Sweet Pastry Case

20 cm / 8 inch

  • Gluten free & vegan

100g gluten-free plain flour
100g gluten-free oat flour or maize flour
½ teaspoon xanthan gum (optional – this helps reduce crumbling)
100g dairy-free margarine, straight from the fridge
50g caster sugar

Weigh the gluten-free flour and maize flour into a large mixing bowl and stir together with the xanthan gum.

Add the dairy-free margarine and rub into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Stir in the caster sugar.

Add 50ml cold water and stir the mixture together. If the mixture feels sticky- add a little more gluten-free flour. If it is still crumbly. Add a drop more water.

Use this pastry straight away as it becomes more difficult to work with as the flours absorb the moisture.

Rub a thin layer of dairy-free margarine all over a flan dish or loose bottomed shallow cake tin.

Lightly dust the work top with gluten-free flour.
Roll the pastry one way, turn the pastry 90° making sure there is gluten-free flour underneath and roll again. Continue rolling out the pastry moving the pastry around between rolls to make sure it doesn’t stick to the table.

Roll up the pastry onto the rolling pin and unroll over the flan tin. This pastry is crumblier than wheat pastry so if you find it difficult to roll out, roll out onto a plastic food bag or cling film.

Fold the pastry into the corners of the flan tin. Try not to stretch the pastry as it will tear. If you get holes in the pastry push the pastry together and rub the join. The pastry should keep together when cooking most recipes although the flan may leak if you have a runny filling. After a bit of practice you will find this easier to do.

If the recipe calls for the flan case to be baked blind or part baked before filling – cut a piece of greaseproof paper larger than your flan case, scrunch up and open out again (this makes it easier to form the shape of the tin).
Place into the uncooked pastry case and fill with dried pulses, rice or dried gluten-free pasta.

Bake the pastry at 190°c / 170°c fan oven / 375°f / gas mark 5 for 15 minutes until the pastry looks almost cooked, this may take longer depending on your oven.
Filling the case with dried beans stops the bottom of the pastry from puffing up and the sides falling down whilst baking.

If the recipe calls for the pastry case to be completely cooked, take the greaseproof paper and the beans out of the part cooked pastry case and continue cooking for another 5 – 10 minutes depending on your oven.

If you want to present your tart or pie out of the dish, I recommend using a loose bottomed shallow tin. Once cooked, run a small sharp knife around the outside and push the base from underneath out of the ring.

The baking beans cannot be used for eating now so keep them in a container to use again for part baking pastry cases.

Depending on your oven, for some recipes you may need to blind bake your pastry case even if the recipe doesn’t instruct to do so. Particularly recipes with liquid fillings.