Hazelnut tart

Hazelnut tart

By
From
My Favourite Ingredients
Serves
8-10
Photographer
Jason Lowe

This is a simple tart – both in flavour and execution. These days I always make pastry in the food processor – it is so much quicker and less messy than mixing it by hand. I prepare this tart most often in the autumn, when the first nuts of the year begin to appear. My favourite way to serve it is with crème fraîche and sweet tender autumn raspberries.

Pastry

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g plain flour, sifted, plus extra to dust
125g unsalted butter
30g caster sugar
1 organic free-range egg
1 organic free-range egg yolk
1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling

Quantity Ingredient
300g shelled hazelnuts
300g caster sugar
3 whole eggs
1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest
300g unsalted butter, in pieces

Method

  1. For the pastry, have all the ingredients well chilled. Tip the flour into a food processor. Cut the butter into tiny cubes, or grate it if you prefer. Add to the flour along with the sugar, whole egg, egg yolk, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Now turn on the machine. The mixture will soon have a granular, moist texture, the consistency of wet sand. Keep going and it should soon gather into a ball. Just occasionally you may find you need to add a little iced water to help it along – do this sparingly as it is easy to over-do it. Take out the dough, wrap it in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or so while you make the filling.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Place the nuts on a baking tray and roast on the middle shelf of the oven for 5–6 minutes – to tickle out their flavour and make the skins easier to remove. Tip the nuts into a clean dry cloth and rub the cloth between your hands – the skins should slip off, so you can discard them quite easily.
  3. Place the nuts in a blender and add the sugar, eggs, lemon zest and butter. Pulse to combine – keeping the nuts quite textural, rather than grinding them finely. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll out the pastry to a large round, about 3mm thick. Lift the pastry onto the rolling pin and drape it over a 25cm flan tin, about 2.5cm deep, with removable base. Press the pastry into the edges and sides of the tin and prick the base all over with a fork. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
  5. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake ‘blind’ for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and return the pastry case to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Spoon in the hazelnut filling, distributing it evenly. Bake for 30–35 minutes until golden; the filling should still be just soft in the centre. If it appears to be overbrowning, cover loosely with foil.
  6. Allow the tart to cool to room temperature before slicing and serving, either on its own or with crème fraîche and raspberries.
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