Cobnut and Honey Tart
A close relative of the more familiar Bakewell and treacle tart, this is comfortingly old-fashioned yet unusual. The flavour of the roasted hazelnuts is gently accentuated with brown sugar, honey and butter. It makes a lovely dessert served warm with some chilled pouring cream.
FOR THE PASTRY
- 125g plain flour
- 25g icing sugar
- 75g butter, fridge-cold
- Pinch of salt
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ tablespoon iced water
- Flour, for dusting
FOR THE FILLING
- 225g shelled cobnuts (or filberts)
- 2 egg whites
- 125g butter, at room temperature
- 50g light muscovado sugar
- 3 whole eggs, at room temperature
- 175g honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- First prepare the pastry. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and lightly pinch the butter into the flour with your fingertips (or pulse very briefly in a food processor) working the mix as little as possible. Add the egg yolks and water to bring the mixture together into a smooth, soft dough. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap it in cling film or put it into a freezer bag, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- While the pastry chills, prepare the nuts. Spread the shelled cobnuts on a baking sheet and put them into a cold oven. Set the temperature to 180˚C and a timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, the nuts should be fragant and golden brown, with their papery skins beginning to fall away. Tip the hot cobnuts into a clean tea towel and rub them between the folds of the cloth until the skins have flaked off, then leave the nuts to cool. Discard the skins. (If one or two nuts stubbornly retain their skins, don’t worry.) Raise the oven temperature to 220˚C.
- Lightly butter a 20cm loose-bottomed tart tin After the pastry has had its resting time, dust your work surface with flour and roll out the dough to line the tin. Trim the edges and put the pastry-lined tin into the fridge while you prepare the filling.
- Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside. Rinse and dry the beaters. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy using the mixer – this will take about 5 minutes. Break the whole eggs into a jug and beat them until combined. With the mixer running, very slowly and gradually add the beaten egg to the butter and sugar mixture until you have a pale, smooth batter (if the mixture curdles, add a tablespoon of flour and mix until the batter just stablises). Finely chop the hazelnuts, then add them to the batter with the honey and lemon juice and mix until evenly combined.
- Add a large dollop of egg whites to the hazelnut mixture and fold through with a metal spoon to slacken the mixture. Add the remaining egg white and fold in gently until evenly combined. Pour the mixture into the pastry shell, and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 160˚C and bake for a further 25 minutes until the top is a deep burnished brown and the filling is set. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin before removing the outer ring.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK