Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Honey and Walnut tart with Figs and Mascarpone

One of my best friends Georgie is an amazing cook (she's finished Cordon Bleu) and she's constantly uploading delicious looking pictures of her creations on instagram. Here's one of her latest.
Having just returned from a holiday in the Dordogne, I have walnuts and figs on my mind! I tried a great recipe from Waitrose a while ago and this is a slightly adapted version. If you wanted to avoid making pastry, you could buy ready rolled sweet shortcrust pastry instead.

Honey and Walnut tart with Figs and Mascarpone
Serves 8

Sweet Pastry
125g Unsalted Butter, cut into 1cm cubes (cold but pliable)
125g Caster Sugar
4 Medium Egg Yolks
Few Drops Vanilla Essence
Pinch of Salt
250g Plain Flour

275g Walnut Halves, roughly chopped (soaked in hot water for an hour and then drained)
75g Unsalted Butter, softened
75g Caster Sugar
1 tbsp, Plain Flour
75g Clear Honey
3 Medium Eggs, beaten
2 tbsp Oloroso Sherry
4 Figs
400g Mascarpone
Icing Sugar

1.  For the pastry, cream the butter and sugar in a food processor. Mix in the egg, salt and vanilla essence. Add flour and pulse until the ingredients come together. Knead briefly in cling film to ensure pastry is smooth. Wrap in cling film shaping into a round disk. Refrigerate for 30 mins to allow the pastry to relax.

2.  Once the pastry is pliable but not sticky, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is  3-4mm thick. Drape over rolling pin and lower into a 23cm loose bottomed tart tin. Using your fingers ease the pastry into the sides of the tin and gently press the pastry in without reading or stretching it. Patch up where necessary. Use the rolling pin to remove any excess pastry by rolling from the centre of the tin to the edge of the ring. Neaten the sides with your fingers. Cover with cling film and refrigerate until firm. Preheat oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5.

3.  Line the pastry with crumpled grease proof paper (ensuring edges are covered) and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake blind in top 1/3 of oven for 15 minutes or until sides have cooked through. Remove paper and baking beans/rice and cook for a further 5-10 mins until the base is cooked (lost grey appearance).

4. Turn the oven down to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Make the filling.  Whisk the butter, flour, honey and sugar together until combined. Mix in eggs, a little at a time, followed by the walnuts and the sherry. Spread evenly over the pastry case (Be careful not to let the mixture spill over the edges of the pastry as it will stick the pastry to the tin).

5.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until almost set with a slight wobble in the centre. Meanwhile cut the figs into quarters, dust with icing sugar and grill until they are soft but still hold their shape.

6.  Cool the tart for 15 mins and then carefully remove from the tin. Slice and serve with the figs, mascarpone and a drizzle of honey.

Georgies Top 3 things in life:
Family & friends
Chilli & lemongrass martinis