Pate brisee is a very light, flaky pastry dough. If you’re only going to learn one pastry dough, pate brisee should be it, because this dough is incredibly versatile, and it can be used in everything from quiche to tarts. It is also extremely easy to make, belying the myth that making pie dough is difficult.
To a gluten free (Celiac in my case) person who knows consuming gluten is the kiss of death, reading what I’m about to say is like food porn. We all sort of laugh about it, but really~give me a break~I have tried feeding some of the gf breads to ducks on lakes who’ve turned their beaks up at it. I’m heading into my fourth year of being gluten free and, trust me, most recipes either lied or I had a huge learning curve about the flaky, light, beautiful crumb. What I created worked as door stops. So here’s what I’m going to say: This recipe really does produce a light, flaky, tender, beautifully colored and textured pate brisee. If you haven’t tried to make pastry dough before, or have failed in the past, keep referring back to my last post where I took a close up of the fig pop tarts and press (or roll) on, my friend. Oh heck, here it is..but keep in mind drooling over the keyboard isn’t good for the computer!
The flour you choose is everything with gluten free baking. I remember when I was a newbie and someone suggested a certain brand and I bought ten pounds of it and my family swore I was trying to feed them chicken grit…not that my family knows what chicken grit tastes like, but you get my point. I’ve enjoyed several blends in particular: Domata Living Flour is good and very very reasonably priced, and my current favorite is made by Jules. It costs more but the flavor is dramatically improved and the flour seems to respond by giving me a more reliable end product.
2 1/2 Cups gluten free flour blend (should contain xanthan for leavening)
14 Tablespoons butter (cold or room temp)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar (if desired)
2 whole eggs whisked with 1/4 cup cold water
Blend flour with salt and sugar(if desired). Cut butter into small chunks and add to flour mix. With pastry blender or two forks blend butter into mixture until resembles tiny peas or is very coarse but blended where you don’t see lumps of butter. Whisk eggs and water together and add a little at a time to flour mix. Using a fork toss this lightly about until it starts to resemble pastry that holds together. What you don’t want is a lot of unaccounted for piles of dry flour at the bottom of the bowl, but you also don’t want a mixture that becomes too wet. So as you add that liquid in, keep pulling into it the dry areas and toss about gently. Flour, no matter what kind, doesn’t like to be man handled. If you have to add a little more water, do so with caution just to make sure you’ve dampened all the flour. You can use your hands to help it form into a big ball, then divide the ball in half. Now what you have is potential. Two pie shells, a quiche, pot pie, or the lovely pop tarts in my last recipe. To your health!