Being on a celiac-imposed gluten-free diet may be challenging, but available food choices include fresh fruits and vegetables and proteins that suit everyone from the most hardened carnivores to pescetarians, vegetarians and vegans. Regardless of dietary restrictions, we all know that we should consume healthy, balanced diets. But even the "good stuff" gets boring sometimes. Craving the "bad stuff" is perfectly normal... usually. Navigating these cravings when you have celiac is a bit trickier, particularly when the pang demands pastry.
We're a month into my husband's celiac diagnosis, and I have taken up the challenge to cook gluten-free wihtout it being a chore. I don't want to rely on mass-produced pastry products because proprietry GF food is really expensive and filled with additives.
Although we don't eat lots of pies or pastry treats, Mark got a craving for some pastry. I wanted to see what making it at home would be like, so the challenge was on.
For my first foray into gluten-free pastry, I decided to keep it simple and use the recipe on the back of my flour blend packet. I use Doves Farm Plain Flour Blend, but you can use a brand you can find locally. I decided to use this recipe over standard pastry recipe, as I was unsure as to how it would work and was aiming for first-time success — no pressure then!
This looks simple enough. But no — it was trial by pastry!
Steps 1 and 2 were easy enough. I had a cup of tea during Step 3. Step 4 on the other hand was another story! The pastry was rock hard after "resting," and rolling it out was impossible. It just crumbled like a really bad mortar mix!
Not to be beaten by this, I decided to take the modeling-clay approach. I took half the mixture and worked it in my hands until it warmed up a bit, which made it slightly malleable.
With the filling already in the dish waiting patiently to be covered, I fashioned the pie lid on the baking parchment and gave it a nice crimped edge. But the pastry became crumbly again, so I had to move it carefully with two spatulas over the pie dish. It's really easy to forget to breathe when you do something like that! I brushed it with an egg wash, and popped it in the oven.
But it wasn't over. I still had half the pastry mixture (or ball of crumbly mortar!) left, so I decided to make jam tarts in a mini muffin tin using my pastry dibber (pictured below). I rolled balls of "dough" in my hands to warm them up, pressed the centers with the pastry dibber and filled them with yummy blueberry jam.
To be honest, after having so much trouble with the dough, I wasn't holding out much hope that either of them would turn out very well, but... drum roll, please! It worked!
The pastry cooked up a treat, so we had our pie for dinner with jam tart chasers. Both hubby and son loved them.
Until next time…
Den (Denise) Forster, 48 years old (ouch!), works for a construction company in York, U.K. Has a 15-year-old son, Adam. Married since 1993 to Mark. Has a cat called Lily who is seven. Enjoys music of all types and was a Leeds Goth in the 1980s, as well as an accomplished knitter. Always up for a challenge!