This walnut caramel tart has it all, a soft chewy caramel, crunchy nuts, and a delicious flavour that is going to have you coming back for more. There is something about combining multiple textures, and sweetness with a sprinkle of saltiness, it also helps that anyone can make make this rustic looking tart with relative ease.
Chilled Shortcrust Pastry
1 Egg (for egg wash, see method)
400g caster sugar
200g butter, cut into small pieces
400ml whipping or double cream
300g shelled walnut half
Salt flakes to finish
Roll out pastry to 5mm thick between baking paper, no extra flour is needed. Place the pastry into a prepared 18cm tart tin, if the pastry is too soft chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. To help push the pastry into place use a ball of extra dough wrapped in cling wrap. Do not trim the excess pastry overhanging, this can be trimmed after blind baking. Chill the pastry in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Line the pastry with baking paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees. Remove the baking beans with a spoon and remove the paper. Gently prick the base of the case with a fork and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes until all the rawness has baked. Remove the case and check for any holes or cracks, carefully fill them with leftover pastry. To make the egg wash, whisk the egg with a few drops of boiling water. Brush the pastry base and sides with the egg wash, this will act as a glaze, and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is a deep golden colour. Allow the pastry to completely cool in the case and use a vegetable peeler to gently shave off the excess pastry.
To make the filling, put the sugar in a large pan with 6 tbsp cold water. Heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar is completely dissolved stop stirring, increase heat and bubble until the syrup has turned a rich caramel colour. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until it has dissolved, then stir in the cream. Return to the heat and boil hard, stirring until the sauce is thick enough to leave a gap on the base of the pan when you draw your spoon across it. If the butter separates from the caramel, the caramel has been taken too far and you’ll need to start again. Stir in the walnuts.
Fill the pastry case with the nut mixture and use a fork to level the caramel. Cool for 10 minutes, lightly sprinkle with salt flakes, and serve.