Pâte Brisée is a shortcrust pastry dough that is a staple in French baking. This tart dough is rich, buttery, and bakes up with a golden crisp crust. One of the many reasons this shortcrust pastry is beloved by so many pastry chefs is that the dough doesn’t contain any sugar. Making it suitable for both sweet and savoury fillings.
This recipe is so good that not even a French pastry chef would know it’s gluten free. Je n’arrive pas à le croire! Using a few professional pastry chef tips and tricks, this recipe will walk you through step-by-step on how to make this Gluten Free Pâte Brisée (shortcrust pastry).
What is the difference between Pâte Brisée and Traditional Pie Crust?
Although the recipes for both pâte brisée and traditional pie crust may seem similar they delivery very different results. This mainly comes down to how the butter is incorporated. Pâte brisée in French means “broken pastry,” referring to the tiny broken pieces of butter throughout the shortcrust pastry. When making this French tart dough, the butter is rubbed into the dry ingredients creating a mealy breadcrumb-like texture. This method thoroughly distributes and works the butter into the dough. For traditional American pie crust the butter pieces are larger, about the size of a pea. This method creates a flakier more laminated crust when baked.
Simply put, pâte brisée has a fine, delicate crumb structure usually baked in a tart pan. Traditional pie crust has a sturdy crumb with a flakier texture and is baked in a pie plate.
What Can You Make with Gluten Free Pâte Brisée?
Gluten Free Pate Brisee is very versatile. It’s essentially a blank canvas making it ideal for both sweet and savoury fillings. Most commonly in French baking it is used for baking apple tarts and pies, custard based tarts (quiche) and freeform open-faced pies (galettes) filled with sweet fruits or savoury vegetables.
Tips for Making Gluten Free Pâte Brisée
Converting a classic French pastry like pâte brisée to gluten free may seem intimidating but it’s actually much easier than you might think. Similar to other shortcrust pasties like pâte sablée and pâte sucrée, often a combination of both all-purpose flour and pastry (cake) flour are used. This is because the lower gluten development in pastry flour helps to achieve the crumbly shortbready texture found in shortcrust pastry.
Find more tips and information about how to make the best gluten free tart doughs as well as the perfect working temperatures for gluten free pastry dough here.
With just a few tips you will be making bakery-worthy Gluten Free Pâte Brisée at home.
- Quality Ingredients. This dough gets most of its flavour from the butter so do your best and use a high quality unsalted butter with a fat percentage of at least 82%. In Canada I like to use Cow’s Creamery Unsalted Butter.
- Use cold butter. Keeping the butter cold will help create a ‘mealy’ texture which contributes to the tender crumb structure. If the butter is too warm it will begin to melt and absorb into the flour creating a tough crust.
- Chill the dough. Pâte brisée needs to rest in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour. It will be very soft when you first make the dough and it needs time to firm up. I often make my dough the day before I need it so it can rest overnight. This not only creates a firmer dough that you can easily roll and shape, but it also reduces shrinkage.
- Let the dough warm up. Allow the dough to rest on the counter for about 10-15 minutes before you roll it out. This slight increase in temperature will make it much easier to roll out and prevent cracking. If need be, you can knead the dough slightly, making it more pliable and easier to roll.
- Use plastic wrap. When rolling out this gluten free pâte brisée, place the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. This will keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and your work surface. you can then lift the plastic wrap from the bottom to transfer the rolled dough to the tart pan without any tears.
- Freeze the crust. To ensure the dough holds its shape and doesn’t shrink, the crust needs to be frozen before baking. Once the dough is rolled out, transferred it to a tart pan and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours before baking.
- Bake at a high temperature. Blind baking the gluten free pâte brisée at a slightly higher temperature will help set the crust quickly. Decreasing any chance of it shrinking.
Tips for Rolling Gluten Free Pâte Brisée
Below is a step-by-step guide for rolling gluten free pâte brisée.
- Remove the chilled gluten free pâte brisée from the fridge. Allow it to rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. If you try to roll out the dough straight from the fridge it will be too firm and crack.
- Line your work surface with one to two sheets of plastic wrap.
- Lightly dust the plastic wrap with gluten free flour. I use sorghum flour or tapioca starch to dust my worksurface but feel free to use whatever gluten free flour blend you have.
- Place your gluten free pâte brisée in the centre of the plastic wrap. Place another sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper on top of the pastry. Begin rolling the dough into a circle using a light rolling motion.
- If the dough becomes sticky, dust it lightly with gluten free flour but try not to add too much as we don’t want to dry out the dough.
- Continue to roll the gluten free pastry dough until you’ve reached the desired thickness. Tart dough is best rolled to a thickness of 1/8 inch or 0.3cm
NOTE: If you think the dough is becoming too warm, slide it onto a baking sheet and place it back in the fridge for a few minutes to cool.
Tips for Lining Tart Pans with Gluten Free Pâte Brisée
Below is a step-by-step guide for lining a tart pan with gluten free pâte brisée.
- Gently remove the top layer of plastic wrap or parchment paper from the rolled gluten free pâte brisée dough (if using).
- Lift the tart dough from underneath the plastic wrap and place it dough-side down inside the tart pan. The plastic wrap makes it much easier to lift up and centre the dough.
- With the plastic wrap still in place, gently press and mold the dough against the bottom and the sides on the pan.
- Slowly peel off the plastic wrap.
- Run a knife or small offset spatula around the edge of the tart pan to cut away any excess dough.
- Place the tart in the fridge or freezer to set before baking.
When Do You Blind Bake Gluten Free Pâte Brisée?
The purpose of blind baking or par baking (partially baking) is to give the tart dough a head start on baking and to prevent any shrinkage or bubbles forming. Depending on the tart filling, blind baking and par-baking will also save the tart from an underbaked or soggy bottom.
When it comes to whether you blind baking or par baking gluten free pâté sucrée it essentially comes down to the type of filling you will be using.
Par baking (partially or half baking). For fillings that are very liquid or have a custard base, such as a pumpkin pie or egg custard (quiche, you will need to partially bake the crust otherwise the tart dough will likely be underbaked and the moisture from the custard filling would soak into the pastry.
Blind baking (fully baking). This is used when the filling doesn’t require any baking. Fillings such as stewed fruits, mousse, pudding, ganache or curd. Think French lemon tart, chocolate ganache tart, custard tart or fresh fruit tart.
How to make Gluten Free Pâte Brisée…Like a Pastry Chef
Lets get baking! (Step-by-Step Instructions)
Mis en Place
Going back to the Kira Bakes Gluten Free Pastry Principals, this is always our first step when baking as it not only helps ensure accuracy during the mixing process, but it also makes the whole baking process a lot more relaxing and enjoyable. It’s a win/win!
If I’ve said it 100 times, I’ll say it again. Measuring ingredients by weight not volume is the magic sauce to gluten free baking! I always do my best to provide the cup (volume) measurements where possible. If you are going to measure by volume, click this link for tips on the correct way to measure by volume.
Scale the following ingredients
Gluten Free Pâte Brisée Ingredients:
Note: This recipe yields enough Gluten Free Pâte Brisée for two 9″ pie tart shells
Prepare the equipment
- Large mixing bowl
- Parchment paper
- Cling film (plastic wrap)
Making Gluten Free Pâte Brisée (shortcrust pastry)Dough
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, xanthan gum, and salt.
- Add the cold cubbed butter and press it between your fingertips and the flour. Keep rubbing the butter into the flour into it begins to look mealy or like the texture of breadcrumbs.
- Add the water and apple cider vinegar (or whole milk) and mix to bring the dough together.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gently knead until it forms a soft, smooth ball. NOTE: I use sorghum flour or tapioca starch to dust my counter but feel free to use whatever gluten free flour blend you have.
- Shape the gluten free pâte brisée dough into two disks and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Chill the dough in the fridge for 1 hour before using. Allow the dough to rest on the counter for 5-10 minutes before rolling.
Storing Gluten Free Pâte Brisée
Gluten Free Pâte Brisée that has been blind baked or partially baked will keep at room temperature for 1 day.
Refrigerating Gluten Free Pâte Brisée
You can store Gluten Free Pâté Sucrée in the fridge for up to 3 days. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap.
Freezing Gluten Free Pâte Brisée
Frozen Gluten Free Pâte Brisée will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. I recommend wrapping the dough in plastic wrap. Then wrapping it in either aluminum foil or placing it in a resealable freezer bag.
Before using the dough, allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge.
Gluten Free Pâte Brisée Q&A
Question: What if the gluten free pâte brisée breaks or tears when I’m lining my tart pan?
This happens to the best of us and luckily it will have zero effect on how your tart turns out after baking. First finish molding the dough into the tart pan. Then simply use some of the dough scraps that you cut away from the edges to mend the cracks. Use your fingers to gently smooth the dough patches into place.
Question: Why did my gluten free pâte brisée shrink down after baking?
This likely happened because the dough didn’t have enough time to rest and chill before baking. The key to a gluten free pâte brisée that doesn’t shrink is allowing the dry ingredients enough time to absorb all the moisture and for the fat to become fully set and chilled. Next time you can double check by pressing your index finger against the chilled dough. If its firm to the touch and your finger didn’t leave an indent then its ready to be baked.Print