Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Coffee and Walnut Tart

Another year, another Stour Festival, another fortnight of fabulous puddings!    It's such fun to be given a free hand to make whatever you want, in quantity, for enthusiastic eaters.    This year I thought I'd try several new items, and this delicious walnut and coffee tart is one of them.   From a recipe I tore out of a magazine (doesn't everybody?), the original was for 6 tartlets, but I ignored that, and made a large one instead.   To do that, I ended up doing 1.5 quantity the icing as I wanted a thicker layer.   Your choice.

Coffee and Walnut Tart
Walnut and Coffee Tarts

4 ½ oz/125g cold butter, cubed
8 ½ oz/250g plain flour
2oz/60g icing sugar
Just under 1floz/25ml water mixed with 1 egg yolk

Tart Filling:
5 floz/150g double cream
8 ½ oz/250g caster sugar 
5oz/50g salted butter
7oz/200g walnut halves, 6 left whole, the rest chopped

Coffee top (original quantity for 6 small tarts):
5oz/150g white cooking chocolate
2 ½ fl oz/75g double cream
1 tbsp instant coffee granules

Crème fraiche to serve.

Make the pastry.  The recipe suggested doing this by hand – rub the butter into the flour, mix the egg, icing sugar and cold water, pour into the flour and stir in with a knife until the mixture gets lumpy.  Press this into a ball, wrap up and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Cut into 6 (if making individual tarts) roll out each piece into a circle and put into individual tins, pressing into the edges.  Trim with a knife and let the cases rest in the fridge for 1hr.  Making a single tart, I rolled the pastry out into a 9” loose bottomed flan tin and pricked the base lightly before the second refrigeration.    Preheat the oven to 180deg C.   Blind bake the tartlets/tart for 10 minutes, remove the paper and baking beans and cook again for another 8-10 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Remove the tart/tartlets from the tins.

To make the filling, put 1/3 of the sugar into a heavy based saucepan over medium heat.  When it starts caramelising, sprinkle in more sugar.  Add the rest of the sugar slowly, swirling the pan gto encourage it to melt, until the caramel is amber in colour.  Now add the cream, then the butter, and stir.  Speed is essential at this stage, and the caramel is very hot.  Add the chopped walnuts, mix it all together, then put the mixture into the tins.   You should leave a space below the rim of the tart as the coffee icing goes on top of this.   Level the nut mixture and leave it to cool while you make the coffee icing.

Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl.  Heat the cream and coffee in a saucepan until simmering, and pour this over the chocolate.  Leave it to melt, then stir it together.  Fill each tart case with the coffee icing, putting a whole walnut in the centre/decorate the entire tart.   Put this into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up, then serve at room temperature, with whipped cream or crème fraiche.