This recipe is how to make a polenta tart shell that could be used for savoury or sweet-tart. My crunchy melt in your mouth polenta tart shell recipe is for one layer, however, double this recipe for a bottom and top. Using polenta makes this tart shell slightly healthier and light on the tummy.

What does polenta taste like?
Being made from corn it has a slightly gritty texture. I love the combination of spelt flour and corn.

How to turn it into a sweet tart shell? imply by adding a few tablespoons of sugar for a sweet polenta pie crust.

Takes = 45 minutes + 50 minutes chill time in the fridge
Bakes = 15 mins x 2
Makes = 1 x 23cm pie/ tart shell serves 6-8 pieces
Equipment =  rolling pin, 23cm tart tin or pie dish, stand mixer (optional), large bowl or a food processor.

Ingredients

  • Organic Gluten Free Quick Polenta (corn meal) – 75g (1/2 cup)
  • Flour (I used white spelt flour or use a gluten-free flour) – 125g (about 1 cup)
  • Chilled Cream cheese – 90g
  • Chilled cubed unsalted butter – 90g
  • Chilled Water – 2 tsp

Method

Step 1 Making the pastry
WHISK flour and polenta by hand or add to a food processor. Add in butter and cream cheese and blend until combined. If it looks dry add 2 teaspoons of chilled water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Remove the formed dough, place it in grease proof paper or plastic wrap and flatten into a disc and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Step 2 Prepare
Pre-heat the oven 190˚C, 170°C (fan), Gas 5 and grease your 23cm (9 inch) tart or flan dish.

Step 3 Rolling the pastry
Remove the dough 10 minutes before starting this step. Add flour to the bench or pastry mat and put your dough in the centre and sprinkle with a little flour on both sides. Add flour to your rolling pin, then roll our the pastry to a circle about 5cm (2") larger than your tart dish. Using the rolling pin roll the pastry onto the pin and gently drop into the tart tin. Gently press in and using the rolling pin, roll over the outside edge or cut away with a knife. Add fork pricks to the pastry. This I found out recently is called docking the pastry. This allows steam to escape so your pastry doesn't bubble up.

Step 4 Prepare for blind baking
Cover with foil and ensure the foil is over the sides of shell (this will stop it from over browning). Then scatter baking beads (or raw beans, rice or sugar) over the foil so they are even. Pop the tart tin on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the paper and beads and bake for another 10 minutes (check at 5 minutes and remove if it's starting to brown too much.

Once lightly golden remove and allow the pastry shell to cool before filling.

Sue Maree P Tips

A few storage tips:

  • Dough: will keep for 3-4  days in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer
  • Baked Tart shell: will keep up to 3 days chilled in the fridge. Freezer, cover to seal out any air and it will last up to a month