Shortcrust Pastry

Ingredients

250 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

40 g Maize starch

~1/2 tsp Salt

150 - 225 g Butter (melted)

1 Egg

45 g Warm water

extra Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

Maize starch - Potato starch can be substituted however the resulting pastry is not as "short".

Butter - Update November 2017 I have given a range for the butter as some members of my family prefer it shorter (225 g) while others like it less short & a bit dryer (150 g). To substitute another fat into this recipe decrease the amount of fat/oil to ~120 - 195 g and increase the amount of water to ~60 g. The actual amounts will vary depending on what is being added.

Egg - One of the reasons the egg is in the recipe is that it helps as an emulsifier. 

Method

Sift together the Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour, maize starch & salt.

In another container melt the butter.

Add the water & egg to the melted butter. Stir to combine. Don't let this mixture cool.

Pour the melted butter mix over the combined dry ingredients & stir to combine.

It can be mixed by hand, fork or wooden spoon. Mechanical devices can over mix the dough very easily, it is best done by hand.

At this stage the dough will feel slightly greasy. Wrap the dough in plastic clingwrap or put it in a plastic bag, flatten it & store in the fridge for approximately 1 hour or freezer for ~25 mins. The dough can be frozen at this stage.    

Cooling the dough is important - after cooling the butter is fully absorbed, flexibility is increased & the dough is easier to handle.

Bring the dough out of the fridge, it will be quite hard.

Lightly dust a clean work surface (silicon mat, baking paper) with some of the extra Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

Knead the pastry until it is soft enough to roll out.

To stop the pastry sticking to surfaces lightly dust them with some of the extra Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour. Alternatively place a piece of baking paper on top of the dough. 

Roll out the pastry to the required size. 

To ensure the dough is an even thickness follow this tip. Find 2 placemats (dinner setting - my placemats are ~4 mm thick) or two pieces of cardboard (2-3 mm thick) place one on either side of the dough. I have thrown away my cardboard pieces & now have stainless steel spacers 1 mm, 2 mm & 3 mm thick - they are much easier to clean. When rolling out the dough ensure the rolling pin is wide enough to span the dough and part of the top of the placemats/cardboard. My rolling pin is large – 61 cm from handle to handle. Initially when rolling the pin may not necessarily rest on the placemats/cardboard, however, when the dough is the same thickness as the placemats/cardboard it will. At this stage the dough should be all the same thickness.

Using the dough

Mini tarts

For the mini tarts pictured below I used a scalloped pastry cutter (68 mm 2 5/8 inch), rolled the pastry out to be 3 mm thick & baked them in a 12 mini tart pan (60 mm diameter - I have 3 of these).    

The mini tart cases need to be blind baked; if the filling you will be using does not need baking or the filling has a high water content.

Grease the mini tart pan. Cut out 24 thin strips of baking paper (~12 cm x 2 cm) & lay them like a cross in each of the wells in the tray. This will help to easily get the pastry cases out of the pan.

Using a pastry cutter slightly bigger than the holes in the pan cut out pastry disks & transfer these to the individual wells in the tart pan.

I blind bake by using one of the other mini tart pans on top of the mini tart pan containing the cut out dough. Firstly I grease the bottom of the 2nd pan (it is empty), I put 6 spacers (I cut up a silicon trivet) in between the wells on the pan containing the dough (this helps from squashing the pastry cases) & then I lightly put the second pan on top.

If you don't blind bake the bottom of the tart will have slightly thicker pastry & the sides of the pastry won't be as high. If you really don't want to blind bake chill the pastry cases in the pan for ~10 mins prior to baking.

The mini tart cases were baked for 10 mins at 170 C before filling & baking again.    

Large Flans/Tarts

The pastry will shrink slightly during baking. It is best to use a round flan/tart pan. 

Grease the flan/tart pan.

Roll out the dough to the required size on a clean mat/paper (It is easier to manipulate the dough when it is 3 mm thick as opposed to 2 mm).

Lightly dust the rolling pin with some of the extra Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour to stop the dough from sticking. Transfer the dough to the pan using the rolling pin. To get the dough onto the rolling pin lift up the mat/paper & drape it over the rolling pin. Peel off the mat/paper & move the rolling pin over the pan. Gently lay the dough into the pan. 

Gently push the dough into all corners & sides of the pan. If the dough breaks don't worry it is easy to patch. If possible trim the dough to slightly higher than the sides of the pan. 

Put the pan into the fridge for ~10 mins. 

Transfer the pan to the oven. The best results are obtained if the dough is baked in the pan with nothing over the top of it (you don't need to do the traditional blind baking). Bake the dough for ~15 mins at 170 C. The actual baking time will vary depending on the thickness of the pastry, what the pastry will be used for & your oven.