This gluten free tart pastry has a crisp, crumbly crust like a cookie. Pie pastry is tender and flaky but gluten free eaters want to enjoy both. With this tart pastry recipe you'll be able to make fabulous tarts like my Bourbon Caramel Pumpkin Tart with candied sweet and salty pumpkin seeds. Outstanding!
I love the open top look and sweet cookie crust of a tart so when I'm making a pastry dessert I chose a tart every time.
The Difference Between Pie Pastry and Tart Pastry
All raw pastry can be called dough so when you're looking through recipes be sure to search the terms pie pastry or tart pastry depending what you want.
Gluten free pie pastry should be flaky and tender. It's the pastry used to make quiche, pot pies, hand pies, savoury meat pies and whole pies like pumpkin pie. Gluten free bakers need to learn the specific tips and tricks for every kind of recipe and this is where you'll find my tips for gluten free pie pastry.
Tart pastry is more like shortbread with a buttery flavour, fine texture and crisp, crumbly crust. Everyday bakers like me need to learn the tips and tricks to make each specific recipes work.
For a successful gluten free tart these are the changes from a traditional wheat flour tart pastry.
- An egg and an extra yolk add structure to the dough.
- Icing sugar gives the crust that shortbread like taste.
- Brown sugar makes a slightly softer pastry than white sugar.
Gluten Free Cooking Classes
If you're new to gluten free or want to speed up your learning check out my Cooking Classes. I offer pastry classes from time to time but my most popular class is called 'Understanding How To Use Gluten Free Flour.'
Best Tart Pans for Gluten Free Bakers
Tart pans have a removable bottom that makes the presentation special already. If you want to make tarts you’ve got to get tart pans. Over time I've collected different tart pans and made all the beautiful desserts I wanted to.
- I use a large 12-inch tart pan to make my Fruit Pizza and my Cookie Pizza. Remember, when you buy large tart pans you need large, flat platters to serve them on.
- Individual 3½-inch or 4-inch size tart tins always look fancy on a tray. I fill them with lemon curd or vanilla cream and put fresh fruit on top.
- A 9-inch round tart pan for a typical size dessert that would fit on most normal serving platters. This makes a smaller fruit pizza and you'll have a little extra pastry to make some small tarts too.
- Of course you can buy sets like this 9-inch round pan and 4 individual ones.
- I have a less common long, narrow rectangular tart pan that makes an impressive dessert! I then bought a similar shape serving tray and I store it in the box it came in. That box has been taken to many parties with a fancy tart in it and it's always the nicest dessert on the buffet. (At least that's what my friends tell me.)
If you’re sold on making a tart dessert and don't have the right pan, pick the one you want and get it. I'd love to see what you made or read a comment about it below.
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Gluten Free Tart Pastry
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 300 grams EGFG gluten free flour blend* (1⅓ cups + ¼ cup)
- ⅓ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold butter cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 2 teaspoon cold water
- Whisk egg and vanilla together, set aside.
- In a food processor add flour blend, brown sugar, icing sugar, xanthan gum and salt. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Scatter butter pieces over top and pulse the mixture until there are no butter pieces larger than a pea. Don’t over mix.
- With the processor running and egg mixture and mix until it just starts to form a dough.
- Add cold water, 1 teaspoon at a time, pulsing a few times until you have dough.
- Turn dough out onto wax paper or plastic wrap and push it into a large disk or two disks if making individual tarts. Wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Can be made 1-2 days in advance up to this point.)
- Take cold dough out of the fridge. Lightly spray or brush tart pan(s) with oil.
- Top dough with a second piece of wax paper or plastic wrap and roll into a large circle 1 or 2 inches larger than your baking pan.
- If the dough is sticky put it back in the fridge until cold or use a small amount of sweet rice flour to continue rolling. Use as little sprinkling flour as possible since too much can make the tender dough tough.
- Remove top sheet of wrap and place tart pan upside on pastry. Push it into the dough then flip the whole thing over with the aid of a large cookie sheet or cutting board. The dough will be in the bottom of the pan. Remove the wrap.
- Lightly press scraps of dough into the edges of the pan to make the sides. Using a flat bottom glass or measuring cup, gently run it over the entire bottom and up against the sides of the pan to ensure the dough is as even as possible.
- Refrigerate for 15 minutes before baking.
PREBAKING TART SHELL
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place tart on a baking sheet. Line tart with foil and top with pie weights (raw rice or dried beans). Bake for 15 minutes then carefully remove foil with pie weights. Return to oven and bake until firm, about 10 minutes.
- Cool on wire rack and continue as directed in your recipe.**
- To serve, gently remove outer ring of cooled pan. Using a thin metal spatula/icing spreader slide it between the bottom of the pan and the cooked tart. Gently transfer to serving platter or cutting board. Cut and serve.