The Art of Tart and Quiche. Smart Gluten Free Pastries

Gluten free, egg free and downright delicious as well as nutritious! This short cut to baking tarts without having to roll out pastry saves a lot of time.


Here is a delicious home made alternative to regular fast foods. A well stocked supermarket or health shop should be able to provide all the ingredients you need. The dough mixture is very nutritious and smaller quantities satisfy you better in terms of a starch portion.

Using legume-based flours helps to lower the glycaemic index. They are richer in protein and help to reduce cholesterol. Blood type options are given.

The Secret to Making a Quick Batch of Tarts

I made this amazing breakthrough a few years ago when trying to bake without gluten or eggs: frozen fillings! The quiche or tart fillings are frozen in smaller flexible silicone muffin trays ahead of time. Making a batch of tarts takes as long as the baking time in the oven plus a few minutes to mix the soft dough and place a blob of it into the larger muffin trays.

The frozen fillings get pressed into the dough and it squeezes up and forms the pastry shell. The nice thing about gluten free vegetarian food is that with further planning you can also accommodate all the blood types. Now there’s a challenge! Most of my recipes cater for these restrictions but there is always plenty to eat, even for gluten free vegans!

No junk foods, no indigestion and no offence to anybody at the table. In doing so one learns to prepare different foods in unique and exciting ways. No more fat foods by fat and unhealthy celebrity chefs. Do we really benefit from all that cream, alcohol, sugar and gluten?

The Classic Dough for Smart Tarts

These tarts or quiches keep well for a day or two. They can be stored in the deep freezer for many months. They are handy to add to takeaway meals, picnics or office lunches. There is no need to defrost them before you leave in the morning. They can be warmed up in the microwave or enjoyed cold. Bring along some lettuce, dips and home made chilli salsa.

Equipment

  • 2 metal trays each with 12 compartments. Average size is: 6.5 cm in diameter.
  • A flexible silicone tray with smaller compartments. (At least 1cm in diameter less than the baking tray.)
  • A medium sized bowl and a fork.

Quantity: 24 x medium tarts (6.5cm)

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of rice flour. (Not fine glutinous rice)
  • 1 cup of plain whey powder. (Not the concentrate – too expensive)
  • or 1 cup skim milk powder or 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup chick pea flour (best for blood type O secretor)
  • or ½ yellow pea flour (all types)
  • or ½ cup lentil flour (not for B blood types or O secretor)
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil or rice bran oil.

Mix the oil into the dry ingredients with a fork till crumbly. This mixture can be stored in the deep freezer in a plastic bag. You can make a few batches at a time. Keep them with your frozen fillings for convenience. This really saves time for entertaining.

When You Are Ready to Start Baking: Proceed

Add 2 cups of boiling hot water to the dry dough mixture and blend it in with a fork.

  • Turn on your convection oven to 180 deg C.
  • Spray the metal muffin trays with a non stick spray or olive oil.
  • Place a blob of dough into each of the 24 muffin cups on the metal trays in equal amounts.
  • Take out 24 of your frozen fillings and press each one into the dough. Do not press all the way down through to the bottom. The dough will rise up around the sides to resemble a tart. It should be evenly distributed on the base and up the sides. Neaten up any uneven edges with your fingers dipped in water. Bake in the middle of the medium hot oven for 10 minutes. If you have a fierce grill, then lower the baking tray or turn it off.

Temperatures and times may vary. When you see signs of browning; turn off the grill. Leave them to settle for 20 minutes at a very low setting or switch off the oven. Keep them warm or take out the trays to cool off. After a few minutes the tarts will be firm enough to remove and air out on a wire rack.

How to Prepare Your Frozen Fillings

The silicone tray is used for freezing the fillings. Place it on a solid base like a board to facilitate the journey into the deep freezer. The moulds can be repeatedly filled at your convenience whenever you have something to freeze: curry or bean stew leftovers are ideal. When they are frozen you can whip the contents out into plastic bags. Do this over and over again to build up a good supply of frozen fillings.

Tasty and Nutritious Refried Bean Stew as a Filling

Black eyed beans suit all blood types. They are the tastiest and can be cooked in bulk and frozen instead of using canned beans that can be a bit gassy. Beans lower cholesterol and are a fine addition to vegetarian meals. Fry up some chopped onions and mix in a cup or two of the cooked beans.

Add a few teaspoons of dark soy sauce and other seasoning to taste. Go ape on chilli powder if you like it hot. Turn down to low and thicken with brown gravy powder. This mixture is great with rice for a meal. But the cold leftovers are ideal to pack into your silicone moulds for tomorrow’s tarts! Serve them with tomato salsa and grated cheese.

Other Suggestions for Fillings

Creamed spinach and feta cheese is terrific. Leftover curries, stews, cooked mince and other morsels will soon become firm favourites. For desserts try a mixture of cooked apple and feta cheese sprinkled with cinnamon; for instance.

For quiches: beat up 2 eggs with salt and pepper. Place a little chopped onion and grated cheese into each of the moulds. Top up with egg but only fill to ½ cm below the upper rim of each cup. Make sure that the filling level is not higher than the pastry surrounding or it will overflow and make a mess. (How did I know that?)

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