When I first started cooking, I started with desserts. Creating simple little yummy things to share with my family. I would often choose short cuts to keep things simple and easy for myself - premade pastry, mini tart shells - bits and pieces you can buy that cut out hours of work.
But when you're allergic to gluten and a million other things - those short cuts no longer work for you. And who knows what half of the ingredients you find listed on those packs actually are.
I needed to create my own - but I hateeeeeeeeee making pastry. To the point where I avoided making any kind of pastry dessert (that I could eat) for three years until I finally gave in and decided that I needed to create a pastry recipe that was simple, easy and healthy.
This pastry had to be super simple to make. I'm not patient when it comes to pastry - so it couldn't involve hours of work and please do not make me rub butter into flour because it gets in my fingernails and drives me nuts.
This pastry needed to be healthy too. I didn't want it laden with fat and sugar and it couldn't contain anything artificial.
But most importantly, this pastry had to taste really really good.
It took me a little while, but I finally came up with the ultimate Healthy Shortcrust Pastry Recipe - and to make it even better, it's vegan too!
The hardest part about this recipe is probably not eating all of the pastry shells in one go - or waiting for the dough to chill for an hour. You better believe I watched the clock for that hour to pass.
But the brilliance doesn't end there. Because I'm
kinda sorta super lazy - I decided that this recipe needed to work for both sweet and savoury options - so I created a recipe that needs just one simple tweak to turn a savoury pastry crust into one that's perfect for dessert.
We've filled them with everything from quiche mixes to chocolate mousse and used them as an edible bowl for ice cream. You can be sure you'll be seeing plenty of recipes featuring this pastry on the blog very soon - so keep an eye out!
But first, I need to share the recipes with you! >>
Low Fat & Gluten Free Super Simple Pastry Shells/Tart Cases
makes 10 mini tart crusts that are low fat, vegan, gluten free & refined sugar free
1/2 cup (60g) gluten free plain flour (you may also use regular plain flour for a non GF version)
1/2 cup (60g) buckwheat flour (you may also use whole wheat flour for a non GF version)
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp milk of your choice (we used almond milk)
2 tbsp water*
1 tbsp (20g) butter, melted or 1 tbsp oil
*To make a sweet version: Use just 1 tbsp of water and add 2 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tsp maple syrup
- Mix all of your ingredients together until it forms a dough.
- Mix until just combined and wrap in cling wrap.
- Chill your wrapped dough in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Roll out your dough on a piece of baking paper (you shouldn't need extra flour as the dough is quite easy to work with, however, if you find it sticking add just a little bit of flour to your rolling surface) to about 2mm thickness. You want the dough to be quite thin so it crisps up perfectly!
- Place your dough into your tart shells (I cut my dough into small squares to make it easier to manage) and press into shape, cutting off any excess dough.
- Bake your tart shells in a preheated oven at 180C/355F for 5-7 minutes, keeping an eye on them whilst baking and taking them out once the edges are just lightly golden and the pastry has crisped up.
- Allow to cool before filling with whatever your heart desires! The savoury crust works perfectly for savoury tarts, quiches and canapes whilst the sweet version works perfectly for mousse and custard fillings, fresh fruit etc.
But tell me, what's one thing you just hate to make?
For me it was always pastry - but now that I've come up with this recipe I make it all the time! Once thing I don't like to make, however, is complicated dinners - things that you have to stir and follow a million and one steps for ;P
And what would you fill these tart shells with?