Custard-Filled GF Pastries How-To

Custard-Filled GF Pastries How-To

2 pastries on a surface

These take, like, a long time to make.

But you decide — are they worth it?

A close up of inside a pastry

That’s what I thought. And the weekend’s coming like gangbusters.

Team Gluten Free! We believe.

I have been informed by my radio that Thanksgiving is a mere 2 weeks away. Two weeks! So next week, we best get started on some recipes. In the meantime, please turn to page 152 of My Cookbook for the best stuffing I’ll ever eat.

Page 57 for How-To Brine Your Turkey (forget deep frying — brining does the trick).

Page 196 for Pumpkin Bread.

And Page 216 for Pumpkin Pie with Ginger Cookie Crust. Careful, though. That last one’s a doozy.

Today, though, these beauties are for after Thanksgiving. Just for you. You shall eat them while someone who loves you rubs your tired tootsies. And if this person does a very good job, he or she may have one.  And here’s how it’s done.

A close up of dough

Make the dough as per usual. It has some butter. No biggie. Then wrap & chill it.

Next, roll it out 1/4-inch thick between two sheets of parchment. Into a rectangle.

Please forgive me. I have no rolling-out photo. ‘Cause I have a congregation of one over here, and rolling takes two hands. No hands left for photos. Next time, come over and take some photos, would you?

Flattened dough with topping on top

But wait! There’s more butter. There’s always more butter. Dot it on two-thirds of the rectangle, starting on a short end.

Dough being folded on brown surface Then fold over the bare one-third, like a business envelope (do you say aaaaanvelope or ehnvelope?).

Dough being folded on brown surface Then the other third. Seal in the butter.

A close up of flattened dough
Then, roll it out again, rolling the pats of butter right in. See the butter? It’s flat butter now. That’s good.

Folded dough on beige surface Oh em gee, we’re folding again. Another business letter. Who are we writing anyway?

I don’t write business letters anymore. I used to write them, and they put people to sleep, I’m certain. “Dear Mr. So-&-So, Please to theretofore and heretofore, have your client comply with the whoseewhatsit on the double. Or else we’ll see you in court!


Folded dough on parchment paperWe have rolled, dotted with butter, then folded, rolled again – now folded once more. Now — we chill. Again. Until firm in the freezer. It’s the best way, because it’s speedy. And I am not renowned for my patience.

The First Turn Is Complete. We will ‘turn’ 3 times total. Here’s the part that can be confusing for pea brains like yours truly. A Turn comprises: (1) rolling out into a rectangle, (2) folding in thirds like a business letter (with the long side alongside your body), and (3) chilling once more.

But here’s the rub. It’s called A Turn because, with each successive Turn, you rotate the dough one quarter turn before you begin the next rolling out exercise. So you are always rolling from one long side of the rectangle to the other. Otherwise, you’d end up with the longest most narrow piece of dough ever, & the butter wouldn’t become layered as nicely in between the bits of dough.

Dough on parchment paper being cutAfter you have done The Three Turns, chill again. Make the custard. Then carefully slice the dough into 3-inch squares.

Custard bring placed on top of doughFill them with a tablespoon of custard.

Custard on flattened dough Brush the edges with an egg wash so they’ll stick.

close up of Person holding a raw pastry

Pinch two opposite corners together.

Close up of shaped custard filled pastry

Then pinch the other two, to make a little purse. Press the edges together to seal them closed, and the custard in.

Raw pastries on brown surface

Then allow them to rise in a warm, draft-free space until they are about 1 1/2 times their original size.

Pastries on brown surface

Bake ’em. Eat ’em.

Here’s the deets:

Custard-Filled GF Pastries How-To
Recipe Type: Pastry
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 2 hours 45 mins
Serves: 20
Gluten-free custard-filled yeasted pastries
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant (rapid-rise or breadmaker) yeast
  • 14 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, divided (4 tablespoons at room temperature, the rest chilled)
  • 3/4 cup milk, warmed to about 100 degrees F
  • 2 extra-large eggs plus 5 egg yolks, divided
  • 2 cups chilled milk (with as much fat as possible)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Bird’s custard powder (or equal amount cornstarch)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, xanthan gum, yeast, 6 tablespoons sugar, salt and 4 tablespoons butter (divided into tablespoons). Beat on low for about 1 minute, until the butter is incorporated into the dry ingredients. Add the ¾ cup warm milk, the whole egg and 1 yolk, and mix until the dough just begins to come together. Place a large piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface, and dump the dough out onto the plastic wrap. Press the dough together, and cover tightly with the plastic wrap. Place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
  2. Once the dough has chilled, roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper into a rectangle that is about 10-by-15 inches, and about ¼ inch thick, no thinner (see photos). Dust with additional flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to the parchment paper. Take the remaining 12 tablespoons (chilled) butter and divide into individual tablespoons, and then space evenly over ⅔ of the dough, leaving one short side bare (see photos). With the bare short side facing you, fold it over the middle third of the butter (as you would a business letter), then fold the remaining third over to seal in the tablespoons of butter (see photos).
  3. Roll the dough out again into a rectangle about 10-by-5 inches, and fold again in thirds (see photos). Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 15 minutes or until firm. Congratulations. You have just completed the first ‘turn.’
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, uncover it, and place it horizontally on a fresh sheet of parchment paper. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper, and roll out again into a rectangle about 10-by-5 inches. Fold once more, business letter style, and return to the freezer for another 15 minutes or until firm. Repeat the process once more. After 3 turns, cover and place the dough in the freezer for about 30 minutes (or in the refrigerator for at least an hour), until firm.
  5. While the dough is chilling, make the custard. In a medium saucepan, combine the 2 cups chilled milk, remaining 8 tablespoons sugar, vanilla, 4 egg yolks, and custard powder. Whisking constantly over low heat, cook the mixture until it begins to simmer. Raise the heat to medium-low, and cook until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Transfer the custard to a medium-sized bowl, and allow to cool slightly. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard, and place in the refrigerator to chill. You will have extra custard.
  6. Back to the dough. Roll out the chilled dough between two pieces of parchment paper into a smaller rectangle, this time about ⅜ inch thick. Using a pastry wheel or sharp knife, slice the dough into squares of about 3 inches. Place 1 tablespoon of chilled custard in the center of each square of dough. Brush the border of each square with the remaining egg white (see photo). One by one, form the pastries. Gather two opposite corners of each square of dough together, and pinch. Gather the other two opposite corners, and press all sides together to form a sealed pouch (see photo). Invert the bun onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining squares of dough.
  7. Place the buns, evenly spaced on the parchment-lined baking sheet, in a warm, draft-free area to rise until they begin to swell to nearly 1 ½ times their original size (about 40 minutes). While the buns are rising, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  8. After the buns have risen, brush the tops with the remaining egg wash, and place them in the center of the preheated oven. Bake, rotating once, until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  9. Serve warm.

So many directions! I know.
Be super careful about which flour you choose. I have not tried this recipe with anything other than Better Batter.

I hope that is the longest printable recipe I ever post on this here blog. Amen.


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