Reading "Nigella Kitchen" the other day I could totally relate to her comment on the choc chip bread pudding (the one I made a while ago): it might seem odd to use cream, eggs and chocolate to save a piece of old bread – some people would just throw it away, I guess – but I really get her idea there; I did the same with this tart – all this caramel and nuts and pastry just to use up some heavy cream that would go bad in a couple of days. :)
The tart was divine and it felt good making it. :)
On a different note, I had to delete my Twitter account - as much as I would like to tell you why, I cannot; I have created a new one: @TKitchen_blog - I hope I see you there!
Caramel nut tart with brandy cream
slightly adapted from the beautiful Sunday Suppers at Lucques
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
1 1/3 cups + 1 ½ tablespoons (202g) all purpose flour
3 ½ tablespoons (42g) caster (superfine) sugar
pinch of salt
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and diced
1 ¾ cups whole nuts – I used pecans, almonds and cashew nuts
1 ½ teaspoons honey
1 ¼ cups (250g) caster sugar
½ cup (120ml) water
1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
pinch of salt
½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon brandy
Make the pastry: whisk the cream and yolk together in a small bowl. Using an electric mixer with the dough hook, combine flour, sugar, salt and butter until you have a coarse meal. Gradually add the cream and yolks. Mix until just combine – do not overwork the pastry. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and bring it together with your hands. Shape into a 2.5cm (1in) disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes (depending on how soft the pastry is).
Working on a lightly floured piece of baking paper, cover the pastry with another piece of paper and then roll it into a 6mm (¼in) thick circle. Carefully transfer to a lightly buttered 25cm (10in) tart pan. Using your fingertips, press the pastry into the corners of the pan. Remove the excess pastry with a pairing knife, prick it all over with a fork and freeze for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Line the pastry with a buttered piece of foil, then fill the paper with dried beans/baking weights. Bake for 15 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven, remove beans/weights and paper, and bake for 10-15 minutes longer, or until crust is evenly golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely over a wire rack.
Start making the filling: spread the nuts on a baking sheet and lightly toast them in the oven, until golden – be careful as different types of nuts will toast in different times. Set aside and cool completely.
Transfer the nuts to a large bowl and add the honey. Set aside.
Place the sugar and water in a medium heavy saucepan. Cook the sugar over medium-high heat, swirling the pan – do not stir – until it becomes a deep brown caramel. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream, stirring constantly – be careful as caramel may spit – until mixture is smooth. Allow to cool for 1 minute, and then pour over the nuts and mix well to combine. Mix in the salt, then pour filling over tart crust – do not overfill the crust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Whip the cream, icing sugar and brandy together until soft peaks form. Serve with the tart – remove it from the fridge 20 minutes before serving.