Pecan and Maple Tart

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves at least

    6 to 8

Appears in

This is an exceedingly rich tart, as it should be. You can substitute walnuts or even hazelnuts or almonds for the pecans, but no low-fat, low-sugar substitutes, please. If using almonds, I would leave out the maple syrup and replace it with extra corn syrup or golden syrup, keeping the flavour delicate to complement the almonds. Corn syrup can be found in shops which stock American food products such as Selfridges, the Rosslyn Delicatessen, Harvey Nichols and Jerry’s Home Store, all in London.

Ingredients

  • 200 g (7 oz) plain flour
  • 100 g ( oz) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • pinch of salt
  • 50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
  • 1 small free-range egg, lightly beaten
  • iced water

Filling

  • 75 g (3 oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 100 g ( oz) unsalted butter
  • 150 mls (5 oz) pure maple syrup
  • 150 mls (5 oz) corn syrup or golden syrup
  • 4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 250 g (½ lb) shelled pecans

Method

Rub the flour and butter together, and stir in the salt and sugar, and then the egg and enough iced water to bind.

Roll out the pastry, and line a 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 inch) greased tart tin. Prick the pastry all over, line with greaseproof paper, weight down with ceramic baking beans (dried beans will do, and can be stored and re-used for the same purpose), and bake blind for 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Add in the beaten eggs.

Remove from the oven, take out the beans and paper, and let the pastry case cool. Put the sugar, butter and syrups in a saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla essence, salt and pecans. Add in the beaten eggs.

Pour the mixture into the tart. Bake in the preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for about 30 minutes, until the filling has just set and the top is lightly browned.

For a short cut, put the contents of a jar of dulce de leche, luxury caramel spread, in a bowl. Beat in the eggs and softened butter, then stir in the salt, vanilla and pecans.

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