I am always looking for new gluten free breakfast options, and these gluten free, casein free, strawberry pastries are an upscale, decadent version of the toaster pastries that most of us grew up with. Read the story of how they came to be.
As I looked through the rather bare cupboards of our RV, I contemplated what in the world I could make when the nearest grocery store with any gluten free flours was over 2 hours away. We had just moved back in the RV after spending a wonderful 8 weeks with our families for the holidays and I wanted to do a bit of baking. But… my choices were limited. I had cornstarch, less than half a bag of brown rice flour, and shortening. No eggs, no butter, no syrup….in fact, none of the ingredients that I would usually use for a Saturday breakfast extravaganza.
And then inspiration struck. I had the ingredients for pie crust. And I could get strawberry preserves at the local grocery. And that meant that we could have Strawberry Tarts for breakfast.
Like many of you, I was acquainted with certain brand of toaster-ready tarts when I was a child. I didn’t really love them, but I had a feeling that the homemade, gluten free version could be everything that a strawberry tart was meant to be before the manufacturing lines got ahold of it.
Here is the recipe I used, and a few comments below on the different things that I tried. This was very much an experiment, and you’re just getting the initial results in this post, in case you’d like to do a bit of experimenting on your own. We’ll definitely be making this again, and trying out different filling and glaze options.
(Yield: approx. 16 pastries)
1 recipe Easy Peasy Gluten Free Pie Crust
25 grams sugar
Make the pie crust as directed in the pie crust recipe, but add 25 grams sugar.
Roll out the pie crust. Use a 3″ diameter biscuit cutter to cut the dough into circles. Place one teaspoon of preserves in the center of half the circles. Place the remaining circles over the preserves and use your fingertip to seal the two crusts together.
Bake at 425 for approximately 20 minutes, or until the top crust is firm to the touch. Remove the tarts from the oven and move them to a wire rack to cool. Be sure to let them cool because the preserves in the middle will be very hot!
Experimenting with Tarts
I actually made two shapes of tarts, using half the dough for each type. The small, round tarts are pictured above. I wasn’t quick enough with the camera to get pictures of the larger, rectangular tarts before we ate them all. All I did differently was to roll the dough out into a large rectangle and then cut that into 8 smaller rectangles. I spread preserves down the middle of half the pieces, leaving just enough room around the edges to crimp the sides.
The recipe, as written above, will make 16 3″ diameter circular tarts or 8 rectangular tarts.
Here are my thoughts on both.
Small, Round Tarts:
- The small pastries were the kid’s favorite. They could be consumed with one hand, while watching cartoons, and contained jam. What kid is not happy with that?
- The crust was very crunchy, which I liked, but the crust to jam ratio was a little skewed towards the crust side, which I didn’t like
- I rolled the crust pretty thin, and the small circles were very easy to handle. However, I had to roll the dough out several times to make full use of the scraps, so there was more work overall.
- The smaller pastries are pretty and cute.
Larger, Rectangular Tarts
- These were easier to roll and cut out, but the larger pastries tended to crumble more and were a bit harder to move around.
- The strawberry to crust ratio was a lot more to my liking because I could fit a lot more preserves into each tart.
Going forward, I think that I’ll probably continue to make both shapes. After all, our Saturday morning baking is all about the joy of eating, and it’s easy enough to give everyone the shape that they like the best.