When I started to clean up my diet a little and ditch the towers of butter that I was taught to cook with, I thought to myself, “Oh noooo, how am I going to make pastry?!” But I tell you, you can make shortcrust pastry taste JUST as good without all of that butter. Promise. This number happens to be a gluten-free pastry recipe as well as a butter-free recipe. I am still working on the puff and filo pastry options but the shortcrust we have nailed!
Enter my gluten-free pastry recipe that happens to be filled with beautifully-charred leeks, slightly salty feta and a whole load of delicious thyme. You can totally play around with the fillings here – tomatoes would be delicious if you just replace the thyme with basil. Equally, try swapping the leeks with asparagus and maybe adding some parsley. There are a lot of options – I would just par cook anything more chunky like asparagus before adding it into the tart with the egg mixture.
Don’t worry if you do not have a long thin tart tin like me – a round 8inch tart tin should work too. Leftovers are delicious in a lunch box.
GLUTEN FREE FETA, LEEK + THYME TART
- 60g rolled oats
- 200g ground almonds
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3g thyme leaves (about 1 tbsp)
- Generous dose of black pepper – about ¼ tsp
- 3 tablespoons of coconut oil – about 60g
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2-3 leeks (around 500g) chopped in half lengthways and into 10cm long chunks
- 2 tablespoons of olive, sunflower or coconut oil
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 150ml almond milk (or other plant/dairy-free milk)
- 5 sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped
- generous pinch salt & pepper
- 100g feta
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
- Start by making the pastry. Place the oats in a food processor and blitz until they resemble a coarse flour. Don't worry if it does not look too fine, little chunks of oats can provide a nice texture. Pour the oat 'flour' into a mixing bowl and add the ground almonds, salt, pepper and thyme leaves and stir thoroughly together.
- Next, scoop out the unmelted coconut oil and rub it into the dry mixture with your fingertips until combined and the mixture resembles a breadcrumb-like texture. Finally, add the olive oil to bring the mixture together into a dough.
- Grease your pastry tin with a little coconut oil. Press your dough into the tin until it is evenly and neatly distributed around the base and up the sides - there is no need to refrigerate the dough and then roll it out as you would with butter pastry.
- Blind bake the pastry in the oven for around 10 minutes until it starts to crisp up and turn golden brown.
- Meanwhile place the leeks in a pan with the olive, sunflower or coconut oil over a medium heat. Hold your nerve and allow them to blacken a little before turning them over. If the pan gets a bit too hot then just add a tablespoon of water at a time to cool it down - the steam will help the leeks to cook through a little too.
- Once the pastry is par cooked and the leeks have softened, place the leeks neatly into the tart base with the round side facing up.
- Next make the filling by whisking the eggs and the almond milk together until thoroughly combined. I like to whisk in lots of salt and pepper and the thyme leaves at this stage too. Pour this mixture over the leeks and then top with lots of crumbled feta and a little more pepper. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the filling has set. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting into slices and serving with a bright, fresh salad.