Gluten-Free Pie Crust
I have baked quite a few gluten-free cakes but always made an exception when it came to pie crust and resorted to my trusted old wheat recipe. I don’t have to eat gluten-free, it is something I enjoy and do out of a desire to vary my grain intake rather than by necessity. When John’s sister went gluten-free for health reasons, I finally made the leap and created a gluten-free crust.
This gluten-free crust is simple, in the sense that it doesn’t call for multiple flours or stabilizing gums. It is made with gluten-free all-purpose flour, which consists primarily of chickpea flour combined with smaller amounts of other flours such as tapioca and sorghum. The crust is easy to make, easy to handle, and frankly difficult to miss. I used it to make this galette last week, and and did again yesterday to make a fruit tart for an afternoon snack.
When I picked up Maya from school, I asked her what fruit she wanted on the tart. She excitedly shouted raspberries. And raspberries we bought and topped half our tart with. The other half was topped with bananas, for variety’s sake. I love pastry cream for filling a tart. It is delicious, super easy to make and tastes like vanilla pudding (!). It makes a perfect base for fresh, colorful spring fruit.
The recipe below is for the crust as well as for the blind baking and filling of the fruit tart pictured above. You may also like this apple tart filling, which you can use on gluten-free crust also.
GLUTEN-FREE PIE CRUST & FRUIT TART RECIPE
Yield: 1 (8-INCH) TART OR 4 TO 6 INDIVIDUAL TARTS
Prep Time: 20 Min + REFRIGERATION
Cook Time: 20 MIN
1.5 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 tablespoons unrefined brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg white
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ice cold water
The pastry cream
1 ¼ cups milk
2 large egg yolks
2.5 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
16 ounces raspberries or other fresh fruit sliced
2 tablespoons warm light honey
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting (optional)
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 5 seconds. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly. Add the egg white. Mix the vanilla extract to the water and pour it in the food processor a little at a time, pulsing until the dough appears moist enough to stick together. Transfer the dough to a bowl and form it into a ball. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour before use.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Let the dough warm up at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes before stretching it. Sprinkle the dough with a little bit of flour, place it between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out into a 12-inch circle. Carefully transfer the dough to the tart pan(s).
If filling your tart immediately, bake it for 30 to 40 minutes.
If filling your tart at the end with pastry cream and fresh fruit (as in the picture above), pre-bake (blind bake) the crust. Lightly pierce the base of the molded dough with a fork in several areas. Place parchment paper or foil on it and weigh it down with dried beans, lentils or rice. Bake it for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and bean weights and bake it for another 5 minutes. Let it cool completely before filling it.
To make the pastry cream, heat the milk in a saucepan, but do not boil it. Place the yolks, cornstarch and agave or maple syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk until smooth. Add the warm milk to the egg mixture and continue whisking until well combined. Place back in the pan over very low heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens into custard. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool.
Fill the cooled tart with the cooled pastry cream. Top it with fresh fruit. Brush the fruit with warm honey. Refrigerate the tart for 30 to 60 minutes before serving. Lightly dust it with confectioner’s sugar, if you wish.