If you are thinking that these are only for gluten-free, vegans then think again! I just popped a plateful of these over to my neighbours house and the plateful vanished almost instantly (nobody next door is gluten-free or vegan by the way and they adored them).
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and have a bit of a nostalgic moment. If you live in Britain then you’ll know exactly what I am talking about. Most of us here grew up on these tasty little beauties and remember diving into a plate full of them at various intervals in childhood.
Quite a few of us would have made the traditional version of these at home either when we were young or in cooking classes at school. “Me, me, I did, I did!”. We are talking a little circle of pastry with a nice dollop of jam, baked in the oven for 20 minutes and you are done. What could be easier!
My version is a deviation from tradition (as you’d expect in the conscious kitchen haha). I use my signature gluten-free vegan pastry, sweetened with maple syrup. Not only is this healthy, but it also makes for a firm ‘shortbread’ type pastry with a delightful melt-in-the-mouth feel. It works a treat.
It’s important to note when making gluten-free baked goodies that it helps to throw all ideas of conventional wheat-based cooking out the window. If you treat gluten-free flour like wheat then they probably won’t work. I’ve done a super quick, handy video guide to show you how to handle this pastry (below). It’s easy 😉
Gluten-free flours all have different properties, so they need to work in combination with each other. One of my favourite blends is simply rice flour and tapioca flour (or tapioca starch). Rice flour gives the whole thing ‘body’ whilst the tapioca works to pull all of the ingredients together.
A note about rolling out gluten-free pastry… You are going to get all sorts of results depending on whose recipe you follow, so I can only speak on behalf of my own creations. This recipe is designed to hold together really nicely. It’s a dance of different ingredients, each with a unique role to play.
This jam tart recipe depends on the coconut oil and maple syrup for moisture. The coconut oil also solidifies at room temperature (a lot like butter would), which helps with the ‘holding together-ness’ of it. Ground flaxseeds and tapioca flour both give a secret bit of gloopy assistance (essential for its bind-ability).
I’ve taken a few screenshots from my video (below) to give you a visual guide on what you should be looking for. The first stage is to bind the ingredients together. I start with a spoon and then finish off with my hands to get a nice, combined, gluten-free dough…
The next stage is to roll (on a rice flour sprinkled surface). The rice flour stops it sticking. You need to roll and keep turning the pastry 90 degrees, between rolls, to ensure it rolls out evenly…
Near the end of the rolling, it may start to get more difficult to turn (and stick to the surface a little). This is easy to sort out by using a thin cake slice or a frying pan slice/spatula, to slide it underneath, freeing it all up.
After that, you need to cut the rounds with a cookie cutter. If you don’t have a cutter, then just use the open top of a round drinking glass instead…
This gluten-free pastry doesn’t tend to stick to the bakeware (like wheat-based pastry might), so there is no need to oil the tin. Just gently place each round into an indent. Be gentle and don’t push hard (which might just break them actually). Just set them in very gently.
Then fill evenly with a nice dollop of jam and bake…
I hope that helps 🙂
Please check out my video here for a super quick demo on how to make them…
- 100g rice flour
- 100g tapioca flour (or tapioca starch)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 200ml (2/3 cup) sugar-free jam
Making the pastry
- First of all please watch my video for a super quick and really helpful demo on how to do these.
- Make sure the coconut oil is warm and melted.
- You will need a shallow cupcake tin with 12 cupcake indents.
- Mix all of the pastry ingredients together. Use a spoon at first and then work with your hands. If your kitchen is cold, then the coconut oil may solidify... in which case, the warmth of your hands will help to keep it soft and pliable. After a couple of minutes you should get a nice dough ball.
- Sprinkle rice flour on your rolling surface and sprinkle a little rice flour on top of your dough (this helps it to stop sticking to the surface or to the rolling pin.
- Roll the pasty with a rolling pin (or a large glass jar) and keep turning/rolling (which helps it roll evenly) until it is about 3 or 4mm thick. If the pastry starts falling slightly apart as it gets thinner, then just push it back together. I tend to use a super thin spatula or frying pan slice to slide under it and stop it sticking to the kitchen worktop at this stage (see my video).
- Cut out 12 circles with a cookie cutter (or the open end of a drinking glass works too).
- Gently push each circle into the cupcake tin indents.
- Put a heaped teaspoon sized dollop into each pastry and spread it evenly.
- TIP: If you have spare pastry just roll it out and bake along side the jam tarts and enjoy as a cookie!
- Bake in a preheated oven (gas mark 5/ 375F/ 180C) for about 20 minutes.
- Once baked, allow to cool and serve. They should freeze well if you don't want to eat immediately. They should also keep for at least a good few days in the kitchen or in the fridge too.