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How to Make Gluten-Free Savory Tart Crust



April 23, 2012

With the abundance of spring fruits and vegetables almost here, I want to share my easy tart making technique with you. This way, whenever the mood to bake a tart hits, you'll be ready.

My secret? Not rolling the tart dough!

Unlike wheat-based tart dough, which you can roll out into a large piece and transfer to a tart pan, gluten-free tart dough doesn't like to move. Rolling out the dough isn't a problem; it's moving the dough from the counter to the pan that proves problematic. Without the help of those stretchy bands of gluten, the dough loves to break apart during transfer.

To avoid this frustration, skip rolling out the dough and just press it into the pan. Although somewhat counterintuitive since you don't chill the dough before working with it, this technique works really well.

Today we'll cover how to make a savory gluten-free tart shell. Not only does this recipe make a wonderful crust for quiche-like tarts, it's also perfect for piling full of fresh tomatoes and other goodies from the farmer's market. 

 

Here we go: 

To start, in the bowl of a food processor, combine dry ingredients. Pulse a few times to mix. (If you are doing this by hand, whisk the ingredients together in a large bowl.) 

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Add cold butter. Cold is key here. When the butter's cold, it remains in  little "nuggets" throughout the dough. When these little pieces of butter hit a hot oven, the butter gives off steam. This steam creates pockets of air in the dough, leavening the dough slightly and giving the tart a pleasant, delicate texture.

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Pulse the dough until no large pieces of butter remain. (If you're doing this by hand, cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter.)

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Add the egg and cold water.

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Run the food processor. At first, the dough won't hold together. This is normal. Keep running the machine...

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...until a dough ball forms. (By hand, stir together with a wooden spoon.)

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The fun part begins! Pinch off tablespoon-size pieces of dough and place them around the edge of a greased tart pan.

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Fill in the rest of the pan with more balls of tart dough.

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Start pressing the dough down in the center/bottom of the pan, not at the edge. We'll get to the edge in a second.) 

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You want the dough to evenly cover the bottom of the pan. No bare spots should remain.

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Now it's time to create the crust. Press the remaining dough into the side of the pan.

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Grab a measuring cup or glass. Use the measuring cup to press the dough (including the tart crust) firmly into the pan.

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Some of the dough will probably extend over the side of the pan. Use a sharp knife to trim it.

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Inspect the dough. If you see any bare spots, fill them in with the dough you trimmed from the crust.

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Prick the dough all over with a fork.

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After chilling the dough for 45 minutes, bake until it's lightly golden brown. Fill as desired.

Ready to try the recipe? Here it is! 

 

Tomorrow...How to Make Sweet Tart Dough!



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