I know that gluten free pastry is not always very nice. I am going to change your mind with this simple recipe. This Gluten Free Tart with ricotta and strawberries is going to surprise you in the best way!
As a rule, gluten free pastry is dry and flakey. This one is not. You will not know this pastry is gluten free.
Roll it out to medium thickness for a shortbread texture.
One of the most important things to remember about making this and any tart case is to bake it until golden. This ensures it stays crunchy and doesn’t get soggy the minute it is filled with any kind of filling. Do not be scared to let it get deep golden.
I have made a round 24 cm ( 10 inch) tart ring. You use the tart ring on a lined tray. No need for a base. It’s in the picture below. If you want to use a fluted tin as below too, then it will work just the same. There are notes below with adjusted measurements for a deeper tart.
What type of tin should I use?
It is a thin tart, yes, but for me, this emphasizes the strawberries. The tin with fluted sides is more common and you could possibly have one of these already. Make sure your tin has a removable bottom.
Do I need a food processor to make this?
No, you don’t, but I find this quicker and much more efficient than me using my hands to rub the butter in. The butter stays colder and the mixture comes together in 5 minutes.
If you do not have a food processor you can make this the old fashioned way- with your hands.
The steps are below. I have shown you using a machine. If you are doing the mixing by hand your mix will essentially look the same. Remember there is no gluten so technically this pastry can’t be overworked.
What to look out for when making this gf pastry
This recipe is written with the intention of making gluten free pastry just as easy as standard pastry. I usually don’t like to keep a myriad of flours in the kitchen to prepare my own mix. I rely on a premade mix. There are many. I have tested several when making this recipe. See the notes below. If you have one you like that you have made yourself, please feel free to test it on this recipe
- You will definately need xanthan gum. This mimics the job gluten or protein would do in pastry. It combines forming a network that holds the pastry together. You can, however, use too much xanthan gum. Follow the directions or you may end up with quite a gummy pastry. 1/8 of a teaspoon is usually enough as a small amount is often included in the gluten free pastry mix that you buy. As these are all different, I find the extra small amount is generally just enough.
- This pastry may be just a little wetter than the pastry you normally work with. I have put a measurement for egg, as the liquid content of pastry is often where it can go wrong in any pastry. I use large eggs but I find some people buy smaller eggs for everyday use. If this is the case the pastry you make will be slightly different to mine. Measuring the egg is best.
Can I knead gluten free pastry?
Yes, you can. There is no gluten in it!
You will knead it to a nice smooth paste. When making pastry from wheat flour I always suggest never adding more flour onto the bench when bringing pastry together because this makes it dry and hard to use. This time I am going to tell you to add extra flour and knead until it is no longer really sticky.
- I will still warn you though, that you can go overboard and add too much flour, so little bits at a time. Once you have a nicely kneaded dough make sure you chill it. Chilled dough is so much easier to roll out.
- I also suggest you do not roll it too thin for this particular pastry. Usually, I would suggest pastry be rolled as thin as possible, but this one can get a bit hard if rolled too thin.
What about that filling?
Oh yes! The filling is simple. It is basically just making a custard and pouring it into the blind baked pastry case. (baked with paper and beans or rice holding down the pastry).
There are a couple of things that would make it better.
- Buy ricotta from a deli or buy a whole basket. The containers of ricotta you can buy from the supermarket’s cold section are very poor. They are grainy and have lots of additives.
- If you can only find this style of ricotta never fear. With extra grainy ricotta or the creamy basket type the best custard tart will result if you add all of the filling ingredients and blitz it with a stick blender. You will have the smoothest creamy tart. Alternatively, you could use a food processor and do the same thing.
You can see the noticeable difference in the two different types of gluten-free flour below. The one on the left is heavier and more wheat flour-like. it doesn’t have maizemeal of tapioca in it in any great quantity. The one on the right is whiter and much thinner and lighter. it is a bit more like cornflour in texture. I prefer the one on the left.
I have however made pastry with both and both work perfectly with this recipe. You could replace 2-3 tbsps of Almond meal with the lighter flour if you want to change the texture a bit. The pastry made with the thinner lighter flour is softer and finer. (See the picture below)
And, should you buy a whole kilo of ricotta, here are some more recipes to make with it.
Lemon ricotta cake
Baked Ricotta with roasted mushroom s
Easy ricotta filo mini pies
Ricotta chocolate tart
Ricotta, zucchini and ham fritters GF
Gluten Free Tart with ricotta and strawberries
- 130 gm gm gluten free flour 1 cup
- 20 gm almond meal (flour) 2 tbsp
- 1/8 tsp Xantham gum
- 50 gm icing sugar 5 Tabsp
- 110 gm butter
- 55 gm egg, whole 1 whole
Ricotta Filling| shallow tin
- 400 gm Ricotta
- 1 whole Orange zest
- 80 ml maple syrup 4 Tbsp
- 100 gm whole eggs 2 eggs
Ricotta Filling | deeper tin
- 600 gm ricotta
- 1 whole orange zest
- 120 ml maple syrup 6 Tbsp
- 150 gm eggs, whole 3 whole
- 40 ml orange juice 2 Tbsp
- 40 ml orange liquer 2 Tbsp
- 20-40 Tbsp maple syrup 1-2 Tbsp
- 250 gm strawberries whole or cut in half
Set the oven to 160 C / 320 F. 20 cm (10 in) tart ring or tart mould with a removable base
Mix the dry ingredients together. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. ( I like to do this in the food processor. its quicker and keeps the mixture colder)
Whisk the egg to break it up, weigh it, and add to the pastry, Mixing until it forms a dough. Knead the dough together until smooth, with a little gluten free flour on the bench. You can work this dough, there is no gluten in it. The dough may be a little stickier than the pastry you are used to. Push together and flatten down. Refrigerate until firm ( approx 1 hour) or 15 – 20 minutes in the freezer
Sprinkle the bench with gf flour and roll out the pastry and line a 20 cm ( 10 in) pastry case. Refrigerate until firm.
Heat the oven to 160 C. Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with rice or baking beans. Do not prick the base or the custard will see]p through Bake for around 10 minutes or until about 1/2 cooked and set around the sides. Empty the paper and beans and bake again for around 8 minutes or until golden. Set aside
Zest the orange and put the zest and maple syrup into a bowl and mix well. Add the ricotta and whisk again. Add the eggs and mix until combinedI like to use a stick blender here to get a beautiful smooth custard. You could also use a food processor to blend till just smooth
Pour the custard into the tart case and bake at 160 C for approximately 20-25 minutes or until just set. Baking the tart too long will encourage splitting.
Ensure you bake the pastry case to a lovely golden brown and do not prick it with a fork or the egg custard will seep through.
If you want to make the recipe alcohol free, simply add extra orange juice or use water in place of that
How to weigh an egg: crack the egg, whisk together, and then weigh it.
If you have a carton of 600 gm eggs (Australia) the eggs will weigh 45 to 50 gms. 700 gm eggs (Australia) weigh approx 55 to 60 gms. If the eggs weigh under 50 gm add a little water to bring them up to around 50 gm
There are different types of gluten free flour. Some look and feel like cornflour and tapioca. My favourite blend ( usually Aldi) has a more floury separated appearance (see pictures)
You may need to knead this gluten free pastry to bring it together properly and make it less sticky. As there is no gluten this will not affect the pastry. You must only add enough flour to stop it sticking to the bench and your hands and no more. It will still be soft and a bit sticky. Always chill to firm up and make it easier to roll out.