I only use one brand of gluten-free flour in the UK, and I am always pleased with the results. I think the trick when eating gluten-free pastry is not to compare it to regular pastry. Gluten-free pastry has its own personality, taste and texture. The recipe follows the standard formula for all shortcrust pastries: half fat to flour.
Put the flour, salt and butter into a food processor and pulse in quick bursts until the mixture starts to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Put the egg and water into a cup and beat to combine. Pour three-quarters of this egg mixture into the flour mixture and pulse again until the pastry comes together. If you feel the mixture needs a little more moisture, then add the rest of the liquid but if the pastry has already come together then there is no need. The dough should be nice and uniform in texture but not sticky.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it gently for a few seconds to form a smooth dough, then wrap it in cling film, squish it down a little and pop it into the fridge for at least 1 hour. With gluten-containing flour, this stage is needed to relax the gluten in the pastry and therefore make it easier to roll out, but for this recipe we want the gluten-free flour to absorb the egg and the water to make it easier to use.
When the pastry has chilled, it is ready for use, or you can keep it wrapped in cling film in the fridge for up to a week.
It does not roll out like usual pastry – the best thing to do is to press it into the tin that you are using or, if you prefer, try rolling it out between two sheets of baking parchment. Once you have lined your tin, chill it for another 10 minutes before baking.
Use as required – I bake mine in an oven at 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/gas 4) in the same way as regular pastry.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.