All the joy of pecan pie but dare I say better. Delicious with wet walnuts in autumn when they are freshly picked from the trees. We use local Bermondsey honey from London’s street bees but you can use a stronger honey if you like more flavour. I like how this tart changes depending on what honey you use and it goes perfectly with fruit all year round.
For the sweet shortcrust pastry:
250g plain flour
50g icing sugar
110g butter, very cold and cut into small cubes
1 whole egg
Dash of milk or water
* reduce pastry quantities for 20cm tin
1 egg for brushing on the base
For the filling:
300g fresh wet walnuts or walnut halves, soak for a few hours in cold water
80g butter, softened
2 tsp plain flour
80g clear honey we use Bermondsey Bees honey from London Hives
75g soft light brown sugar
3 whole eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp crème fraîche
Crème fraîche and seasonal fruit to serve
To make the pastry sift the flour into a large bowl, add the salt, butter and rub together with your fingers until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. I almost always do this in a food processor (unless I'm feeling particularly wholesome), pulsing the mixture to avoid overworking.
In a small bowl mix the egg and a dash of milk until combined, then stir into the pastry using a butter knife to bring the crumbs together into a dough. Knead enough to combine and press into a disk, wrap and chill for at least an hour.
Take a 25cm tart tin and line with a greaseproof base. Roll out your pastry between two sheets of greaseproof until the disk is wide enough to cover the circumference and sides of your tin, then careful line the tin, ensuring you press the pastry right into the corners. Use a fork to prick the base, chill for at least an hour until firm.
Preheat your oven to 180°c fan, toast your walnuts for 10 mins until golden brown. Roughly chop the nuts and allow to cool.
Remove the chilled pastry base from the fridge, line with greaseproof and baking beans and blind bake until the pastry is cooked, approx 15mins. Remove the base from the oven and brush with the whole egg, this will seal any little cracks and ensure the filling doesn't flood out and onto the bottom of your oven. Bake for a further 5 mins until golden brown. Turn the oven down to 160°c.
To make the filling melt the butter, honey, sugar in a saucepan over a low heat. Pour over the chopped nuts and stir to combine, add the egg, vanilla and crème fraîche and mix again. Pour the mixture into the base, gently spreading it over the surface of the base then bake for around 35-40 mins until just set but still with a slight wobble in the centre.
Allow the tart to cool slightly then serve with fruit. I love blackberries, figs, pears or currents and lashings of crème fraîche.