Sunday, 8 April 2012

Swiss Walnut Tart (Engadiner Nusskuchen)

I came across this recipe via a community sister of a home décor website I'm active on and simply had to try it out. It's wonderful - and I don't normally eat cakes! One little thing: I find the shortcrust pastry a wee bit sweet so reduced the amount of sugar, originally 150 g. Also, I always use fine unrefined brown sugar instead of white sugar. In this case I think it probably enhances the overall butterscotch taste. But anyone who loves pecan pie, banoffi pie, florentine biscuits etc. has got to try this! :))))

Shortcrust pastry:
160 g butter, softened
100 g sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 egg
300 g flour

Filling:
20 g butter
300 g sugar
250 g coarsely chopped walnuts
250 ml whipping cream, warmed

1 egg yolk for brushing

1. Work the softened butter, sugar, flour and egg into a shortcrust pastry, then chill.

2. In the meantime make the filling:

Melt the butter over a low heat in a saucepan, add the sugar and over a medium to high heat keep stirring until the sugar has melted and you have a smooth, thick caramel. If there are lumps, don't worry just keep stirring until they have dissolved.

Add the walnuts and warmed cream and bring to the boil. Leave to cool a little. Don't worry if there are hard bits and the mix isn't quite homogenous, that happened to me as well but they'll dissolve with the heat from the oven.

3. While the nut mix is cooling, get your shortcrust pastry out of the fridge and divide in two parts: 1/3 for the lid and 2/3 for the base.

Roll out the base or press into a 24 cm spring tin or flan dish bringing it up to form a rim. Use a fork to stab some holes into the bottom. Now add the nut mix.

Roll out the pastry for the lid and cover the cake. Fold any excess pastry over, with a fork stab a few holes into the lid and brush with egg yolk.

4. Baking times:

fan-assisted oven: 30-40 min at 180 °C on the second level from the bottom

gas oven: 40 min at gas mark 5 (200 °C)



Check if it's finished with a skewer - there will still be a little sticky caramel on the skewer.

If using a spring tin turn out of the tin and leave to cool on a rack, otherwise leave and serve in the flan dish. Optionally serve with whipped cream or to complement the sweetness of the cake with crème fraîche, soured cream or Greek yoghurt.

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