Gluten free Shortcrust pastry
One essential but scary basic recipe is shortcrust pastry. It needs to be tackled slightly differently than normal wheat pastry but is still really easy and useful for mince pies, sausage rolls, meat pies, and desserts. I was scared to try at first because I have had some real disasters but since discovering xanthum gum my pastry has improved so much!
Gluten free, Dairy free, Egg free, Nut free, Soya free
8oz Gluten free flour (again I like Doves farm- I don't use the self raising because I've had allergic reactions to it even though there is nothing I'm allergic to!)
1tsp xanthum gum
2 1/2oz Lard (if you are a vegetarian use hard margarine)
2 1/2oz Margarine
pinch of salt
1oz icing sugar if making sweet pastry
3-4 tbsp cold water
1. Mix flour, salt, xanthum gum, and sugar if using. I do this in a food mixer for ease. Add lard and margarine and blitz until breadcrumbs are formed.
2. Gradually add the water. Gluten free flour will require slightly more water.
3. Just before every bit is mixed, take out and place onto a floured board and lighlty knead. Don't overwork the pastry or it'll be ruined.
4. You can wrap it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for 1/2 hour but if you're in a hurry don't worry too much- you can use it straightaway if you want.
Tips and tricks: Sometime whatever a gluten free recipe book might say it won't roll out well. If this happens and you're making individual tarts, just press the pastry into the tin and it will be ok. If its something where the pastry needs to roll around something that can be more tricky but it is possible to just patch it up once its rolled.