This gluten free tart crust is buttery, sweet and delicate like a shortbread cookie. The recipe uses a ready-made gluten-free flour blend with no almond flour. Powdered sugar gives the tart shell a tender crunch.
Be sure to check out my gluten-free tart recipes including my gluten-free fresh apple tart, and gluten-free mixed berry tart with lavender custard and my gluten-free lemon tart with a blueberry sauce.
Many tart crusts use almond flour in the recipe but I prefer a regular, flour shortbread crust. Omitting the almond flour is a plus if you are nut-free or baking for someone who is nut-free.
Gluten-free flour blend – My preferred gluten-free flour for baking is King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour. It’s an excellent all purpose flour that works well in cakes, muffins, quick breads and cookies. It’s certified gluten-free and the most affordable of the flours I’ve tested.
Many of my readers have had good results with other brands of gluten-free flour. For a gluten-free flour without rice flour, try my DIY gluten-free, rice-free flour blend.
Powdered sugar, as opposed to granulated sugar, creates a more delicate texture in this tart shell.
Cold unsalted butter gives this crust its buttery, shortbread flavor. It’s important to start with cold butter. The cold butter helps add to the delicate texture.
Salt is important in baking to balance the sweetness and an egg is the moisture that brings this dough together.
This crust can be used with a filling that needs baking (like a cooked fruit filling) or a no-bake filling. If using a no-bake filling like custard or curd, the crust can be blind baked. This means the crust will be baked on its own. To be sure that it holds its shape while baking, the crust will be filled with pie weights for most of the bake time. You can use pie weights, dry beans or rice.
Making tarts can be a bit of a process so I recommend making the crust ahead of time. If you’re making a tart with a filling that bakes in the crust, make the dough, roll it out and form it in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap directly touching the dough, then add parchment with pie weights. This will keep air from drying out the dough. Refrigerate no more than 1 day. If making it more than one day ahead, freeze it.
If making a tart with a no-bake filling, you can bake the crust ahead of time. Once it’s cooled, leave it in the pan, wrap with plastic wrap directly touching the crust and add the pie weights back. This will keep most of the air out and keep the crust fresh.
Buttery Gluten-Free Flour Tart Crust (No Almond Flour)
- Wilton 9" Tart Pan (1" high)
- 1 c + 2 Tbsp gluten-free flour blend1 King Arthur Measure for Measure recommended
- ¼ c powdered sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 stick (1/2 c) cold, unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- extra flour for rolling
- This recipe can be mixed using a food processor or by hand using a pastry blender or fork. The food processor will make it muck quicker.
- Cut the butter into small chunks.
- Add the flour, sugar and salt to the food processor and pulse 10 times to combine.
- Add the butter and pulse 15- 20 times or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Beat the egg and add to the flour mixture. Run the food processor for 15-20 seconds or until it comes together into a few chunks.
- Transfer the dough to a large sheet of plastic wrap. Use the wrap to help bring it all together and form it into a disk. Wrap snugly and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Do not leave it in much longer, otherwise it will be very difficult to roll out.
- If you handle the tart pan without a sheet pan under it, the removable bottom pops out of place very easily, so place the pan on a baking sheet.
- Gluten-free dough is more sticky so I recommend rolling it out between 2 large pieces of parchment or plastic wrap.2 This makes it much easier to roll and transfer to the pan. Splash a little water on the counter to prevent the plastic or parchment from slipping.
- Flour the bottom layer of the plastic/parchment all the way to the edges. Place the dough on the parchment.
- Flatten out the disk using your hands, then flour the top of the dough. Put the top layer of plastic/parchment on and begin rolling.
- If using parchment, halfway through rolling, remove the paper and flour the top and bottom of the dough again.
- Roll the dough to ¼" thick and about 10-11" wide. This is thicker than a pie crust. Remove the top layer of paper/plastic and brush off any excess flour.
- Place your hands and wrists under the bottom layer of plastic/parchment and gently flip the dough over and into the pan.
- Peel off the remaining plastic/parchment. Gently lift the edges of the dough to drop it to the bottom of the pan.
- Using light pressure, press the dough into the pan. If it tears, just patch it back together.
- Run the rolling pin over the edge of the pan to trim the excess dough. Then very gently press the dough against the sides of the pan.
- If using this crust with a filling that bakes in the shell, follow the instructions in the tart recipe. If using a no-bake filling, follow the instructions below for blind-baking the crust.
Blind Bake the Crust
- Crumple up a piece of parchment and place it in the pan over the dough. If you don't have parchment, use tin foil. Top with pie weights, dry beans or dry rice. The weights will help he crust to keep its shape while baking.
- Pre heat the oven to 425°F.
- Place the pan (keeping it on the sheet pan) in the refrigerator while the oven preheats.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. The edges of the crust should just be starting to brown. Remove the parchment and pie weights and use a fork to prick the bottom of the crust – this will keep it from bubbling.
- Bake for another 5 minutes or until it is lightly browned.
- Allow the shell to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes.
- To remove the tart shell from the pan, place a glass upside down on the counter. Place the pan on the glass. This will release the sides of the pan. Then gently slide the shell onto your serving platter and fill.
- This tart shell can be made a day ahead. If it's baked, place it back in the pan and wrap snugly in plastic wrap.
- Omit the xanthan gum if your flour blend already has it.
- If using plastic wrap, use 2 long sheets side by side for the top and for the bottom. A single sheet of plastic wrap is not wide enough.