I have adapted this recipe from Phil Vickery’s book ‘Seriously Good! Gluten-free Baking’. I’ve used Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour rather than the flour mix Phil recommends with the recipe (just for convenience as Doves’ is readily available in the supermarket). I’ve adjusted a few other ingredients and quantities and also added some of my own method instructions. I found it to work perfectly and was pleasantly surprised as to how nicely it turned out. Hope you have as much success as I did. Do let me know if you have any questions!
These quantities make enough pastry for a 4cm deep, 24cm round tart or flan tin.
225g Doves Farm gluten free plain white flour (or similar but other manufacturers may produce different results)
1 tsp xanthum gum
110g Stork (block) margarine
1 egg, beaten, at room temperature + water (see recipe method below)
A point to note before we begin: I use a food processor to mix my ingredients as I find this achieves the best results because of the fine breadcrumb consistency you get when mixing, or rubbing in, the dry ingredients with the margarine. If you don’t have a food processor, you can always use a stand mixer (e.g. Kenwood or Kitchen Aid) on a low to medium speed with the paddle attachment. Or you can of course also do everything by hand.
- Place the flour, xanthum gum and salt in a food processor and pulse.
- Add the margarine & whizz until you have the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.
- Weigh the beaten egg and add cold water to make up the liquid weight to 75g.
- Add the egg and water whizz again until mixture comes together and forms a dough. The dough will probably feel quite damp at this stage but don’t worry as it will be absorbed during the resting time.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly dusted surface (the gluten free flour is fine) and knead the dough gently to ensure all the ingredients are fully mixed in.
- Form into ball and place on a piece of cling film then flatten it into a thick disc.
- Wrap and chill for 1 hour. This is just to firm it up a little before rolling out as it will be easier to handle and to allow the liquid to be absorbed by the flour.
- Prepare the flan tin greasing it lightly.
- Once the pastry has chilled, take two pieces of parchment with a width 1.5 times the diameter of the tin.
- Roll out the pastry into a circular shape between the two pieces of parchment to 3-4mm thick. You want a circle with a diameter at least 30cm for the 20cm tin used in this recipe. You need to be patient with this pastry as it does crack and break easily. Roll from the centre of the dough out to the edge then turn a quarter and roll again continuing to quarter turn. Every so often, peel back the parchment to release it. Place it back on the pastry and flip the whole lot over and release the parchment that is now on top. While the parchment is peeled away press together any cracks that appear around the edges to get as smooth an edge as possible.
- When the desired diameter and thickness of the pastry is achieved, remove the top layer of parchment and lift the pastry over the tin using the parchment to support it. Peel the parchment off carefully. Don’t worry about cracks and breaks as these will get patched up later.
- Once the pastry is in the tin, gently lift it and push it down into the bottom and sides of the tin. Then take a ball of spare pastry dusted in the gluten free flour and use it to press into the corners.
- Use the rolling pin or a sharp knife to trim the pastry flush to the edge of the tin. Prick the pastry lightly with a fork making sure you don’t pierce it all the way through.
- Using the cuttings, fill in any cracks or breaks in the pastry case as appropriate. You can use a little bit of water on your finger to help repair any cracks.
- The pastry case is now ready for baking or it can be kept in the fridge covered with cling film until required.
- When ready to bake, heat the oven to 190C.
- The pastry case needs to be baked blind. To do this, take a square of baking parchment large enough to line the tin and have at least an inch rising up over the top edge of the tin. This helps lifting the baking beans out of the pastry case later. Or you can use commercial grade cling film but don’t use what you can get in the supermarket otherwise it will melt in the oven!
- Scrunch up the parchment in to a ball and then open it out and place into the pastry case pressing it gently into the corners.
- Fill the lined case with baking beans and place the tin on the baking sheet. The baking sheet helps handling the flan tin and also, should you happen to have any cracks in the pastry that causes the filling to leak, it will catch the leaks and not drip all over your oven.
- Bake for 10-15 mins then remove from the oven and check if the pastry under the beans & parchment looks dry. If not, replace the parchment and beans and put back in the oven and continue to bake for however long it takes. The pastry must look dry.
- Once the pastry looks dry, remove the baking beans and put the pastry case back in the oven to cook for another 5-10 mins until the pastry looks completely dry and may have started to colour very slightly.
- Remove from the oven again and using a pastry brush, lightly brush the pastry case all over with egg wash or egg white. This helps to seal the pastry and prevent a soggy bottom.
- Put back in the oven uncovered and bake for a further 1-2 mins to dry the egg.
- Remove from the oven and check for any further cracks. Baste any cracks with egg wash again and put back in the oven for only a minute to dry off.
- The pastry case is now ready for filling. Use as required.
NOTE: You can freeze your filled tart in slices. Warm from frozen in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 25-30 mins.