Cashew boat tarts

Cashew boat tarts

7000 Islands
Jana Liebenstein

Filipinos make sweets very hard to resist: they form them in bite sizes, wrap them in bright colours, then leave them in a big pile right where you are likely to walk past. These chewy cashew tarts, adorably shaped like little boats, get me every time. Specialised boat tins are available from selected Filipino grocery stores, but if you can’t find them, round fluted tins with a 2.5 cm base measurement will do the same job. A pie weight chain takes the fuss out of blind baking small tarts. Another option is to make bigger tarts, which I serve warm. Just adjust the baking time accordingly.


Quantity Ingredient
195g unsalted cashews, roasted
165g caster sugar
3 eggs
50g unsalted butter, melted

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Quantity Ingredient
200g plain flour
80g caster sugar
100g cold unsalted butter, chopped
1 egg
1-2 tablespoons iced water


  1. To make the pastry, place the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the egg and water and process until the mixture starts to form large clumps. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently to just bring together, then shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 1 hour to rest.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and lightly grease eighteen 7 cm boat (tart) tins. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to 3 mm thick, lay in the tins and press into the base and sides. Place the tins on a baking tray and use a fork to prick the bases. Line with a pie weight chain or baking paper and beans and blind bake for 15 minutes, then remove the weight or beans and paper.
  3. Meanwhile, place the cashews and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground. Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and remaining sugar until the mixture doubles in size, about 1–2 minutes. Fold in the cashew mixture and butter with a spatula.
  4. Pour the cashew mixture into the pastry shells and bake for 12–15 minutes, or until dark golden. Remove from the oven and allow the tarts to cool completely in the tins.

What is it?

  • A number of nuts grow abundantly in the Philippines, including peanuts (mani), cashews (kasoy) and the little known pili. The native pili tree thrives in the region of Bicol. The laborious process of cracking the hard shell without damaging the delicate nut can only be done by hand, making pili an expensive commodity. It is a prize worth the price, as its distinctive buttery flavour and crisp texture are unlike any other nut. Pili is fried or roasted in savoury preparations; used in baked goods, such as boat tarts; or candied.
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