Hot Days - Hotter Kitchens

I couldn't let this week go past without having a whinge about the weather. Though not strictly a gluten free whinge, this post is related. You see the hotter the mercury outside; the hotter the kitchen inside. This provides less than ideal Christmas baking conditions, particularly if the heat is accompanied by humidity (which so happens to be the case when you live in a sub-tropical climate like me!)

Heat can wreck havoc on gluten free pastry.

So here are my TOP 5 TIPS for keeping your pastry cool in hot conditions.

1. Use your freezer and fridge! I use my freezer to store butter, which I can then take out and literally leave for a few minutes on the bench before needing to grate it for use in gluten free pastry.

2. Keep a bottle of water in your fridge and use this ice-cold water to add to your pastry as the recipe directs or to smooth over any cracks and 'glue' them back together.

3. Do not knead your gluten free pastry by hand! In cooler climates you might have this luxury, but in hotter climates you don't. Just use a food processor.

4. To prevent pastry breaking and to curb the stickiness factor, roll your gluten free pastry quickly between two sheets of baking paper. In hot weather, time is of the essence! Then when you are ready to line a pie tin, just peel back the top layer, slide your hand under the bottom layer of baking paper and flip your pastry upside down so it lands in the pie tin. All that is left to do is peel back the baking paper again, once you have it pressed in place.

5. I recommend resting gluten free pastry for at least an hour in the fridge before rolling. Although there is no gluten to contend with, it seems to reduce the stickiness factor.

And the last (but equally important) point is - do not give up! Remember practice makes perfect.

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