News, recipes, information and helpful tips for living gluten free

News, recipes, information and helpful tips for living gluten free


  • Category Archives: Pastry

  • Gluten Free Lemon Tart

    Who doesn’t love a classic lemon tart? My chocoholic kids perhaps. They haven’t enjoyed my lemon tart recipe trials as much as my friends and I have. This is the style of lemon tart my mum likes – not too creamy with plenty of citrus tang. I found out through trial and error that the recipe works without any cream in the filling. Ok I forgot. I had been working to reduce the level of cream in the filling and on one occasion the tart was in the oven before I realised I’d left out the cream. It results in a smaller, more lemony tart, still delicious. This one has a lovely gluten free sweet polenta pastry crust, perfect with lemon curd. The pastry can also be used for other sweet slices and tarts.

    Sweet Polenta Pastry
    250 grams GF plain flour
    100 grams fine polenta
    110 grams caster sugar
    110 grams soft brown sugar
    1 teaspoon xanthan gum
    130 grams butter, chopped
    1 teaspoon cold water
    1 egg, plus 1 extra egg, lightly beaten for egg wash

    Lemon filling
    5 eggs
    140 grams caster sugar
    2 tablespoons lemon rind
    125 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
    150 ml cream

    Pastry: Sift flour, polenta and xanthan gum, add to food processor. Add sugars and pulse briefly to combine. Add butter and process till mixture resembles crumbs. Add the egg and continue to pulse until the pastry just comes together, adding the teaspoon of cold water only if required. Place pastry dough on a piece of plastic wrap lightly dusted with GF flour and using hands gently shape into a disc. Cover with wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

    Preheat oven to 170℃. Grease a tart tin (I used 24cm round tin).
    Place chilled pastry on a piece of plastic wrap and roll till 2-3 mm thick, dusting rolling pin with a little GF flour if sticking.  Line tart tin with pastry and prick the base several times with a fork. Cover with foil or baking paper and fill with pastry weights. Bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the baking paper and weights. Brush lightly with egg wash, sealing all the little holes.  Bake for a further 5 minutes until base is dry. Set aside.

    Reduce the oven temperature to 150℃.

    Filling: In a bowl, whisk the eggs and caster sugar until pale and creamy. Gently whisk in the other ingredients until combined. Pour into pastry case and bake for 40 minutes until just set in the middle.

    Cool tart in tin and serve at room temperature with a dusting of icing sugar. If you prefer, the tart can be sprinkled with caster sugar and placed under a very hot grill to produce a glazed finish. Watch carefully as the sugar melts and turns brown, do not to burn!

    Note: If using a springform tin, you can line tin with a sheet of baking paper to avoid the filling leaking.


  • Gluten Free Chia Pizza

    We have a new favourite pizza! The base is thin and crispy (just the way we like it) with a delicious nutty flavour thanks to the addition of chia seeds, pepitas and pine nuts.  It is very quick and easy to make and you can add your own topping – we’ve gone with a classic Margherita for this version.

    Chia Pizza Base
    ½ cup chia seeds
    ½ cup buckwheat flour, sifted
    ½ cup rice flour, sifted
    2 teaspoons dried oregano
    1 tablespoon pine nuts, chopped
    2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds), chopped
    1½ cups of water
    1 teaspoon sea salt

    Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and combine using a hand whisk. Gently add water and whisk until mixture starts to thicken. The mixture will appear quite wet and runny (see below). Leave mixture to thicken for 20 minutes, while you prepare the pizza topping.

    Preheat the oven to 180℃ and place two baking trays or pizza stones in the oven to heat up. The chia pizza mixture should have a thicker consistency, but won’t resemble a traditional firm ball of dough. Spoon half the mixture onto a piece of baking paper that is the size of your baking tray. Using the back of a spoon, spread the mixture into a round shape about 1cm thick and 26cm in diameter (see below). If tiny ‘holes’ appear, just smooth over with the mixture. Repeat process with the remaining pizza dough and second sheet of baking paper.

    Spoon Margherita sauce onto pizza base and scatter with mozzarella cheese. Carefully place baking paper and pizza onto the hot oven tray or pizza stone. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the crust is firm and slightly browned. To serve, drizzle with a little olive oil and scatter with remaining basil leaves.

    Margherita Sauce
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    2 large garlic cloves, crushed
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    500ml tomato passata (puree), or 400g can tomatoes, crushed
    6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, plus extra leaves for garnish
    Few springs of fresh thyme
    Mozzarella cheese, sliced into rounds

    Gently heat the olive oil in a heavy base frypan. Add the onion, garlic and thyme leaves and stir over low heat until onion is translucent. Add the passata or tomatoes and finely chopped basil. Continue to cook over low heat until sauce reduces and thickens a little. Set aside.

     Gluten Free Chia Pizza Mix 

    Chia Pizza Base

     


  • Gluten Free Buckwheat & Parmesan Biscuits

    We’re in the swing of spring in Melbourne and that means at least two things: changeable weather and racing fever. You can bet on these delicious gluten free savoury morsels to please the thoroughbreds in your stable. The biscuits can be made in advance and finished with your favourite topping when required.

    Ingredients

    50g cold butter, cut into cubes
    40g parmesan cheese (parmigiano-reggiano), finely grated
    40g buckwheat flour
    20g rice flour
    2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
    salt, pinch of cayenne pepper

    Preheat oven to 180℃.
    Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until dough comes into a ball. Add a drop of cold water to bring together if required. Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap. It should be quite firm and easy to shape. If the dough is a little wet, sprinkle with rice flour and roll into a sausage shape about  3cm wide and 15cm long (see below). Cover with the plastic wrap and chill for half an hour. Place dough on a chopping board and with a sharp knife slice through the dough to create fine biscuit rounds about 2mm thick. Depending on the size of your dough, it should make approx. 40 biscuits. Place the biscuits on an oven tray covered with a sheet of baking paper and bake for 8 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool completely. Garnish to serve. They will keep for days in an airtight container.

    Garnish
    Close to serving time, spread the biscuits with soft goats cheese or feta. Be gentle, as they are delicate! Top with  some oven roasted cherry tomatoes, some diced olives and fresh herbs or your favourite topping.

     


  • Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

     Need some ideas for a special gluten free afternoon tea this Mother’s Day? Try one, or all of these classic afternoon tea treats.  Gluten Free apple tea cake, lemon curd tartlet, our version of a crispy almond Bakewell Tart and a decadent chocolate brownie.  All can be made the day before, except the tea cakes, which are best eaten on the day they’re baked.

    Mini gluten free apple tea cakes

    100g butter 
    ¾ cup sugar
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    ⅔ cup milk
    2 cups gluten free self raising flour
    2 apples

    Prepare apples:  Peel and quarter apples, then slice finely lengthways. Poach gently in a little water until soft, either in a saucepan over low heat, or in microwave for a couple of minutes. Set aside to cool.

    Tea Cake:  
    Preheat oven to 170℃.  
    Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, mixing in a little flour to keep a good consistency.  Using a spoon, stir in milk and remaining flour a little at a time until combined. Spoon into greased mini cupcake tray and top with two slices of cooked apple. Bake in moderate oven approx 15-20 minutes. While hot, sprinkle with a little caster sugar and cinnamon if desired. Alternatively, cook as one larger cake for approx 40-45 mins. Best eaten on the day the cakes are baked. Can be refreshed in microwave, add some cream or ice-cream for a quick fix dessert!

    Decadent gluten free chocolate brownie

    ½ cup gluten free plain flour
    ½ cup rice flour
    ½ teaspoon baking powder
    cup cocoa powder
    1 cup caster sugar
    1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    150g butter, melted
    White or milk chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 170℃. Line a slice tray (I use 20cm x 20cm) with baking paper.  Sift flours, baking powder and cocoa into large bowl.  Add coconut and sugar and stir to combine.  Add eggs and slightly cooled melted butter to flour mixture. Stir until just combined.  Sprinkle chocolate chips across the base of the prepared tray and cover with brownie mix.  Bake for 20-25 mins.  Remove from oven allow to cool, cut into squares.

    Gluten free Bakewell Tart

    1 quantity of sweet shortcrust pastry (see recipe below)
    120g unsalted butter
    120g caster sugar
    ½ teaspoon vanilla extact
    3 eggs
    120g ground almonds
    30g flaked almonds
    ½ cup raspberry jam
    1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries 

    Pastry Base: Preheat oven 150℃. Line a tart tin (I use 20cm x 20cm) with baking paper.  Place chilled pastry on a piece of plastic wrap and cover with a sheet of baking paper or plastic wrap to prevent sticking to rolling pin.  Roll pastry out to ½ cm thick. Line the tart tin with the pastry. Line with another sheet of baking paper and cover with pastry weights, dried beans or rice. Bake blind for 25 minutes then reduce the heat to 100℃. Remove the baking paper and weights and bake for a further 5 minutes until dry. Set aside to cool.

    Filling:
     Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and then stir in the ground almonds.  Spread raspberry jam across base of tart and scatter with raspberries.  Spread mix over raspberries and sprinkle with flaked almonds. Bake at 150℃ for 50 mins and tart is a golden brown. Serve sliced in squares either warm, or at room temperature. 

    Lovely gluten free lemon tartlets 

    The pastry bases for these lovely lemon curd tartlets can be used with numerous sweet fillings – jam, custard, fruit, frangipane….  This option uses a simple lemon curd, that is spooned into the pre-cooked bases as required. The pastry tart shells will keep for a week in an airtight container. The curd will keep for weeks in a sterilised jar, if refrigerated after opening.

    Gluten free lemon curd

    4 egg yolks
    140g caster sugar
    60g unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
    1 dessertspoon grated lemon rind
    80ml lemon juice

    Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until well combined, but not frothy.  Place in a heavy based saucepan, add butter, rind and juice.  Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, bring to a simmer over medium heat until mix begins to thicken and tiny bubbles appear.  Remove from heat, still stirring. Allow to cool then transfer to sterilised jar.

    Gluten free sweet shortcrust pastry

    300g gluten free plain flour
    1 tsp xanthan gum (see note)
    ½ cup gluten free icing sugar
    160g butter, chopped
    1 egg white

    Sift flour, xanthan gum and icing sugar and place in a food processor.  Add chopped butter and using the pulse button, process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add egg white and pulse until combined. Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap lightly dusted with GF flour and using hands gently shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.  Place pastry on a piece of plastic wrap and cover with baking paper or plastic wrap to prevent sticking to rolling pin.  Roll out pastry thinly. Cut out rounds and place in greased tart trays. Bake at 170C for 15-20 mins until pastry is golden. Cool.

    To assemble lemon curd tartlets When ready to serve, place a dessertspoon of curd filling in pastry cases, sprinkle with icing sugar if preferred.

    Note: Xanthan gum is used as a binding agent in gluten free cooking. It is available from health food shops and some supermarkets. Guar gum can be used as a replacement.

     


  • Gluten Free Mince tarts

    With Christmas under a month away, it’s time to start thinking about delicious festive treats, like these gluten free mince tarts. The sweet shortcrust pastry can be adapted to suit other recipes requiring a sweet pastry base. You will need to make the fruit mince at least a day ahead.

    Celebrate Christmas with traditional mince tarts

    Ingredients:

    250 g each sultanas and seedless raisins
    150 g currants
    125 g each mixed peel and dried apricots, finely chopped
    100 g each dried cranberries and dried figs, finely chopped
    100 g slivered almonds
    200 g brown sugar
    2  tbsp golden syrup
    2  tsp ground cinnamon
    ¼ tsp each mixed spice, ground cloves and finely grated nutmeg
    150 g butter, melted
    100ml brandy or muscat
    3 Granny Smith (green) apples, peeled and coarsely grated
    Finely grated rind and juice of 2 oranges and 1 lemon

    Combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Spoon into sterilised jars and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

    Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

    250 g gluten free plain flour
    1 tsp xanthan gum (see note)
    ½ cup pure icing sugar
    160g butter, chopped
    1 egg white

    Sift flour, xanthan gum and icing sugar and place in a food processor. Add chopped butter and using the pulse button, process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg white and pulse until combined. Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap lightly dusted with GF flour and using hands gently shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.  Place pastry on a piece of plastic wrap and cover with baking paper to prevent sticking to rolling pin.

    Roll out pastry thinly, cut out rounds and place in greased tart trays, reserving some pastry to make decorative shapes. You can use stars, trees, angels or other festive theme biscuit cutters. Spoon in fruit mince mixture and place a pastry shape on top. Bake at 160C for 20-30 mins until pastry is golden. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

    Note: Xanthan gum is used as a binding agent in gluten free cooking. It is available from health food shops and some supermarkets. Guar gum can be used as a replacement.

     

     


  • Footy Finals Gluten Free Meat Pies

    Here in Melbourne, things start to warm up at this time of the year – Spring has arrived, and in this town it means one thing – Footy Finals! Whether, it’s Rugby or Aussie Rules, there’s no need to miss out on your half-time meat pie. Enjoy this recipe. You can add whatever filling you like, I’ve gone for the classic mince here, but you can use curried vege, creamy mustard chicken, or perhaps a beef burgundy. The gorgeous pastry recipe can be adapted for any dish requiring a good shortcrust – quiche, sausage rolls, to name a few.

    Crispy gluten free pastry

    120g cream cheese, cut into small pieces
    70g unsalted butter, chopped
    Pinch salt
    1 cup GF plain flour
    ½ teaspoon xanthan gum

    Preheat the oven to 200℃.
    In a food processor pulse the cream cheese (I used Philadelphia brand light) with the butter, scraping down the sides if necessary. When combined add the flour, salt and xanthan gum. Continue to pulse until the mixture comes together in a ball. Add a dessert spoon of cold water if needed.

    Turn pastry out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and bring together with hands, dusting with a small amount of GF flour if the mixture is a little wet. Work into a disc, cover with the plastic wrap and chill. (The gluten free pastry doesn’t need to be rested, but it is easier to roll and shape when chilled).

    When required, cut the pastry disc in half and roll between two pieces of baking paper to 0.5cm thick and using a template, cut out four pie bases. Repeat this step, to cut out the four pie ‘lids’. Place bases in pie tins and add filling of choice.  Cover with pastry lids and using the back of a fork or fingers gently press the edges down to seal. Cook for 25 minutes until pastry is golden and crisp.
    This recipe makes 4 small pies, double recipe to make 8.

    Pie filling

    1 tablespoon of olive oil
    1 medium onion, finely diced
    500g lean beef mince
    2 tablespoon GF plain flour
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    ¼ cup red wine
    1 cup of beef stock
    4 springs of thyme (leaves only)
    2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

    Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, cook for a few minutes till soft and translucent. Add mince and cook for several minutes until browned. Add the flour to the pan and stir through before adding tomato paste, red wine and beef stock. Add herbs and reduce heat to simmer gently for 10 minutes. If the pie filling is not a thick enough consistency, add two teaspoons of GF cornflour mixed in a tablespoon of cold water to the pot and stir through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature.



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