This easy gluten free shortcrust pastry recipe is so simple to make and can be used for a sweet or savory dish. I will guide you step by step and provide lots of tips and tricks for making a beautiful buttery and perfectly flaky gluten free pastry.
This gluten free pastry holds its shape it doesn't crumble and fall apart like a lot of pastries I have tried in the past. It can be made in advance and kept in the fridge or frozen making it perfect for when you need it.
This gluten free shortcrust pastry has been a staple in my kitchen for a long time and I have adapted it over time since I adore pies so much. I have used it as a base for many dishes such as gluten free mini strawberry tarts, gluten free peach pie, and my raspberry frangipane.
- ⭐ Why we love this recipe
- 🥧 What Is Shortcrust Pastry
- 📋 Ingredients Notes
- ⚡ Substitutions & Variations
- 🥧 Step by Step Instructions
- What is Blind Baking?
- Why Blind Bake Pastry?
- How To Blind Bake Pastry
- Fully Baked Pastry
- 💡 Pro Recipe Tips
- 💭 Gluten free Baking
- What to make with gluten free shortcrust pastry
- ❔ Recipe FAQs
- 🍰 More gluten-free pie recipes
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
⭐ Why we love this recipe
- Simple and easy to make - this recipe doesn't require any fancy kitchen equipment and is so simple to make.
- Gluten free - uses a gluten free flour blend to make the pastry.
- Sweet or savory - I use this as a base recipe for sweet pastry or savory dishes.
- Can be made in advance - this gluten free pastry can be stored in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to use it for your pie.
- Easily made dairy free - with a couple of simple swaps makes this gluten and dairy free.
🥧 What Is Shortcrust Pastry
Shortcrust pastry is a type of pastry that is often used as a base for many delicious dishes, both sweet and savory. It's made from a mixture of flour, fat (usually butter or lard), and a little bit of liquid (such as water or milk).
The word "short" in shortcrust pastry refers to its unique crumbly and tender texture. Shortcrust pastry can be filled with all sorts of ingredients, including fruits, custards, meats, and vegetables. It's a versatile and easy-to-make pastry.
📋 Ingredients Notes
- Gluten free All purpose Flour - I used Doves free from plain flour but you can use your preferred brand of gluten free All purpose flour. See my gluten free baking tips below for the flour blend I used.
- Butter - I prefer to use cold unsalted butter and add salt to the recipe. Adds a rich, buttery flavor and a tender texture to the dough. Butter is also a solid fat, which helps to create pockets of air in the dough when it is rubbed into the flour. Which gives the shortcrust pastry its characteristic flakiness.
- Egg - Adds richness and flavor to the dough. The egg yolk contributes fat and a depth of flavor, and the egg whites provide moisture to help bind the dough together.
- Milk - Adding cold whole milk to the pastry dough adds extra fat to the pastry makes it easier to roll and gives the pie crust a better texture.
- Xanthan Gum - A common ingredient in gluten free baking. Xanthan gum binds everything together and basically acts as the gluten would in a regular recipe.
- Salt - If making a savory gluten free pastry add salt.
- Sugar - If making a gluten free sweet pastry add in sugar. I usually use brown sugar but fine white sugar such as caster sugar will also work well.
See the recipe card below for full ingredients and measurements.
⚡ Substitutions & Variations
- Dairy Free - Substitute the butter for your preferred dairy free butter block. Substitute the milk for ice-cold water.
- Sweet shortcrust pastry - When making gluten free shortcrust pastry I prefer to use light brown sugar but you can also use caster or super fine sugar if preferred.
- Savory shortcrust pastry - To make a savory gluten free pastry I omit the sugar from the recipe and its good to go for a savory pie or tart.
The recipe makes 450g of gluten free Shortcrust pastry and can be doubled if a pie top is required.
🥧 Step by Step Instructions
Below is a brief step-by-step process with photos of how to make gluten free shortcrust pastry. See the recipe card below for full recipe instructions.
Step 1: Rub together Butter, Flour, and Xanthan Gum till they form a breadcrumb-like consistency (See image 1).
Mix in sugar for a Gluten free sweet shortcrust pastry or salt if you are making gluten free savory pastry.
Step 2: Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add egg and milk. Mix together with your hands until a dough is formed. Add a little extra milk if you feel the mixture is too dry (See image 2).
Tip: Use cold butter and cold milk as this will help achieve a nice flaky texture. If the butter melts it will result in a tough and less flaky crust.
Step 3: Wrap your pastry ball in clingfilm and place it in the fridge for 30 mins. If you leave it for longer than 30 mins you may need to sit it at room temperature for 10 mins before rolling it out.
Step 4: Rolling out - To make rolling the pastry easier, I like to roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper or clingfilm (Plastic wrap). This will prevent it from sticking and there is no need for extra flour on your surface which prevents the pastry from drying out.
Carefully place the rolled-out dough into the tart tin. With your hands gently mold it into the sides of the tart tin. Trim off any excess pastry with a sharp knife or using the rolling pin roll over the edges of the tin.
Tip: The gluten free pastry is now ready to bake and use for your desired recipe. I have included instructions further down if the post for blind baking and fully-baked pastry.
What is Blind Baking?
Blind baking involves pre-baking the pastry crust before adding the filling, but without any filling inside. The crust is usually lined with parchment paper and then weighed down with pie weights or dried beans to prevent it from puffing up during baking.
Once the crust is partially or fully baked, the parchment paper and pie weights are removed, and the crust is allowed to cool before the filling is added.
Why Blind Bake Pastry?
Blind baking is an important technique for achieving a perfect pastry crust for a variety of pies, tarts, and quiches.
- Preventing a soggy bottom - When making pies or tarts with wet fillings, blind baking helps to prevent the crust from becoming soggy or undercooked. By pre-baking the crust, you can ensure that it is fully cooked and crisp, and able to hold up to the weight of the filling.
- Prevent shrinkage - Blind baking can also help prevent the crust from shrinking during baking. If the crust shrinks, it can pull away from the sides of the pan and the filling can leak out.
- Creating a barrier - Blind baking can create a barrier between the crust and the filling, which is useful when the filling is acidic or has a lot of moisture. This can prevent the crust from becoming soggy or getting too soft.
How To Blind Bake Pastry
To weigh down the pastry when blind baking, I cover the shortcrust pastry with parchment paper and use ceramic baking balls for weight. I find that this works well to hold up the sides of the pastry and ensure that it bakes evenly.
You could also use uncooked rice as a substitute for ceramic baking balls.
After using the weights, I store them in a jar so that I can reuse them anytime I am making a pie base. It's important to distribute the weights evenly and ensure that they reach the brim of the pastry for the best results.
Step 5: Remove from fridge and roll out to the desired size of your tin or dish. usually around ½cm thick. Then carefully transfer to your dish/tin. Using a fork prick the base of the pastry several times.
Line with greaseproof paper and gently fill using ceramic baking beads or uncooked rice (See image 5).
Step 6: Bake in the oven for approximately 12 minutes. Remove Beans/rice and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before adding your pie filling and then continue to bake following the recommended time that your recipe states.
Tip: By trimming the parchment paper to have excess paper over the sides of the pie dish will make it easier when lifting the parchment paper and ceramic beans from the pastry as they will be hot and you can lift them out using the excess paper.
Fully Baked Pastry
To fully bake the pastry follow the steps for blind baking but after the baking beans and parchment paper has been removed bake for a further 10-15 minutes until it is a nice golden brown color.
Once the gluten free pastry base has fully cooled you are ready to fill it with your choice of ready-made filling.
💡 Pro Recipe Tips
- Cold Butter - Always be sure to use cold butter to make the gluten free pie dough. If adding water instead of milk I recommend using cold water.
- Rolling out - To make rolling the gluten free pastry easier, I like to roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper or clingfilm (Plastic wrap). This will prevent it from sticking and there is no need for extra flour on your surface which prevents the pastry from drying out.
- Gluten and dairy free pastry - substitute butter and milk for dairy free butter block and use cold water in place of milk.
- Loose bottom tart tin - For some recipes such as gluten free quiche or gluten free Bakewell tart I use a 9-inch loose bottom tart tin which makes removing the dish once cooked so much easier.
- Blind baking - Carefully line the inside of the pie shell with parchment paper. Top with ceramic baking beans for blind baking the pastry but don't worry if you don't have any as using uncooked rice will also work well. See the recipe card for more details on blind baking the pastry.
💭 Gluten free Baking
- Gluten Free Flour – I used a shop-bought Gluten free flour blend from Doves Farm Freee from range. Which is a flour blend of Rice, Potato, Tapioca, Maize, and Buckwheat flour. I have had reports that others have used Bob’s Red Mill and other Gluten free All purpose blends with my recipes that have worked well. I would love to know what flour blends worked for you. So feel free to get in touch by leaving a comment below or you can contact me directly.
- Kitchen Scales - Using digital scales is recommended when baking. I always measure using scales and grams as baking is a science. When baking gluten-free it is essential to weigh out ingredients to get the best results! There is no need to purchase expensive digital scales and you can find them available cheaply online.
- Oven Temperatures - Your oven temperature may be slightly different. As all ovens vary in temperature and the baking time is used as a guide. Some ovens run hotter than others. You could invest in an oven thermometer to be more accurate.
What to make with gluten free shortcrust pastry
So what next once you have your Gluten free pastry? Looking for a little inspiration I have put together a list of my most popular pie and tart recipes.
- Gluten free cheese and onion quiche - Easy recipe is perfect for a summer lunch or dinner.
- Gluten free strawberry Tart - Once you have the pastry bases this is so easy to put together for a lovely summer dessert.
- Gluten free Bakewell tart - This is one of my favorite tart recipes and is perfect for afternoon tea or dessert.
- Gluten free Apple crumble tart - Using the sweet pastry is a perfect base for fall apple pie recipes.
- Gluten free mince pies - A great little dessert during the holiday season.
- Raspberry Frangipane Tart - A lovely summer tart using fresh berries.
- Peach mango pie - This is the perfect summer pie recipe that uses fresh mangoes and peaches and has delicious tropical vibes.
❔ Recipe FAQs
Yes, I often double up the recipe when I am making a pie that requires a top. So if you are making a pie with a top just double the recipe ingredients and follow the recipe steps.
Yes, You can substitute the butter for your preferred dairy-free butter block and use water in place of the milk for a gluten dairy free pie crust.
The gluten free pastry can be wrapped and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If preparing the day before you intend to use it.
Yes, The short crust pastry can be wrapped and frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Ready for you to use another day. Defrost at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight.
🍰 More gluten-free pie recipes
Gluten free Shortcrust pastry
Nutritional information is meant as a guideline and all information is approximate.
- 250 grams Gluten free GF All-purpose flour (sieved) AKA gluten free plain flour in the UK
- 110 grams Unsalted Butter (cubed) Use dairy free butter block if required
- 1 large Egg room temperature
- 1-2 tablespoon Milk (use dairy free or cold water if required)
- ¼ teaspoon Xanthan Gum Omit if the flour blend already contains xanthan gum.
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 60 grams Brown Sugar for - SWEET PASTRY ONLY
- Rub together Butter, Flour and Xanthan Gum till they form a breadcrumb like consistency
- Mix in sugar or salt required if you are making sweet or savory pastry
- Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add egg and milk.
- Mix together with hands until a dough is formed. Add a little extra milk if you feel mixture is too dry.
- Wrap your pastry ball in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 mins. If you leave for longer than 30 mins you may need to sit it at room temperature for 10 mins before rolling out.
- Your pastry is now ready to use for your desired recipe.
Blind baking shortcrust pastry
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.Remove from fridge and roll out to the desired size of your tin or dish. usually around ½cm thick. Then carefully transfer to your pie dish/tin.
- Using a fork prick the base of the pastry several times.
- Line with greaseproof paper and gently fill using ceramic baking beads or uncooked rice.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 12 minutes. Remove Beans/rice and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes until lightly golden.
- The base is ready for your preferred filling and continue to bake following the recommended time that your recipe states.
Fully baked pastry base
- To fully bake the pastry follow the steps for blind baking but after the baking beans and parchment paper has been removed bake for a further 10-15 minutes until it is a nice golden brown color.
- Once the pastry base has fully cooled you are ready to fill it with your choice of ready-made filling.
- Always be sure to use cold butter and milk to make the pie dough. If adding water instead of milk I recommend using ice cold water.
- To make rolling the gluten free pastry easier I like to roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper or clingfilm as this will prevent it from sticking and means there is no need for extra flour on your surface so prevents the pastry from drying out.
- To make gluten and dairy free pastry just substitute for dairy free butter block and use cold water in place of milk.
Nutritional information is meant as a guideline and is always an approximate calculation. Recipes may include information of various products used. It is your responsibility to check that ingredients you use when making a recipe are gluten free.
Due to some issues, my wife is trying to go on a gluten free diet, so we're looking for proven gluten free recipes. I'm happy I found your blog today, now I have something to keep myself busy with 🙂
Cindy Mom, the Lunch Lady
What a wonderfully flaky buttery crust. Hard to believe it is gluten free!
Exactly what I was looking for. This crust is perfect, and no one would guess its gluten-free. Thanks!
I love this shortcrust pastry and it was so flaky and delicious!
Love this gluten-free pastry recipe.. I’ll try it soon.. thanks for sharing
So happy I have found a gluten free pastry recipe!