Pastry magic in the Halo Baking Emporium and Chocolaterie’s kitchen today, as gluten free flour and sundry ingredients were transformed into sweet Jam Tarts and savoury Moroccan Chicken Pies. (Although, not at the same time.) Gluten free pastry can be tricky to work with; gluten free flour tends to the dry side when baking, necessitating a rather moist dough which seems to love the rolling pin and kitchen counter with an unquenchable ardour judging by the manner in which it adheres to both and refuses to be parted.
Before my gluten intolerance diagnosis I was what mom Halo would refer to as “a dab hand with pastry”, a recommendation I am pleased to report soon to be mom-in-law has confirmed post-diagnosis. These Jam Tarts, wonderfully redolent of British summer picnics and afternoon teas, are sweet without being sickly, hold their shape well, and lend themselves eagerly to their respective fillings of Black Cherry Jam and Raspberry Jam. To make your own I recommend my gluten free sweet pastry recipes here.
The mini savoury Moroccan Chicken Pies are made with a savoury variation of gluten free pastry, brushed with beaten egg for that golden glow, and filled with spiced chicken, chickpeas, lentils and vegetables. The pastry is wonderfully crumbly whilst strong enough to allow you pick up a pie and wander around the house eating it, should you be inclined to demonstrate such uncouth behaviour. (I may even have had a glass of wine in the other hand – I admit nothing.) I share with the British people amongst whom I currently make my home a love for a good pie; comfort food at its highest level. From rolling out the pastry through to watching the curls of steam escape from the lid whilst baking, from that first bite through the crust to the last crumbs picked off the plate it’s a true home comfort.
Three baking tips for superlatively good gluten free pastry:
- Tightly wrap and chill gluten free pastry for at least 45 minutes once the initial knead is completed, before you attempt to roll it out and work with it. Then work fast!
- Work egg whites into your gluten free savoury pastry to help your pies and tarts keep their shape.
- Don’t attempt to eat Jam Tarts before they’re cooled. Boiling jam is both hotter than the surface of the sun and stickier than a squid’s sucker smothered in superglue.
With a tongue firmly encased in rapidly cooling black cherry jam, Halo from the Halo Baking Emporium and Chocolaterie in Moseley Birmingham UK.