I was in an experimental mood when I made these tarts, I knew I had to overcome my fear of pastry because I’ve never been fantastic at it normal or gluten free. I’ve heard that if you can bake cakes, you can’t do pastry and visa versa, this is certainly true of someone I know, they make the most awesome buttery, melt-in-the-mouth pastry you will have ever tasted, their cakes, well that’s another story!

As I said, I was in an experimental mood, so not only did I decide to conquer my fear of pastry, I also decided to make crème pâtissèrie which I’d never attempted before.

This recipe makes enough pastry to make 8 tarts but I saved half for another idea I had in the pipeline, it can easily be frozen or chilled until you wish to use.


250g plain gluten free flour
125g chilled cubed butter
60g caster sugar
1 beaten egg

Crème Pâtissèrie
1 egg
40g caster sugar
30g plain gluten free flour
200ml milk
1tsp vanilla extract

1 apple peeled, cored and sliced thinly
2tbsp brown sugar
knob of  butter


  1. To make the pastry sift the flour into a bowl, add the chilled butter and rub into crumbs, you can use a rounded knife to do this if you’ve got warm hands
  2. Stir in the sugar so it looks like a crumble mix then add the egg.
  3. Using a rounded knife stir the egg into the crumb mixture until it begins to come together.
  4. Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead quickly into a ball.

    Top Tip: When I need to use my hands making pastry I always run them under the cold tap first so you don’t melt the butter.

  5. Wrap the dough in cling film and pop in the fridge whilst you make the crème pâtissèrie.
  6. To make the crème pâtissèrie put the egg, sugar, vanilla and flour into a bowl, take a little of the milk and mix the dry ingredients to a paste.
  7. Pour the remaining milk into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil.
  8. Pour onto the paste mixture whisking quickly to prevent lumps.
  9. Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan and cook gently stirring for 10-15 minutes (Put some music on, this takes a while)
  10. The crème pâtissèrie is ready when it resembles a thick custard.
  11. Pour into a bowl and press down a piece of cling film to prevent a skin forming. Allow to cool whilst blind baking tart cases.
    crème pâtissèrie

  12. Roll out the chilled pastry and cut 4 rounds large enough to fit 4 fluted tartlet tins – I use loose bottomed tins.
  13. Using 4 squares of foil, cover each tart and fill the foil shells with baking beans or rice if you have no beans.
  14. Bake in oven at 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 10 minutes, then remove the foil shells and beans and dry for a further 5-10 minutes.
    Pastry Tart Shells

  15. Allow pastry tart shells to cool completely, then pour in the crème pâtissèrie into each shell, pop in the fridge to chill whilst making the apple decoration.
    Pastry filled with Crem Pat
  16. In a frying pan add the apple slices, sugar and butter and heat gently so that the sugar and butter melts and coats the apple, to gain an extra brown caramelised look you can pop under the grill for a couple of minutes or use a chefs blow torch if you have one.
    Apple Slices
  17. Remove apple and place on a sheet of baking paper to cool.
  18. Once cool top the tarlets with the apple in a pattern of your choice.
  19. Serve cold with cream.