Monday, November 16, 2015

Nut Tart With Caramel

Nut tart with caramel
With all the nuts that came by way of Diwali gifts, I thought one of the ways of using them up would be in making nut tarts. I had never made them before and my first attempt was a rather gooey and messy affair with a white chocolate topping. But it was delicious and finished in no time at a family lunch. This is my second time and I looked up plenty of sites to make one of the easier versions. The following recipe has been adapted from here.
I already had enough pastry dough from my last baking so I used that. The nuts I used were a mix of cashews, pistachios, almonds and walnuts.

The pastry: 
2 1/2 cups flour, sieved
1 cup butter, chilled and cut into cubes
2 medium eggs
Place the flour in a large bowl.
Add the cubed butter to the flour and rub  with the tips of your fingers till the mixture turns crumbly.
Add the eggs and mix till the dough comes together.
Shape into a ball, flatten it, and chill by wrapping it in clingfilm.
The dough should rest for at least 40 minutes.
Remove from the fridge, roll out and place in a lightly greased tart tin. I used an 8" tin.
Trim the edges by running the rolling pin all along the edge. Or you can fold the dough inwards and fortify the border.
Prick with a fork all across the surface and chill again for about 20 minutes. 
Preheat the oven to 180C. Take out the chilled pastry and bake till it turns golden brown.
Ready to be baked

Remove and let it cool as you prepare the filling
The nuts:
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
Toast the nuts in the oven or in a pan till the nutty smells are released.
Crush or slice them. Some can even remain whole. 
The caramel:
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup whipping cream
2 tbs butter, cut into small pieces
1 tbs honey
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Add the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed pan. Place it on medium heat and stir till the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil till the mixture turns a rich amber colour. This will take about ten minutes. Turn heat back to medium.
Add the cream and stir till the mixture is smooth. Add the honey, butter, and vanilla. Add all the nuts.
Pour this filling into the crust. Bake till the filling bubbles. This may take between 15-20 minutes.
Let it cool before serving the wedges with a dollop of whipped cream.
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