Toaster Tarts (or Portable Tarts), Gluten-Free

by Jeanne on February 11, 2010

I’ve had pies and tarts on the mind lately. I spent all of last weekend time refining my pie crust recipe and method based on some feedback from the lovely and amazing, Kate McDermott. This week I’ve made several pies from my recipe to be sure that the instructions were accurate and easy to follow. As you can imagine, we’ve also been eating a lot of pie. Which has been fabulous.
Today a friend is coming over to sample some of my new creation–toaster tarts. I am so pleased with these! They are easy and super-fun to make, they are cute, and they are really good. They’re also quite hardy–even thought the crust is nice and flaky, these guys travel well. I took one with me in a ziploc bag to give to give to Girlfriend between school and her violin lesson and it held up really nicely. And you can freeze them–either before you bake them or after you bake them.
These little guys are endlessly versatile. You can glaze them or not glaze them. You can use any jam or fruit butter you have on had with which to fill them. You can fill them with chocolate chips. You can bake and then eat them right away. You can bake, freeze, and pop them in the toaster oven for a quick snack. You can make them, freeze them unbaked, and then bake them directly out of the freeze. Seriously, I have so much fun making these things, we now have a freezer stocked with them.
The method is simple. You make 1 recipe for pie crust, shape the dough into rectangles, put a TBL of whatever filling you want inside, seal, glaze and bake. Hooray!

Toaster Tarts, Gluten-Free (naturally egg-free; can be made dairy-free and vegan)

-makes 12-13 4″x3″ tarts

Note: This recipe uses my gluten-free flour mix:

Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):

1 1/4 C. brown rice flour

1 1/4 C. white rice flour
1 C. tapioca flour
1 C. sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the crust)

Special Equipment Needed
-rolling pin
-ruler you don’t mind using with food
-pastry brush if you have one

Ingredients

For Crust:
2 1/3 C Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1 TBL granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks (16 TBL/1 C) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces (you can also use shortening or lard)
1 TBL vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
5-7 TBL cold water
extra tapioca flour for rolling out

For Filling:
your choice of any or all of the following:
-jam, jelly or preserves of your choice
-fruit butter
-chocolate chips

For Glaze:
2 TBL water
1 C sifted confectioner’s sugar

To prepare the crust:
(you may want to take a look at my Pie Crust blog post for tips on how to handle this dough)
-in a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and sugar with a spoon
-add butter pieces and rub into flour using your fingers
-when the mixture looks like wet sand mixed with pebbles, add the vinegar and rub into mixture with hands
-add water, a TBL at a time, until you have a dough that holds together but isn’t sloppy and wet
-shape dough into two roughly equal disks, wrap them in plastic wrap, and put in refrigerator for 20 minutes

After 20 minutes, take out both disks from the refrigerator
-prepare your work area by sprinkling the surface with tapioca flour
-unwrap your first disk, place it on the work surface and then sprinkle it and the rolling pin with tapioca flour
-carefully roll out your dough into as close to a square of rectagular shape as you can get it (don’t worry too much, you will be re-rolling a few times to use up all of the dough)
-roll your dough until it’s 1/16″ thick

Take out your ruler. You are going to measure out as many 4″x3″ rectangles as you can (I found this size makes nice tarts, but you can play with sizes if you like).
-to to this, you will want to cut off the irregular edges and set those scraps aside to be re-rolled
-using your ruler, measure out your rectangles. Do this carefully. If you take care and make sure all of the rectangles are the same size, you will encounter less trouble when trying to match them together to make the tarts

-as you cut out each rectangle, move the rectangle to another flat surface with a spatula (if you try to move the rectangles by hand, they might break–especially if you use shortening). I use a cookie sheet sprinkled with a bit of tapioca flour. This will be your rectangle “waiting area”

-re-roll all of your current dough, as well as the dough in the 2nd disk, until you’ve used it all. I find that I get about 26 4″x3″ rectangles, which makes 13 tarts. Because you will be using them in pairs, you want to make sure you end up with an even number of rectangles.

Once all of your dough has been rolled out and cut into rectangles, move your rectangles a few at a time, back to your work surface. You will want to line them up in pairs
-you will now put 1 TBL of the filling of your choice in the middle of one rectangle of each pair (so if you’re working with 4 pairs, you will put filling on 4 of the rectangles)
-dip your index finger into some water and brush on a line of water around the edge of one rectangle of each pair (this will help the two rectangles of dough seal together)

-carefully place the unfilled rectangle of each pair onto the top of its mate
-gently but firmly press down along the edges of the perimeter of each tart with your fingers to make sure the pairs are aligned and fit together

-with the tines of a fork, press down along the edges of each tart. This will complete the seal and it looks decorative, too. Be sure you’ve sealed them well–any unsealed portion will allow filling to leak out during the baking process

-slash the middle top of each tart with a sharp knife. I like to do a cross or star pattern. These will be your vents to allow steam to escape during the baking process. They are also decorative.

Repeat this process until you’ve used all of your rectangles. At this point you have a choice. You can do one of the following:

1) freeze unbaked so you can bake them at a later date
2) glaze and bake for immediate consumption
3) glaze and bake so you can freeze and then toast later (these will be your true toaster tarts)

Option 1: carefully place the unbaked tarts into a stiff-sided freezable container (like Tupperware). You can stack the tarts, placing waxed paper between each layer. Seal container and place into your freezer until needed. When it’s time to bake them, follow the instructions for option 2 (you might want to write the baking instructions on a piece of paper and tape it to the container so you have them available when you need them.

Options 2 and 3: preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

-make your glaze. With a whisk, beat the water and confectioner’s sugar together until smooth
-with a pastry brush, lightly cover the top of each tart with the glaze (no need to be perfect about it–it will melt and be almost invisible after baking)

OR
-you can not glaze them. Either way is fine

-place the tarts onto an ungreased baking sheet with about 1 inch between them

-
Option 2:  bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 10 minutes

-these tarts should look light brown in the middle and a slightly darker brown around the edges. If you glazed them, they will look shiny on the top

–cool and eat

Option 3: bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 5 minutes.
-these tarts will look light brown–and a little darker brown along the edges
-once they’ve cooled, place them in a stiff-sided container (like Tupperware) in layers with waxed paper between each layer.
When you’re ready to eat them, take them out of the freezer and toast for 5 minutes. We have a toaster oven, so I haven’t used an regular toaster on these–but they are fairly strong, so I think they should hold up fine.
Enjoy!


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