Thursday, 29 October 2009

Dietary Specials frozen shortcrust pastry

When we were in Sainsburys at the weekend we checked out the frozen gluten free section as we don't get there very often and they stock a better range than most. I picked up a couple of things i haven't tried before including the shortcrust pastry from Dietary Specials.

I really rate most of the Dietary Specials products I have tried including their bread and pizzas though often I can only find the cheese and tomato ones in most places which is a bit boring.. I've just noticed on the website they have brought out a two fresh breads for ASDA, may have to pop down to ours and see if they have them!

Anyway on to the pastry. It comes in a pack which contains two separately wrapped packages of pastry. Each are weigh 200g and they say each packet will do one of the following.
12 jam tarts
7-9 mince pies
6-8 sausages rolls
18cm (7 inch) plated pie
19-20 cm (71/2-8 inch) flan dish
4 x 9cm (31/2 inch) tartlet dishes

I would say that is pretty accurate really which means a single packet (ie half a pack) is quite a reasonable amount to use at once and by having two in a pack if you want more it's there already.

I used both packets last night so I could give it a good try and out of the 400g I got 1 plated pie, 4 mini flans with decorative leaves on top and 4 jam tarts.. not bad really.

The instructions say once defrosted kneed the pastry for about 2 mins till soft and pliable. When I did this the pastry went from quite hard and crumbly to a very workable soft and pliable pastry. I was really very impressed by how easy it was to roll out. If you read this blog regularly you will know I have tried several pastry recipes from scratch and this was by far the easiest to roll out I've ever used. I was interested to note from the ingredients that it was pretty much starches and the only flour listed was rice flour right at the end of the list it certainly had a very smooth feel to it which reminded me of a home-made cold porcelain recipe I have which has a similar very smooth feel to it.

Once I had made up the tarts I filled them with various fillings. The mini flans got lots of pieces of roast pork and an egg and milk mix and a pastry leave for decoration. Served with home grown pink fir apple potatoes and a Japanese type of spinach from the veg box..

The larger pie was filled with feta cheese and of course the jam tarts got jam.. unfortunately the jam tarts got eaten too fast to be photographed.

The feta pie got topped with caramelised pear and some fresh pomegranate seeds once it had cooled a little.

The pastry held up well, it was quite short and a little crumbly but nothing more than many shortcrust pastries. It didn't burn as easily as some of the pastries I've made and while it was possibly a touch dry on the edges it stayed crisp not soggy under the filling even though I didn't blind bake it first. It was very easy to work and I will seriously consider keeping some in the freezer for occasions when I just want something easy. One of the best gluten free pastries I've ever had to be honest. Dietary Specials do it again... now if they can just do me some puff pastry better than the one I did recently for Daring Bakers they will have my undieing love!

And finally...... this is what happens when you stay up half the night because you are teething!


  1. Hi Esther! I'm a recently-diagnosed celiac on the hunt for inspiration and so happy to find your blog - not least because you're a fellow Brit! Ahh, that comforting mention of Sainsbury's. I am already in love with their free-from mince pies - it's never too early!!

  2. OMG, those pastries look absolutely delectable! And that poor baby...teething is so hard on everyone in the family, isn't it?