Easy recipe for how to make gluten-free shortcrust pastry. Sweet or savory. Suitable for freezing before or after baking. This is the easiest, quickest, and probably the most popular of gluten-free pie crusts to make.

How To Make Gluten-Free Buttery Shortcrust Pastry. Easy recipe for how to make gluten-free shortcrust pastry. Sweet or savory. Suitable for freezing before or after baking. This is the easiest, quickest, and probably the most popular of gluten free pie crusts to make.

It can be used for both savory and sweet dishes, such as a quiche or a frangipane. Check out our delicious Gluten-free Egg Custard Tart recipe!

I've made this recipe for gluten-free shortcrust pastry incredibly simple, and you can choose to make it either by hand or using a food processor. I always make this shortcrust pastry by hand.

How do you make pastry by hand?

The technique is to lightly rub in the fat using your fingertips, and as with all pastry, you should work in cool conditions. You do need to make sure the butter is chilled.

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If you're making this in the hot Summer months, I suggest you cut the butter into small cubes and pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes to get really cold.

How To Make Gluten-Free Buttery Shortcrust Pastry. Sweet or savory. Easy to follow recipe and takes minutes to make. Suitable for freezing before or after baking.

The pastry, once baked is light, buttery and crispy.

It's a pure delight to eat and the beauty of this shortcrust pastry is that if you make a batch or two, you can freeze by simply wrapping it in some plastic wrap. Then when you want to use it, allow it to defrost in the fridge and roll out as normal.

This recipe will be enough to cover an 11-inch or  28 cm flan dish. I often make 2 small tarts with one batch of pastry!

Once you've made your own pastry, you won't go back to ready made shop bought stuff!

If you'd like to learn about the types of pastry, we also have a lovely flaky pastry tutorial and a French Sweet Pastry (for tarts) recipe so be sure to check those out! These recipes aren't gluten -free but they can be easily adapted.

How do you keep gluten-free pastry from crumbling?

Add xanthan gum to gluten-free flour. (see below for how much you need to use). It helps give elasticity, making it easier to work with and less likely to crumble. Adding enough water to the gluten-free flour will prevent the pastry from becoming too dry when rolling out.

How much xanthan gum to add to gluten-free flour?

If your all-purpose gluten-free flour blend does not have gum in it already, you should add it. in this ratio: ¼ tsp per 1 cup of gluten-free flour. Read the package for the ingredients in your flour so you will know if needed.

What happens if you don't add xanthan gum to gluten-free flour?

Without gluten, many flour-based recipes will not be able to 'bind' together and therefore can be dry, crumbly, and difficult to shape or roll if it's pastry. Using xanthan gum acts as a binding agent and will give you some elasticity and stickiness to keep the ingredients binded together.

Can I use baking powder instead of xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum and baking powder/baking soda are completely different when it comes to gluten-free baking: xanthan gum is a binder, acting as a glue, and baking powder and baking soda are used as raising agents to give you lighter and fluffier textures, for example in cakes. See below for alternatives to xanthan gum.

What can I use instead of xanthan gum in gluten-free baking?

Gluten-free binding ingredients that are an alternative to xanthan gum
• Eggs.
• Mashed pumpkin or banana.
• Psyllium husk or psyllium husk powder.
• Chia seeds, flaxseeds or chia/flax meal.
• Chocolate.
• Yoghurt, cream or thick dairy products.
• Starches like tapioca flour, potato starch and glutinous rice flour.

Can I just replace flour with gluten-free flour?

All-in-one blends are often like-for-like in terms of amounts with regular flour, and the gluten-free flour blend usually tells you that on the packaging.

What is the trick to baking with gluten-free flour?

Gluten-free baked goods often benefit from extra liquid, such as eggs, milk, water etc to hydrate the flour, to achieve a lighter and less dry texture.

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

Approx 20 - 30 min

Yield

1 (see dish size)

INGREDIENTS

110g or 4 oz Cold Butter -We used a plant-based butter
225g or 1 & ½ cups Gluten Free Flour
1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 Tablespoon cold Water
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Powdered Sugar

*Where possible, use a set of digital scales and go by the metric measurements for accuracy.

The quantity of pastry is enough to line a flan dish (including the sides) measuring 23 cm, 9 inches and cover the top.

Xanthan Gum

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oven to 180 C, 375 F, Gas 5 (if the recipe requires BAKING BLIND the pastry)

2. Mix sieved flour, xanthan gum and sugar or salt (if using) in a large bowl. Add cubes of butter. 

The photo below shows ground pecans added to the mixture. (I was making a pie crust for our Caramel Pecan Butter Banana Pie recipe!)

How To Make A Gluten-Free Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry. Sweet or savory. Showing ingredients ready for mixing

3. Rub in fat using the tips of your fingers until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.

How To Make A Gluten-Free Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry.  Sweet or savory. Showing how to use rubbing in method


Aerate the flour by lifting (with your fingertips) the mixture above the bowl and allowing it to fall back through the fingers.

How To Make A Gluten-Free Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry.  Sweet or savory. Showing pastry coming together

4. Once the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, make a well in the middle and start by adding the beaten egg and 1 tablespoon of cold water. 

Using a metal round-bladed knife, stir the mixture and combine well before adding any more water.

How To Make A Gluten-Free Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry.  Sweet or savory. Showing pastry coming together

5. Once the mixture starts to go lumpy, use your hand to combine the mixture. If it's not coming together, add another tablespoon of cold water, and use a round-bladed knife to cut through the lumps and disperse the water.

Try not to handle the dough too much as it will lose its lightness and crumbliness once cooked.

How To Make A Gluten-Free Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry.  Sweet or savory. Showing pastry coming together

Don't worry at this stage if you think it's too dry. Your instinct is to add lots more water, but trust me, DON'T! The more you mix it, the dough will come together. Be patient!

The ultimate goal is to have the mixture come together into a ball, your bowl should be completely cleaned from pastry, (i.e. it is not sticky and gluey), and the dough should be dry enough that it doesn’t stick to your hands, and quite stiff.

How To Make A Gluten-Free Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry. Sweet or savory. Showing pastry coming together

Every brand of flour is different and absorbs liquid at different amounts, so it is difficult to be precise with how much water you will need so add a little at a time.

How To Make A Gluten-Free Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry, place in the fridge

6. Once your dough is ready you can place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest, or just continue with your recipe for what you are cooking.

7. Shape the dough into a ball, or whatever shape your dish is. Dust the work surface and rolling pin with flour, and roll lightly. Try not to 'overwork' or roll too much as this will damage the structure of the pastry and you will lose the 'shortness' or crumbliness, plus all that air you were so busy incorporating when you were rubbing in the fat!

How To Make Gluten-Free Buttery Shortcrust Pastry. Easy recipe for how to make gluten-free shortcrust pastry. Sweet or savory. Suitable for freezing before or after baking. This is the easiest, quickest, and probably the most popular of gluten free pie crusts to make.

Roll out the pastry thinly, around ½ cm in thickness. 

To avoid too much rolling, handling, and shaping, have your flan dish handy and place it on top of your pastry to check for size. See below photo so you get the idea.

French Fruit Tart With Pastry Cream, roll out dough

When you have the pastry the correct size, simply transfer to your dish or pan and very gently push the pastry along the sides and on the base. Then prick with a fork to allow air out during baking.

How To Make Gluten-Free Buttery Shortcrust Pastry,Perforating Pastry shell before baking

Cooking times will vary depending on what you are using the pastry for.

As a rough guide, 8-10 minutes for something small, 20-35 minutes for larger pies, or until the pastry takes on a nice golden brown color. Follow the instructions on the recipe you are making!

It may be your recipe is asking you to Bake Blind. If that’s the case, you can check out our simple baking blind guide for how to do that.

The photo below shows the pastry case part baked, ready for an egg custard tart filling.

Part Baked Gluten Free Pastry Shell

We'd love to hear from you and what you thought of our Shortcrust Pastry recipe. Did you make any changes or add some other goodies? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!

Recipe Card

How To Make Gluten-Free Buttery Shortcrust Pastry. Easy recipe for how to make gluten-free shortcrust pastry. Sweet or savory. Suitable for freezing before or after baking. This is the easiest, quickest, and probably the most popular of gluten free pie crusts to make.

How To Make Gluten-Free Buttery Shortcrust Pastry

Yield: 9 inch pie dish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Easy recipe for how to make gluten-free shortcrust pastry. Sweet or savory. Suitable for freezing before or after baking. This is the easiest, quickest, and probably the most popular of gluten free pie crusts to make.

Ingredients

  • 110g or 4 oz Cold Butter -We used a plant based butter
  • 225g or 1 & ½ cups Gluten Free Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1 Tablespoon cold Water
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Powdered Sugar

Instructions

    1. Heat oven to 180 C, 375 F, Gas 5 (if the recipe requires BAKING BLIND the pastry)
    2. Mix sieved flour, xanthan gum and sugar or salt (if using) in a large bowl.Add cubes of butter.
    3. Rub in fat using the tips of your fingers until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
    Aerate the flour by lifting (with your fingertips) the mixture above the bowl and allowing it to fall back through the fingers.
    4. Once the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, make a well in the middle and start by adding the beaten egg and 1 tablespoon of cold water.
    Using a metal round-bladed knife, stir the mixture and combine well before adding any more water.
    5. Once the mixture starts to go lumpy, use your hand to combine the mixture. If it's not coming together, add another tablespoon of cold water, and use a round bladed knife to cut through the lumps and disperse the water.
    The ultimate goal is to have the mixture come together into a ball, your bowl should be completely cleaned from pastry, (i.e. it is not sticky and gluey), and the dough should be dry enough that it doesn't stick to your hands, and quite stiff.
    6. Once your dough is ready you can place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest, or just continue with your recipe for what you are cooking.
    7. Shape the dough into a ball, or whatever shape your dish is. Dust the work surface and rolling pin with flour, and roll lightly. Try not to 'overwork' or roll too much as this will damage the structure of the pastry and you will lose the 'shortness' or crumbliness, plus all that air you were so busy incorporating when you were rubbing in the fat! Roll out the pastry thinly, around ½ cm in thickness.

    To avoid too much rolling, handling and shaping, have your flan dish handy and place it on top of your pastry to check for size.
    8. When you have the pastry the correct size, simply transfer to your dish or pan and very gently push the pastry along the sides and on the base. Then prick with a fork to allow air out during baking.
    Cooking times will vary depending on what you are using the pastry for.

    As a rough guide, 8-10 minutes for something small, 20-35 minutes for larger pies, or until the pastry takes on a nice golden brown color. Follow the instructions on the recipe you are making!
    9. It may be your recipe is asking you to Bake Blind. If that's the case, you can check out our simple baking blind guide for how to do that.

Notes

  • Try not to handle the dough too much as it will lose its lightness and crumbliness once cooked.
    Don't worry at this stage if you think it's too dry. Your instinct is to add lots more water, but trust me, DON'T! The more you mix it, the dough will come together. Be patient!
  • Every brand of flour is different and absorbs liquid at different amounts, so it is difficult to be precise with how much water you will need so add a little at a time.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1253Total Fat: 109gSaturated Fat: 67gTrans Fat: 4gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 460mgSodium: 894mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 14g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate

Delicious Sweet Pie Recipes Using Pastry

Here's a selection of delicious sweet pie recipes using pastry

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