Shortcrust Pastry

For 200g of gluten-free short-crust pastry
(for 100g of gluten-free shortcrust pastry just halve the quantities)

200g gluten-free plain flour 
pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
50g lard or vegetable shortening
50g dairy-free margarine 
2 tablespoons cold water to mix

25g caster sugar for sweet pastry

In a bowl sift together the gluten-free flour, salt and xanthan gum, then rub in the fat.

Using a cold metal knife to cut and stir, mix the cold water in to the flour until you have 'brought together' a soft and pliable dough.  If it’s too dry and ‘crumbs’ are left behind add 1-2 teaspoons more of water.  Be careful NOT to use too much water.

Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead lightly.

Roll out according to your recipe and use as required.

My tip for lifting rolled out gluten-free pastry, is to use 2 thin plastic chopping boards to slide simultaneously under the pastry, from opposite sides.  Move over the pie or flan dish to be lined with pastry and tip both boards in towards the centre, carefully and gradually pulling the 2 boards away.

To Bake Blind:
Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas 5.
Line a flan or pie dish with gluten-free rolled-out pastry.  Place a circle of parchment or greaseproof paper on the base of the pastry, then fill with ceramic baking beads. 
If the pastry case is to be used straight away for a hot filling - bake for 15 minutes.
If the pastry case is to be used for a cold filling that requires no extra baking – bake for 15 minutes, then remove the baking beads and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.