Gluten-Free Shortcrust Pastry

I have been told that I am very good at making the pastry, although it is not a thing I really enjoy doing. When I first started making the gluten-free pastry the results were horrendous. It broke into pieces when I tried to roll it, then when I attempted to line a tart tin it looked like a patchwork quilt. Once cooked it was brittle and crumbly. How hard could it be? Since then I have learned a few things, which are

  • Use a good quality plain flour ( or see all-purpose flour mix recipe)
  • Xanthum gum, if not included in the flour, then add it
  •  Ice cold water
  • Sift the flour with the xanthan gum
  • Make sure your butter and shortening are fridge cold
  • Place your mixing bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes beforehand.

Now my gluten-free pastry is pretty good, and no more patchworks. Most of the time I make my own plain flour blend, rather than relying on shop-bought. I will cover this in a future blog. Because gluten-free pastry is more delicate, then the less you handle the better. When it comes to rolling it out, place it between 2 layers of non-stick baking parchment helps. Also once you have lined your tart or pie dish, chill it again before putting it into the oven straight away to avoid shrinkage.


  • 240g good quality gluten-free plain flour
  • 70g cold dairy-free butter
  • 50g Trex shortening
  • 0.5 tsp xanthan gum
  • pinch of salt
  • 3-4 tbsp ice-cold water
  • 60g caster sugar ( sweet pastry only)


Place your mixing bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes, while you weigh out the flour.

Remove from the freezer then sift your plain flour, xanthan gum and a pinch of salt into the bowl.

Add the butter and Trex in small pieces, rub between your fingertips until the mixture resembles large breadcrumbs. If you are making sweet pastry, add the sugar now.

With a flat blade knife, mix in a tbsp of the cold water in at a time ( you may not need all the water) and gently bring the pastry together. Then with your fingertips, lightly gather it and form into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes before using it.




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