Gluten Free Tart Crust is something new for me here. I don’t do trendy diets, or follow any diets that eliminate meat or dairy. I eat everything as long as it’s whole, real food. Of course, real is a vague topic. A few weeks ago, however, I made a decision to go 30 days gluten free. It’s not because I’m intolerant to gluten, but I was very curious about the movement of gluten free as a food trend for folks not suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance. I wanted to know if there were any benefits that I could feel or see and I wanted to know how difficult it would be.
I will write a full blog post with more information about this gluten free trend on my 30 day experience in two weeks. I am only half way through. I made a decision when I went gluten free that I was NOT going to buy processed gluten free products, because for the most part I don’t purchase processed gluten products. I wanted to find my way with satisfaction from starchy foods like potatoes and rice, if I needed more than protein and veggies.
I hit a craving when I had freshly picked tomatoes from my garden and I wanted a tomato tart. I broke down and purchased gluten free flour at Trader Joe’s and went to work making a tart crust that would hold together enough to form a tomato galette. The results were very good, probably better than I expected, as long as didn’t expect the same texture as a crust with gluten which is what holds a dough together. This is not the most beautiful looking galette, but I’m sure even that will improve with a little more practice. It has more of the quality of a tart crust that has an egg added or a shortbread crust, but once cooled and cut, it did hold together. Leaning from my technique for a regular crust, I learned a few tips in baking with a gluten free flour. The lack of gluten leaves the dough vulnerable because there is nothing to hold it together. Yet, with a little practice, a good pie crust can still be made.
Tips for a Gluten Free Pie Crust
- Use freezing cold butter.
- Use a food processor, but don’t over process the butter. Just like I make my regular pie dough, I count to ten and stop, as the flour and butter are mixing on low setting.
- Use iced cold water, but after 1/4 cup, go slowly. The biggest mistake people make is adding in too much water, which makes a tough pie crust.
- Even though there is no gluten to relax, resting the pie dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour or longer makes it easier to work with.
- Use floured parchment paper to roll the dough out. You will need to put in the middle of two pieces of dough.
- Know that how you roll it and fold it is how you will see the finished product. Unlike regular pie dough, if you put a finger in it, you’ll see that indentation, so realize what you see before baking is what you’ll see after baking is done.
- Add a little sugar to the dough. Don’t ask me why, but it tastes good, even for a savory crust.
Make a tart, a galette and fill it with anything you wish. For the tomato tart (recipe coming) I used fresh San Marzano tomatoes, a little bit of olive oil and some basil, baking for about 30 minutes or until it was crispy underneath.
I’ll give you a more complete recipe for the tomato tart in the coming days. In the meantime, it would work well with this goat cheese tomato tart.
- 2 cups gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar (can decrease or leave out)
- 12 tablespoons butter, cut in cubes and frozen
- ½ cup of ice cold water (may not use it all)
- extra flour for rolling
- parchment paper
- Mix flour, salt and sugar.
- Add butter to the mixture in the food processor set on low and count to ten slowly. Stop.
- Begin adding water, turn machine on and only add enough water to hold the mixture together. Do not make too wet.
- Dump into a plastic ziplock bag. Pat together to form ball of dough.
- If it’s not coming together add a small amount of cold water, no more than a tablespoon.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour. You can also freeze at this point.
- When you are ready to use, then roll between two pieces of parchment paper that has been floured. I use a cold stainless steel rolling pin or a long french tapered pin. It may be a little sticky. Add flour to your hands. Peel off one sheet of paper. Continue with your recipe.
- If you are making a pie with a crust, you might be better off covering the pie with separate pieces of dough as I’ve done in this recipe, using a cookie cutter.