I’ve been playing around for a little while to find a savoury pastry recipe that I like. I had sometimes indulged in a particular bakery’s lovely gluten-free and egg-free beef or chicken pies and found them delicious. When trying to buy these pies from a supplier recently I was disappointed to find that this bakery had gone under in the January floods in Queensland and so these pies were not available. ‘If all else fails make your own,’ seems to be my motto so I’ve been doing a little experimenting. I have a lovely recipe for sweet pastry which I’ll publish sometime but it took a while finding a savoury one that I liked. I eventually made up my own which held together well and did well for a savoury pasty. There seems to be a trend in using sour cream in pastry lately so I threw some in to see how it would work:
110 grams (approx. 4 oz) plain gluten-free flour
110 grams (approx. 4 oz) self-raising gluten-free flour
75 grams butter (2.6 oz)
80 grams sour cream (2.8 oz)
enough cold water to bring it together
1. Sift flours into a bowl and mix well.
2. Add the butter (cut up into small pieces) and rub into the flour with fingertips under it is incorporated.
3. Make a well in the centre and add all of the sour cream and enough water to bring the pastry together. Getting this amount right takes a bit of experience, I just judge it by eye rather than measuring it. I’m guessing it was about 1 tablespoon of water to start with. I’ll try to measure it next time to give a guide.
4. Apparently my grandmother used to say that a good pastry leaves the bowl clean, meaning that it was not too wet or too dry, so I’ve always used this as a guide.
5. Roll out with a floured rolling pin on a floured board until thin (a few millimetres) then use as needed.
Tips for using pastry for savoury pies
I used mine to make a chicken pie and these tips help to keep the pastry from going soggy with the filling:
1. Bake the pie bottom first before putting the filling in. I prick the bottom with a fork in several places and cook in a moderate oven (180 C/350 F) for about 10-15 minutes first.
2. After baking the bottom of the pie, place the filling in. Be careful that the filling is not too ‘runny’. i.e. don’t have too much sauce/gravy with the contents, especially if the sauce is quite thin.
3. Add the top to the pie and then cook until it is nicely browned. So long as the filling is not too wet the top will cook fine.
With gluten pastry there is a need to rest the pastry first and also to allow for shrinkage in cooking. I’ve found that gluten-free pastry doesn’t need resting and also that it only shrinks just a little when cooked. When ‘blind’ baking the bottom first I’ve also found that it doesn’t need baking paper and rice or beans on top as it doesn’t seem to puff up the way that gluten pastry does, so long as you prick the bottom with a fork before baking.
Add whatever you like to the pastry. One addition that tastes nice is grated parmesan cheese. The next time I might add some dried herbs also.