Phew! I don’t know about you guys but I can’t believe that we are almost at the end of April already! I completely missed February. I finally have a bit of time to catch up with you all and update you about my March challenge- better late than never! (I did do my February challenge – Cake Week – I just didn’t blog about it, promise! You can see the pictures on my Instagram and Facebook). I will be tackling bread this month for my April challenge and will upload the blog next week!
I tackled pastry in March and stepped out of my comfort zone by attempting gluten free pastry. Here is how I got on making a red pepper and goat’s cheese gluten free tart:
For the savoury crust
280g plain white gluten free flour
1tsp xantham gum (can be found in most large supermarkets)
1/2 tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
1/2 to 3/4 cup ice cold water
For the filling
3 red peppers
1 garlic glove, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
200g goats’ cheese, sliced
3 eggs, beaten
150ml natural Greek yogurt (I used soya yoghurt)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, xantham gum and salt until well combined.
2. Add the butter and cut in the butter using either a pastry cutter or two knives to cut repeatedly into the mixture until the mixture resembles sand.
3. Add 125ml water to the mixture slowly. Cover your hands in flour and bring the mixture together with your hands. It will be flaky and probably sticky but keep adding water a little bit at a time and make sure your hands are floured and the dough will eventually come together.
4. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in cling film. Chill for about an hour.
5. Lightly butter a 23cm shallow tart tin.
6. Put the pastry between two sheets of cling film and roll out to 2in larger than your tin. Remove the cling film from one side of the pastry and then pick up the pastry and drape it over the tin. Peel away the cling film and gently ease the pastry into position, lifting the edge of the pastry and pressing firmly into place with your fingertips.
7. Run a rolling pin over the top of the tin to trim off the excess pastry.
8. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes until golden brown (NB. Don’t line the pastry with baking paper and baking beans – the paper will stick to the pastry and you will spend ages trying to surgically remove the paper with a knife…). Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
9. Whilst the pastry is baking, cut the peppers into quarters and remove the seeds. Place the peppers in a roasting tray with the garlic and drizzle with oil. Roasted at 180C (fan 160C, 350F/gas mark 4) for 20 minutes or until the peppers are soft. Put to one side and leave the oven on.
10. Cook the onion in a saucepan over a low heat for 5 minutes then add the balsamic vinegar. Cook for a further 5 minutes until the vinegar has reduced and the onion is the texture of marmalade.
11. Spread this evenly over the bottom of the pastry case and arrange the peppers on top (pack them tightly but leave some gaps as you want the topping to sink through). Follow this with the slices of goats’ cheese.
12. Mix the eggs and yoghurt together and season well with salt and pepper. Place the tart on a baking tray then pour the egg mixture evenly over the filling.
13. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the tart is set and golden. Garnish with parsley and top with some spare peppers if you wish.
This was my first attempt at gluten free pastry and (except the minor surgery with the baking parchment) I am so pleased with how it turned out.