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.
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
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.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.