Sunday 6 December 2015

Caramel Walnut Tarts

Caramel Walnut Tarts

Little bites of delicious caramel and walnuts in a pâte sucrée (sweet shortcrust pastry). 

Caramel is my favourite in any form. I created this very simple and elegant sweet treat for a high tea I had to prepare last month; it was most appreciated and well received. 

You can make your own pastry and caramel. But if you prefer, you can buy it all at a good delicatessen and simply put it together. Store it in a box for up to 3 days. Do not refrigerate as it will get hard.

Serve with vanilla bean ice cream or warm spiced ice cream, such as cinnamon, cardamom, or star anise.

In a pan, make the caramel.

On a medium-high flame, melt
1 1/4 cup sugar
Swirl over the heat until the colour is beautifully amber.

Remove from the fire and add 1 cup of cream over the caramel. This will splatter, so be careful.

Add 1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tbsp of Tahitian vanilla extract
Optionally add 2 tbsp Rum

Mix in this - 1 cup broken bits of walnuts


This will fit a 25 cm/ 10-inch pie plate with about a third to spare.

In a food processor, using the pulse button, mix until it forms a soft ball, leaving the side of the bowl.
Do not overwork. Put it on a flat surface and bring it together with your hands.

2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
200 g/ 7 1/2 oz salted butter
100 g / 3 1/2 oz icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
optionally 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Let this stand for 20 to 30 minutes. Roll out the dough and fit it into a pie plate. (You may have some dough left over for a smaller pie). In a preheated oven of 175 C | 350 F, bake this for 22 minutes. It should be slightly golden in colour and should be completely baked.
Let it cool.


Fill in with 48 mini tart pies or a large pie crust that has been baked and is ready to eat.

Keep the extra pastry for smaller pie shells. Freeze it wrapped in cling film. Put it in the fridge for 24 hours before reusing it for the perfect consistency.

To make caramel the easy way, you can melt 1 1/2 cups of your favourite toffee with 1/2 cup of cream, adding a little cream at a time until it is perfectly mixed.

Add a drop of vanilla extract and rum for added flavour.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala 

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