Gluten-Free Lemon Bakewell Tart

18 Jul

Perhaps you remember my first foray into the world of Bakewell Tarts, back in October? Well, it was time to feed my addiction again and with half a jar of lemon curd needing to be used up in my fridge – that settled me on the idea of a Lemon Bakewell Tart. After all, lemon juice is an ingredient in traditional marzipan, so this is a match made in heaven! This is a totally different flavour, a little lighter for summer and is delicious to me. You just cannot beat the light, crisp, buttery texture of this homemade pastry topped with zingy lemon and heavenly frangipane. OK, I’ll admit that one of the hottest days of summer wasn’t the best day to choose to make pastry! But, even when it went into the pie dish looking like a disaster, it came out tasting like perfection. I kept this recipe very simple, as I was just trying to use up some items from my cupboard before I go on holiday, but I have suggested some additions below to amp up the lemon flavour. Just make sure you chill your pastry in this warm weather and don’t add too much liquid. I was going to pop this in the freezer, but I’m not sure it’s going to make it that far šŸ˜›


For the sweet shortcrust pastry

  • 225g/8oz gluten free plain flourĀ plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 150g/5Ā½oz unsalted butter,Ā chilled
  • 25g/1oz icing sugar
  • 1 egg,Ā beaten

For the filling

  • 150g/5Ā½oz unsalted butter,Ā softened
  • 150g/5Ā½oz caster sugar
  • 150g/5Ā½oz ground almonds
  • 1 egg,Ā beaten
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 jar of lemon curd (I used Sainsbury’s Basics)

You could decorate it with flaked almonds or make a little lemon flavoured glace (water) icing. You could also add lemon zest to the pastry.


  1. Ā First, make your pastry.Ā SieveĀ the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips or with a pastry blender, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Sieve in theĀ icing sugar and stir it through. Add the beaten egg and 2-3 tablespoons of cold water, mixing to form soft dough.

  2. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes. I find this makes gluten-free pastry slightly easier to roll out.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Or, if you are having problems (as I often do with gluten-free pastry) roll it out between 2 sheets of baking paper or clingfilm. I tried to turn mine over, into the pie dish but it got a bit crumpled! I patched the holes and it tasted great! Line a 23cm/9in fluted pie dish with the pastry.
  4. If you havenā€™t already got baking paper on it, lineĀ the pastry case with non-stick baking paper and fill with ceramic baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake it blind for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and paper and cook for a further 5-10 minutes to dry out the base. Set aside to cool a little before adding the filling.

  5. For the filling, spread the base of the pastry case with 1/2 jar of lemon curd.

  6. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. I used my Kenwood stand mixer with the K-beater. Add the ground almonds, egg and almond extract and mix together. Spoon the mixture into the pastry case, on top of the lemon curd and smooth the surface using a palette knife.

  7. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until golden-brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. The lemon curd seems to take longer to set. You may need to reduce the oven temperature if it’s browning too fast. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin.


Product Review- Mannavida Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls Kit

11 Jul

These are the worst gluten-free purchase ever, I can’t believe I fell for the hype. I bought these at a local Coeliac Food Fair for Ā£5. Yes, they are very expensive, but apparently they have won awards! As you know from all the other posts on my blog; I am an experienced gluten-free baker, so I know what I’m doing.

I followed the instructions exactly and spooned into the cases provided. Left to rise as instructed, nothing happened. Left to rise for longer, still no rise. I thought, oh well- I’ll have to bake them anyway. They went in looking grey and holey and that’s exactly how they came out. Ugh!

Then, I tried as per the instructions to remove them from the cases whilst they were still hot. They stuck, I tried to prise them out with a knife with little success. They were soft on the underside, so I put them back in to crisp up, again as per the instructions. They barely crisped up at all. I think the manufacturer should re-think the picture on the box, as they should be done for false advertising. I will be sending a lengthy complaint to the manufacturer and I will let you know the outcome. They look inedible and not in any way appetising. They are tasteless, but do have a reasonable chewy texture but with no crust. Please save yourself the time, trouble and money – DO NOT BUY THESE.

Product Review – Jusroll Gluten-Free Puff Pastry

10 Jul

You may remember that I wrote about Jusrol introducing a gluten-free pastry here. Well, I FINALLY found it in the shops! I decided to use it to replace my homemade pastry in my Potato, Leek & Cheese Pie to save a little time and see how it fared.

What a disappointment! I will never waste my money on this again. It comes ready-rolled around a cardboard spiral, but it’s very thin. It was easy enough to place on top of my pie filling, but it was so thin, I was barely able to crimp the edges. I brushed it with milk, as I Ā usually would to add some colour. But as you can see, it went far too dark in the required cooking time because it’s too thin. Ultimately it was extremely crisp and flavourless.

As for calling this puff pastry, it is not – it’s like a shortcrust, only there’s no substance to it at all. There was possibly 1 layer in the pastry, but even that was questionable. At Ā£2 a packet, it’s 30% more expensive than making my own pastry as listed in that recipe. And it’s not a patch on the homemade version plus you are eating all manner of ingredients that you wouldn’t find in a homemade pastry, including preservatives. Although, they are pretty natural considering but no butter- so none of that flavour.

The pie went from being a substantial meal that I would normally get 8 portions from, to something that left us hungry and would only get 6 portions from. All in all, yes it is a time saver but it’s not a patch on taking the time to make your own. It’s considerably poorer value, as it’s more expensive and doesn’t stretch to as many portions.

Product Review- Tesco FreeFrom Seeded Sliced Bread

5 Jul

Today I’m going to be reviewing this FreeFrom Seeded, Sliced Bread from Tesco. I picked it up along with my weekly shop, it looked good as it has full size slices but is a bit smaller than a normal loaf.

However, this bread was sorely disappointing! It has a reasonably nice crust on it, but the seeds add no flavour at all. Worst of all is the horrible, horrible texture – dry, powdery, flaky and very, very strange. I wanted to throw the whole thing in the bin after one bite, if only I hadn’t paid so much money for it!

It didn’t improve on toasting, as even though it looked toasted – it seemed to return to bread, with this horrible, pappy texture. All I can say in summary, is please, please, PLEASE – DO NOT BUY THIS BREAD!

Gluten-Free Madeira Loaf Cake

3 Jul

This is a super-easy recipe and it tastes amazing. I urge you to give it a go, it’s hard to go wrong with a loaf cake!



  • 175g/ 6oz Unsalted Butter
  • 175g/ 6oz Caster Sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/8th tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 50g 2oz Ground Almonds
  • 200g/ 8oz Gluten-Free Self Raising Flour
  • 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 3 tbsp milk


  1. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin and pre-heat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius/ Gas Mark 3.
  2. Cream your butter and sugar in a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, until pale and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time – it may curdle a little but don’t worry.
  4. Add the lemon zest and vanilla.
  5. Mix in the ground almonds. Then sieve in the flour and Xanthan Gum. You will have a very thick batter which needs to be loosened with 3 tbsp milk. I mix on speed 1 in my Kenwood, until combined.
  6. Spoon into your tin and bake in the centre of the oven, for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check it’s cooked through by inserting a skewer. It’s done if it comes out clean!
  7. Cool on a wire rack. Leave in the tin for 5 or 10 minutes first, to make it easier to remove.

Loaf cakes can be easily sliced for picnics and lunch boxes. They are low mess and keep for about a week, in an airtight container.

Little Lemon Kisses

21 Jun


These are gorgeous, light, buttery summer biscuits. I fancied a different flavour, not chocolate. Nothing beats the zesty, tangy, freshness of lemon.


  • 200g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 280g FreeFrom Plain Flour, sifted
  • 1/2 jar Lemon Curd (I used Sainsbury’s Basics)
  • 140g icing sugar, sifted
  • Lemon slices, to decorate


  1. Mix together the butter, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla and lemon zest, I used my Kenwood mixer with the K-Beater.
  2. Sift in the flour and continue to mix until the dough comes together.
  3. Tip onto a floured surface and roll out, half at a time. Cut out 5-6cm rounds, I used a fluted cutter but you can choose whatever you like. If you don’t have a cutter, use a jam jar, cup or glass to get a neat shape.
  4. Press together and re-roll the trimmings, you should get about 30- 40 biscuits, depending on the size of your cutter and thickness.
  5. Arrange the biscuits on trays lined with baking parchment, cover with cling film and chill for 30 mins.
  6. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Bake the biscuits for 8-12 mins until pale golden. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. Once completely cool, spread half the biscuits with a little lemon curd and top with a second biscuit.
  8. Arrange the biscuits on wire racks over trays. Cut up your lemon slices into quarters. Mix enough lemon juice into the icing sugar to give a consistency that will coat the back of a spoon. Coat the top of the biscuits with a small dollop, using a teaspoon to spread it out. Place your lemon slices on top to decorate.

Gluten-Free Swiss Roll

12 Jun

One afternoon in the kitchen, I realise I used up all the butter yesterday….so obviously I should make a Swiss Roll as it’s a fatless sponge. It also happens to be one of my favourite cakes. Whilst waiting for it to cook, I decide to do some light reading and discover that they are actually best made with a gluten-free flour – who knew? Oh, and I got to eat all the trimmings with a cheeky spoonful of raspberry jam šŸ˜€ And then, a couple of slices disappeared – so your Swiss Roll will be larger than this! I left mine a little too long to cool, so some of the sponge outer layer stuck to my greaseproof paper (I ran out of jam and had to do a quick dash to the shops).

In-case you find yourself in a similar predicament, here is my recipe:


  • 3 eggs
  • 75g/ 4 1/2 oz gluten free plain flour
  • 75g/ 4 1/2 oz caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting
  • Raspberry jam


  1. Grease and line a Swiss Roll tin with baking paper
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees C
  3. In a large bowl (I use my Kenwood mixer), whisk the eggs for a few seconds to break them up and so they are slightly foamy. Then add the caster sugar and whisk for 4-5 minutes on maximum, until they reach the ribbon stage. This means that when you raise your whisk, it will leave a trail of mixture which stays visible on the surface
  4. Sift in your flour from a height, so you get as much air in the mixture as possible
  5. Fold in the flour, ensuring there are no pockets of flour remaining
  6. Pour into your tin, levelling the surface gently and bake in the oven for 10-13 minutes, until golden in colour and springy to the touch
  7. Meanwhile, tear off another piece of baking paper just larger than your tin and lay it on the counter, sprinkle it with a little caster sugar
  8. Remove from the oven and turn out onto your prepared, sugared baking paper
  9. Trim the edges to neaten them (about 1 cm) and make a shallow cut about 2cm from one of the short ends. DO NOT cut all the way through!
  10. Then quickly roll up your cake, starting from the cut end (use the paper to help you get a tight roll)
  11. Leave it to cool completely on a wire rack
  12. When cool, carefully un-roll and spread with some warmed raspberry jam
  13. Re-roll and sprinkle the top with a little more sugar

Ta-da! This is a light and tasty cake, ideal for summer. You can make many different variations of this recipe – chocolate with a vanilla buttercream, as above with lemon curd filling and much more! Have a look around on the internet for inspiration. It could also form the basis of a roulade (a decadent dessert filled with fruit and cream). I am sure that I will have more recipes to follow, but this is a basic starter recipe which tastes absolutely fantastic. You’ll never go back to shop-bought Swiss Rolls again!