flour, pour in the egg mix and combine the flour with the egg mix working from the centre out. If using a mixer pour the egg mix in through the opening at the top while the blade running. When you have a combined ball of dough you're done. Wrap the ball of dough in cling film and leave in the fridge for an hour.
- Turn the oven on to 180 C. Grease your baking tin or tins. Unwrap the ball of dough. Dust a large area and roll out the pastry until it's between 1/4 and 1/2 cm in thickness. Gluten-free pastry is a little more inclined to tear than ones made with wheat flour so you don't want to roll it out too thin. If it does tear though dont worry because you can smoosh it together in the tin(s) and it will be fine. Line your tins with the rolled out pastry dough. Then line the dough with baking paper and fill with baking beans. I found the base of the pastry will rise if you don't do this.
- Bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minute or until the sides are nicely golden-brown. Take out and leave to cool.
- Once they are cool melt a little white chocolate and brush over baked pastry shells to seal them. When the white chocolate has hardened they are ready for their filling.