I love Autumn and its flavours, and one of my favourite is nuts. I know I've mentioned it before, but every Autumn in France we got given a bag of walnuts from my neighbour's tree. She used to make this tart with some of them.
I bought a large bag of shelled walnuts on offer at a local deli, so decided to make her tart. I know the taste won't be quite the same, not using fresh nuts, but it will be a lovely memory of Reneé.
Preheat oven 200C/gas6. 23cm tart tin
Pastry: 125g flour, 75g butter, 25g caster sugar, pinch salt, 1 egg and 25ml water.
Mix all the ingredients together into a firm ball of dough. Pop in fridge till needed.
Filling: 500g shelled walnuts, 150ml crème fraîche, 60g caster sugar, 1 beaten egg, 1 tspn vanilla extract and icing sugar for the top.
Keep enough walnuts back to have enough to cover the top. Put these on a baking tray and put into the oven for a few minutes till they have some colour.
Put the rest in a blender and blitz to powder. Add the cream, sugar, egg, salt and vanilla extract. Mix well.
Roll the pastry out to fit the tin, then pour in the mixture.
Bake for 30 mins then leave to cool in the tin. Arrange the saved walnuts on the top, making a pattern if you wish. Sprinkle over icing sugar.
You can use ready made shortcrust pastry or your own favourite recipe. My neighbour doesn't do anything with the walnuts she puts on the top, but I prefer to toast then to give them a nicer flavour and crunch. Good contrast of textures between the nut topping and the soft filling. I love the flavour of the blitzed walnuts. A nice Autumnal treat.
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