I’ve adapted this recipe from a Nigella Lawson recipe – Star-Topped Mince Pies, which is from her cookbook, How To Be A Domestic Goddess. Before our family started eating gluten and dairy free, this was my favourite pastry to use for my fruit mince pies. I started developing this recipe late last year, but I wasn’t able to complete it in time before Christmas. Last year was a such blur!! So this year, I decided to start early (July) so I could take my time with the development of this recipe and not feel rushed by the looming Christmas deadline. I use this pastry for my Star-Topped Fruit Mince Pies, I will be posting this recipe later today and my Mini Apple Pies, which I will post tomorrow.
There has been A LOT of trial and error in recreating this much-loved orange pastry from gluten and dairy full, to gluten and dairy free. Gluten free pastry can be extremely frustrating, not only to work with, but also to get the right texture. I wanted to create a pastry that ticked all my boxes, as well as be enjoyable to friends and family who don’t eat gluten free.
My criteria included:
- The dough needs to be relatively easy to work with.
- No rice or starchy aftertaste. Our eldest son’s palate has an acute rice detection radar!
- The pastry has to bake up light, crisp and tender, but also have a slightly crumbly shortcrust texture. This was easier said than done!
- As we know gluten free baked goods can look insipid and unappetising, especially to the non-gluten free folks. So I wanted this pastry to have some colour and look appealing and delicious.
- The pastry still needed to be enjoyable even on the second day.
I changed the flour ratios and adjusted the fat and liquid amounts so many times in the development of this recipe. Thankfully most of my attempts were edible. However, some were definitely not great. If you didn’t want to use lard, then you could use all gluten and dairy free butter. Although I haven’t made this pastry without the lard, I would assume the texture would change slightly. If the pastry becomes too warm just pop it back in the refrigerator to chill again. You can also make the pastry the day before, as it will sit comfortably in the refrigerator and it will still bake up beautifully the next day.
All cup measurements are firmly packed. For accurate cup measurements, I sift the icing sugar before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from my family to yours. Have a happy and safe holiday season.
Recipe Update: I’m currently using the Bob’s Red Mill brand of xanthan gum, as I’m no longer able to buy the Nu-vit brand. I have found by using this new brand, the amount of xanthan gum has needed to increase from ¾ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.
90g (3.2 ounces or ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) pure icing sugar
77g (2.7 ounces or ¾ cup minus 1 tablespoon) almond meal/flour
64g (2.3 ounces or ½ cup) superfine white rice flour
64g (2.3 ounces or ½ cup) sweet rice flour
56g (2.0 ounces or ½ cup) corn starch
50g (1.8 ounces or ⅓ cup) superfine brown rice flour
1 teaspoon (5ml) xanthan gum
¾ teaspoon (3.75ml) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) salt
91g (3.2 ounces or ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon) gluten and dairy free butter
52g (1.8 ounces or ¼ cup) lard
60ml (¼ cup) freshly squeezed orange juice, cold
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
To make the pastry, sift all the dry ingredients together and then transfer to a food processor. Next add the butter and lard, before processing until it resembles fine crumbs.
Pour in the orange juice and add the egg, together the egg yolk, and process again until it comes together to form a thick, but soft dough.
Sprinkle a little white rice flour on a clean surface and gently work the dough into a smooth ball.
Divide the dough equally and then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2-2½ hours, to allow it to become nicely chilled.
It’s now ready to use!
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse