Perfect sausage pasties made with gluten free flaky shortcrust. PLUS tips for handling gluten free pastry. Optional dairy free.
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Making Sausage Pasties with Adriana Rabinovich
I learned to make sausage pasties with Adriana Rabinovich while on a gluten free baking course at the Braxted Park Cookery School. I love attending gluten free baking courses. Like any passion, there is always so much more to learn. And the enjoyment of cooking alongside others is definitely more motivating and enjoyable than on-line courses.
Adriana is an expert in the gluten free baking world. Already a trained chef when her daughter was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, she (like so many of us) had to speed-learn a whole new way of baking. Her daughter later encouraged her to write a book for ‘gluten free people just like her’ and in 2008 The Gluten Free Cookbook For Kids was published. It was the first gluten free cook book I owned and is still a well-used staple of my collection.
The opportunity for advice, tips and expertise shared by someone of Adriana’s calibre is never to be missed! Gluten free baking is still, even now, in its infancy and sharing knowledge is the best way to progress.
To get a taster of Adriana’s talents (in addition to sausage pasties), check out her amazing Lemon Meringue Roulade recipe. Not only is it delicious, but it’s incredibly quick and easy to pull together.
Braxted Park Cookery School
The Braxted Cookery School where I attended Adriana’s course is located in Essex. It’s a beautiful venue with a long tree-lined drive up to the grand house in which the courses take place. They run a whole range of courses in their purpose-designed kitchen. So whether you need something specialist or not, it is worth checking out their website.
The Braxted team are fantastically helpful and the courses I attended were spot on in both organisation and learning.
Adriana’s Gluten Free Baking Courses
Sausage pasties and other baking aside, Adriana’s courses are wonderfully supportive and nurturing. Starting the day with a fresh coffee and some of her totally divine amaretti biscuits and Puddle Cookies is definitely a good way to make someone feel comfortable. I loved them so much, I adapted the recipes for my own trio of Soft Nutty Cookie Bites and Chocolate-Espresso Puddles.
The course ran with a small group of 7 to 9 on each of the two days, which made it feel more personal and less overwhelming. Even better, all the washing up was done for us, which left us free to bake, learn and enjoy. The luxury of someone doing my washing up (once the guilt subsided) was fabulous.
Adriana was an amazing teacher… clear and straight forward. And no question was too silly to ask. Her understanding of gluten free ingredients, how they work together and how they interact to improve texture, flavour and structure was fascinating and has certainly been absorbed into my own understanding and recipe development.
Tips and tricks for gluten free pastry making
How to roll gluten free pastry circles for Sausage Pasties
Gluten free pastry can be a tricky customer. The lack of gluten means it can be incredibly crumbly and very difficult to roll. Add too much replacement ‘gum’ and you will end up with a slice of cardboard. Although I have never had a problem with getting my pastry ‘short’, even if you roll it successfully, it can be a pig to get from work surface to tin without ending up as a disconnected jigsaw. And that’s where a little know-how goes a long way…
For sausage pasties, the pastry needs to be flattened into circles. For this you have three options.
1. Roll the pastry and cut into circles using a plate or bowl that is the right size. Re-roll and repeat until the pastry has been used up.
This sounds logical. But the more you roll and handle gluten free pastry, the more fragile it becomes… Which means your pasties may end up crumbly and with holes.
2. Your best and most genius option for smaller pasties. Simply mould the pastry into balls and use a Tortilla Press to flatten into circles between lightly floured cling film or a couple of pieces of baking paper. Once you have your flat circles, you simply fill and fold into little sausage pasties.
And the fun with a tortilla press doesn’t stop there… You can use it to make tortillas (obvs), but it also makes fab Roti Flatbread rounds and sweet pastry turnovers as well.
3. If you don’t have a tortilla press, you can still use a similar process with the help of the flat back of a frying pan or saucepan. Place the dough ball between two pieces of floured clingfilm/baking paper and press the flat pan base down onto the ball to make a circle.
Fraisering pastry dough – the how and the why
One of the best tricks we learnt on Pastry day was a process called ‘fraisering’. A technique most commonly used for sweet pastries, it is used to blend pastry dough so that it is ultra-smooth without overworking. It is something that I now often employ when I make short-crust gluten free pastry. Although not a necessity, I find it helps elevate the texture of my rice-free shortcrust pastry, the flaky shortcrust used in these sausage pasties and also my no nut shortcrust pie pastry.
How to make fraisered pastry dough
First, make your basic dough by the usual rubbing-in process. Bring the dough together as usual to form a rough block, but don’t knead or work it by hand at all. Instead, you take a palette knife, push it into the edge of the dough to cut out a small section, then turn the knife downwards to drag the pastry little by little firmly across the work surface towards you, collecting up each smeared blob to the side until you have worked your way through all the dough.
Once all the dough has been ‘smeared’, it is brought together by gently hand-lifting and dropping onto the work surface several times. You do not knead or press it. The result? An incredibly smooth and evenly-blended pastry.
Rolling and flipping pastry into pie dishes
One of the irritations of gluten free pastry is that it can be difficult to lift into pie dishes. For a large pie, you can over-ride its fragility by using the ‘roll and flip’ method…
Start by rolling the pastry dough between two sheets of cling film… This helps on two levels – 1) It avoids the need for extra flour, which can quickly dry the pastry to the point of it being unusable. 2) The dough can be transferred and moulded into the tin by flipping it over and gently easing in (still attached to the clingfilm). Leave the cling film on the pastry while it chills in the fridge for a while and it should then peel away without a hitch.
Or… Check out my recipe and Step-by Step instructions for Basic Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry as an alternative… Robust and easy to handle.
Use a pastry pusher for mini tarts and pies
For mini tarts and pies, use a lightly-floured wooden Pastry Tamper or the rounded end of a very small rolling pin.
Simply roll the pastry into balls and drop them into tartlet tins. Lightly flatten with the flour-dusted tamper. Then gently rock and roll the tamper back and forth to ease the pastry up the sides of the moulds.
Perfect little sausage pasties
The pastry for these little sausage pasties has been subjected to fraisering before being rolled into balls and flattened in a tortilla press. Beyond that, they are fundamentally an alternative take on sausage rolls. The filling you use can be simply seasoned sausage meat as I did. Or you may decide to make an alternative like my sausage, bacon and apple filling or anything else you love.
Simply fill, fold and seal… crimp a little… glaze… bake… and eat. Perfect for a gluten free picnic, party, lunch box or just because we love them!
Made sausage pasties?
If you make my little sausage pasties, I’d love to hear how you found them. Did you fill them with anything different? Did you try fraisering the pastry? Was the pastry advice helpful?
Leave a comment to let me know, contact me or tag me on social media (links at the top of the page). And don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter (use the subscription box below) and follow me on Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter for all the latest happenings at Gluten Free Alchemist.
For all other recipes, check out our gluten free Recipe Book Index. There’s so much inspiration, both sweet and savoury waiting to tempt and inspire.
Thanks (as always) for visiting Gluten Free Alchemist
Mini Sausage Pasties
- wooden spoon/mixing spoon
- tortilla press or flat-backed frying pan/sauce pan
- cling film/baking paper
Adriana's Flaky Shortcrust Pastry
- 230 g plain gluten free flour mix I used GFA Blend A – see NOTES
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 120 g unsalted butter (or dairy free block alternative) chilled and cut into small cubes
- 1 large egg UK large (well beaten)
- 2 to 3 tbsp cold water chilled with ice cubes
Sausage Meat Filling
- 500 g sausage meat make sure it's gluten free
- 1 large egg yolk
- black pepper fresh ground – to taste
- sea salt to taste
- handful fresh herbs parsley/thyme/sage as preferred – finely chopped
- 1 egg beaten
- Mix all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined.
- Set aside in the fridge.
- Put a little cold water into a jug/cup with a couple of ice cubes to chill.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- Add the cold, cubed butter to the bowl and coat with flour.
- Either rub the butter into the flour using your finger tips until it resembles fine bread-crumbs. Or use a food processor to gently pulse the mixture until it resembles wet sand (being very careful not to over-mix).
- Add the beaten egg to the flour in the bowl and using either a fork or your hands, gently mix with the flour.
- Very gradually add the water a little at a time and mix (you will only need two to three tbsp). Continue to mix, bringing the dough together. The dough should come together easily and feel quite soft, but not be too wet. (Adriana describes this as ‘Scooby-Doo pastry’ – soft but shaggy on the outside)
Fraisering the pastry to blend (optional)
- Place the block of pastry on a clean work surface (do not dust with flour).
- Take a flexible palette knife and cut into the front edge of the dough block. As it slices through, tilt the palette knife downwards so that the top of the blade tilts and pulls towards your waist.
- Press the dough down flat on the work surface and pull it across the surface towards you, in a smearing action.
- Smear the same cut of dough three times and then gather it up onto the palette knife and place in a pile to the side.
- Continue this process until you have worked through all the pastry dough.
- Carefully push the pile of fraisered dough together (do not knead or ‘work’) and then gently lift and drop the dough ball on the work surface until it blends together into a soft, smooth pastry.
- You can use straight away, or cut into halves, wrap in cling film, flatten slightly and chill to use later.
- When ready to use the dough, take from the fridge if chilled and gently warm with the palm of your hand until it becomes more pliable.
Shaping the pastry for the pasties
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Pull off pieces of pastry dough and roll into smallish balls.
- Using either a tortilla press or the flat back of a frying pan/saucepan, flatten each dough ball (between pieces of baking paper or cling film) into circles. You may need a very light dusting of flour to prevent sticking, but keep to a minimum.
- Set aside ready to fill.
Filling the pastry circles to make pasties
- Lay the pastry circles flat and place a spoonful of sausage meat mixture into the centre of each.
- Spread the filling in a line to opposite edges across the centre, making sure to keep a clear pastry edge.
- Very lightly dampen the pastry edge round the full circle with cold water using a pastry brush or finger.
- Bring the two ‘unfilled’ pastry sides together into a pasty shape over the sausage meat.
- Squeeze the edges together to seal and ‘crimp’ with your fingers.
- Place on a baking tray and brush with the beaten egg to glaze.
- Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and the sausage meat is thoroughly cooked.
- Enjoy hot or cold.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist