Lovin’ my inner nut

Being a nut myself, I’ve always had a fondness for nuts – of the edible and non-edible (i.e. human) variety, so whenever I see a recipe that celebrates the rich, meaty goodness that nuts are all about, I have a tendency to go weak at the knees.

When I saw these on Helen’s blog, that was my immediate reaction, and since walnuts and pecans are always about in my home, I immediately raced off to make them, much to the dismay of my mother. You see, she is also a nut-fan, and though there are many health benefits that come from them, they are kinda offset by the sheer calorie count of desserts such as this. Nonetheless, she put in a stellar effort and polished off half the batch that night, saving the rest to share with her golf buddies the next day.

Seeing this as an outright success, I proceeded to make them again and again…actually, it was probably the fourth time I made these that I was actually issued with an official ban – that’s how irresistable my family found them! So, though I can no longer make them myself, hopefully I can pass the buck and share the delightfulness that is these nutty little tartlets!

(Sorry for the short post, but I have an exam on Wednesday that I am madly studying for…expect the next post after then!)

Pecan, Walnut & Golden Syrup Tartlettes
(Adapted from Helen)

Sweet Short Crust (from Alice Medrich)

120g unsalted butter
1/4 cup caster sugar
Pinch of salt
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose/plain flour

To make the crust – preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, then mix together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla, then add the flour and mix till well combined – this is a very crumbly dough so don’t expect to be able to knead it or roll it out. Press it into your tart tins thinly and evenly, prick all over with a fork, then bake for about 20 mins, or till they begin to go lightly golden in colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, and lower oven temperature to 160 degrees C.

Pecan, Walnut & Golden Syrup filling

125g chopped walnuts
125g chopped pecans
2 large eggs
75g butter, melted
100g light brown sugar
100g golden syrup **

In large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar and golden syrup. Add the melted butter and mix to combine.

In a seperate bowl, mix together the chopped nuts, then divide them evenly between the tart shells and then place them on a baking tray. Carefully spoon the egg mixture over the top, being careful not to overfill them, then carefully transfer the baking tray with filled tarts into the middle tray of the oven and bake for 20-25 mins, or till the tart shells are a deep gold colour and the filling has set.

Remove from the oven, place the tarts onto a cooling rack and allow to completely cool before enjoying with a ridiculously decadent scoop of whipped cream or (my favourite) pecan ice cream on top!

** Golden syrup is a liquid sweetener along the lines of maple syrup and honey – it is thick, sweet and very viscous. However, its flavour is quite deep and intense, with a hint of spiciness which makes it quite difficult to substitute. If you cannot get any in your area, I’d suggest replacing it with a combination of honey + molasses/treacle, or maple syrup + molasses/treacle! You’ll have to play with the quantities to find a balance that you like :)

[tags]tarts, desserts, sweets, pastry, nuts, recipes[/tags]

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