Shortbread Pastry – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Shortbread Pastry - Gluten Free and FODMAP, Fructose Friendly

If you’re after a pastry that is quick and easy to whip up and not *too* fiddly (compared to typical gluten free pastry), then look no further. This slightly sweet, buttery and delightfully crumbly pastry will do the trick.

These tart shells will keep (once baked) in an airtight container in the pantry for about five days, before they start to go stale, so they are great to make ahead and then fill on the day you are planning to serve them.

I highly recommend this lemon curd or this passion fruit cream cheese as a filling. This pastry would also suit any Christmas style baking, as shortbread is definitely seasonally appropriate! I am working on a fructose friendly fruit mince pie recipe as we speak, so stay tuned…

Notes:

  1. Be sure that you use BOTH a gluten free flour blend (or spelt flour, if you can tolerate it) and white rice flour – both their properties are required in this recipe, so using 100% white rice flour wouldn’t give the best results.
  2. Use coconut oil instead of butter for a dairy free biscuit.

Low FODMAP and Gluten Free Shortbread

Makes approx. 60 mini tartlet shells, or two 23 cm/9 in shells.

  • 1 cup dextrose or 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups/300 g softened unsalted butter/coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum or 1 tbsp. ground chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Sieve the sugar, 3/4 cup gluten free flour blend and 1/2 cup white rice flour into the bowl of your stand mixer and add in the butter, then beat on a low to medium speed until smooth.

Meanwhile, sieve the second cup each of gluten free flour blend and white rice flour, the xanthan gum (or ground chia seeds), baking powder and salt into a separate bowl.

When the wet mixture is smooth, scrape down the edges and add in the egg. Beat on medium until it is smooth once more, before adding in the rest of the dry ingredients and mixing thoroughly for 5 minutes. Wrap the mixture tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour before you want to bake them.

When you’re ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 190 C/375 F and then generously flour your work area. Break the dough into 6 and sandwich it between two layers of wax paper. Roll it out to about 4 mm thick (for small tarts) or 6 mm thick (for full-sized tarts) and gently transfer it to your chosen tart pan/pie dish.

Baking:

  • To blind bake these miniature shells, cook at 190 C until lightly golden – this should take about 10-12 minutes; I normally set the timer for 10 minutes and then watch it for the next two. Cook larger shells for approx. 15 minutes, but keep an eye on them.
  • To bake with a filling in, blind bake for 3 minutes, then use the pastry according to the recipe you are following.

Gluten Free Shortbread Pastry Collage

If you baked your pastry with the filling inside, the tarts will be done when they are removed from the oven. Serve them as instructed.

If your pastry was blind baked until completely cooked, let them cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container for up to five days and fill them with the topping of your choice when required.

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From left to right: lemon curd, chocolate hazelnut and passion fruit cream cheese – all are delicious, though the lemon curd is my favourite. Enjoy!

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Passion Fruit & Blueberry Tartlets – Fructose Friendly

Passion fruit & blueberry tartlets - delicious!

I think you might have gathered by now that I love passion fruit and I’m shattered that it’s so hard to find up here in the Pacific Northwest. But thanks to my Australian connections, I have a small stash of the canned pulp at my disposal. I’m not joking; it’s very small. I have three cans left that are about 4 oz each. I made one can last a month by using it sparingly in and on desserts – a little goes a long way.

Ev and I had some friends over for dinner on Friday night, and I wanted to make something new for dessert. Chocolate eclairs had to be on the list but I have made so many Pavlovas recently (I can see some people nodding) that I felt the need for a change.

I wanted whatever I would make to be small and pretty; small because we already had eclairs on the menu and pretty because I like looking at what I’m about to eat 😛

I had a few tablespoons of passion fruit pulp left over that needed to be used before we go home to visit for two weeks and an 8 oz pack of cream cheese. So I knew whatever it would be would have passion fruit cream cheese icing either in or on it… which is my favourite icing ever.

Eventually I decided on passion fruit cream cheese fruit tartlets with blueberries on top. That’s a pretty good mix of fruit to me. Here are the recipes for the different components used in making them.

GF Sour Cream Pastry:

This recipe is shown in more detail here. To make it with wheat flour, just substitute normal plain flour for the GF plain flour and omit the xantham gum.

Preheat the oven to 200 C or 390 F. Makes 24 mini tart shells/tartlets.

  • 120 ml sour cream (do not use all of it if unnecessary)
  • 250 g GF plain flour
  • 1 tspn. xantham gum
  • 3 tbsp. icing sugar (for sweet pastry)
  • 200 g unsalted butter, chilled

Sift the flour and xantham gum (and the optional sugar) into the bowl of a stand mixer. Dice the butter into small cubes and add to flour mix. Blend until the butter has combined with the flour and the mixture resembles bread crumbs.

Add the sour cream gradually until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. It should be tacky but not sticking to your fingers. Wrap the dough tightly in glad wrap and refrigerate it for approx. 20 minutes before working with it. Try and keep handling of the dough to a minimum, or the butter will begin to melt. If this happens, re-wrap the dough and place it in the fridge for another 5 minutes to chill it and begin again. When the pastry warms up it becomes increasingly fragile and harder to work with.

Place the unwrapped ball onto a GF floured bench and knead for 30 seconds.

Cut pastry ball in quarters. Roll the pastry between two layers of wax paper (to prevent sticking) until it is about 3mm thick. GF pastry can be temperamental and fragile. Peel off one side of the wax paper, then replace it loosely; flip the dough over and remove the other sheet of wax paper and slice it into six roughly even pieces. Peel each piece off the wax paper gently and then carefully transfer the pastry into the awaiting pan. Spray your dishes with olive oil to assist with pastry removal later on.

At this point, I like to freeze the pastry for about 10 minutes before blind baking it. Then, I add baking paper and ceramic baking balls to prevent bubbling while baking and bake it at 200 C for 10 minutes. Set a timer. Remove the baking paper and pie weights and return the pastry to the oven for another 5-10 minutes. When it is golden brown, it is completely cooked.

Place them in their pans on a cooling rack for 15 minutes and them remove from the pans and cool completely.

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The cooked tartlet shells – unfortunately my oven developed a hot spot at the back left corner. As you can see, the not-so-pretty shells are hidden in the middle. They still tasted fine.

Passion Fruit Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 300 g/10 oz full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tbsp. passion fruit pulp
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups icing sugar

Beat the cream cheese, butter, passion fruit pulp and vanilla extract together until they are light and fluffy.

Gradually add the icing sugar, beating each portion til it is well combined. The amount listed is a guideline only, you might have a sweet tooth and want to put in the full 2 cups.

As one of our guests pointed out, the “tartness” that passion fruit can sometimes bring to a meal wasn’t present here. I think that it’s due to a combination of using canned passion pulp as well as the generous amount of icing sugar involved.

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Assembly:

It couldn’t be more simple. Dollop a generous amount of the cream cheese mixture into the tartlet shells and decorate with blueberries.

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I decided after a little while that they needed a little extra something, so I picked some mint leaves from our herb garden and used it as a garnish. It made the blueberries look a little like a flower, which was nice.

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Dust with icing sugar closer to when you serve, or it will absorb moisture over time and you will lose some of the “powdered” look.

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Served with gluten free/fructose friendly chocolate eclairs for dessert.

Finally, eat and enjoy!