This isn’t so much a pastry (well, it is, I suppose) as a biscuit base that multitasks perfectly as a shortcrust base for tarts and pies. It is designed to be a slightly sweetened, plain pastry so that your filling of choice can take the spotlight.
If you would like to add in different flavours, such as ground ginger or lemon zest, to complement your tart them go right ahead; and if you can’t be bothered refrigerating and rolling out a finnicky pastry like the GF sour cream pastry, then this is a great alternative for tarts and pies that don’t need a pastry layer on top.
Almond Meal Pastry
- 2 cups almond meal/flour
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter or coconut butter (maybe a little more) for FODMAPS
- 3 tbsp. dextrose or castor sugar
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Savoury variation – omit the sugar and spices and add in an extra 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 tbsp. suitable herbs (to match your filling), such as oregano, rosemary or thyme.
Put everything in your stand-mixer or food processor and mix with the paddle until thoroughly combined.
After oiling a pie or tart dish, break the dough into quarters and gradually press them into the tin. This takes a little bit of time to do neatly and make sure you have no weak spots (or filling leaks out and the tart will stick in the tin) but it’s quite relaxing to do, almost cathartic. Make sure it’s no thicker than 5 mm thick at the base for proper cooking.
Your options for cooking include:
- Completely blind bake it. This takes up to 30 minutes at 150 C/300 F, depending on your oven. Check it every couple of minutes after the 20 minute mark to be safe. It should end up a nice, golden brown and firm. It will continue to harden as it cools, though, so beware of over-cooking.
- Partially blind bake it for 10 minutes at 150 C/300 F and then add your filling and continue to bake until the filling is completely cooked and the pastry golden brown.
This is great for not only tart shells but also small biscuits – I baked some left over pastry for 20 minutes at 150 C/300 F and then ate them warm with fresh raspberries and a teaspoon of whipped cream on top. Yum!