Sift the flour and salt into a bowl with the xanthan gum. Cut the butter and margarine into small pieces and add to the flour. Using 2 cutlery knives and working in a scissor action, cut the fat into the flour, keeping the 2 knives in contact.
Once the fat has been broken down to small pea-sized pieces, use your fingertips to gently rub the flour and little pieces of fat together until the mixture resembles pale breadcrumbs of uniform size. Alternatively, use a food processor and pulse the ingredients to reach this stage. Stir in the icing sugar if making sweet pastry.
Mix the egg with 15ml milk, using a fork, until evenly combined. Stir the liquid into the flour mixture and distribute as quickly as possible with a cutlery knife. If the pastry is still too dry and wont come together, add the rest of the milk, little by little.
Use the flat of the knife to bring the dough together, then pull the pastry together with your hands and shape it into a flat disc, about 1.5cm thick. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Roll the chilled pastry out according to the recipe, between 2 sheets of cling film or baking parchment; this makes rolling out much easier as the pastry may be crumbly.
Chill the pastry in its final shape until very firm before baking. Bake at 180C/gas mark 4 in the top third of the oven. It is cooked when the pastry has no grey patches and feels sandy to the touch.
Can I Make Sweet Shortcrust Using this Recipe?
Sure thing! I use this recipe regularly for both sweet and savoury bakes. For sweet pastry, simply omit the salt from the recipe and instead add 1 tbsp caster sugar to the dry ingredients in step 1. Easy peasy.
I also have a slight variation on this recipe using some ground almonds, which makes fabulous patisserie-style shortcrust pastry – my Sweet Almond Shortcrust Pastry (pictured below in this yummy Blueberry Frangipane Tart).
Gluten-free shortcrust pastry recipe – using just 5-ingredients! This is the ULTIMATE pastry, simply because nobody would ever know it’s Coeliac-friendly and wheat-free.
Gluten-free shortcrust pastry recipe – delightful, golden, flaky pastry that’s perfect for sweet and savoury tarts, pies and pasties. And no, it doesn’t taste ‘gluten-free’ whatsoever!
The shortcrust pastry recipe in my first book is literally identical to ‘muggle’ (people who can eat gluten) shortcrust pastry in terms of taste, texture and appearance. And it’s awesome, if I do say so myself!
However, this gluten-free shortcrust pastry recipe is slightly richer in taste AND it has a lovely flaky quality that puts it somewhere between shortcrust and rough puff pastry.
So which one should you use? The choice is yours! I find that this recipe is a little more versatile when it comes to using it for things like gluten-free Cornish pasties as well as for savoury or sweet pies. But in reality, both work just as well!
Why is gluten free pastry so hard?
Possible cause: Insufficient water in dough. Gluten free pastry is not very elastic.
How do you make gluten free pastry less crumbly?
Add xanthan gum to gluten-free flour. It enhances elastic qualities that gluten-free flours lack, making it easier to work with and less likely to crumble. Add plenty of water to the gluten-free flour to prevent the pastry from becoming too dry when rolling out.
What is gluten free pastry made of?
To make the pastry you need gluten free plain flour (I use FREEE by Doves Farm or Shipton Mill), xanthan gum, salt, unsalted butter, a large egg and a little water. Then follow this simple method and you’ll have wonderful gluten free shortcrust pastry in no time at all.