Giving a name to a pie or tart can be tricky. But my rule of thumb is that if there is a pastry base and top it is pie. So today I made a Ground Walnut Pie. This, though, was made in a tart tin which makes it a little more confusing. Mine is very closely based on a recipe I saw on Youtube, here from Michael Lim.
Basically this simple recipe is pastry and walnuts that have been processed until they roughly resemble breadcrumbs. Of course to do that I pulsed them in my mini processor, a little at a time, to ensure that I didn’t cause the nuts to form into a paste. I actually processed more than I needed for the recipe, so I could remove the larger pieces(which I can use for a crumble or streusel topping or to go into muffins).
Making a filling of the ground nuts with sugar, a little butter and a little golden syrup worked well, with the latter three ingredients being enough to bind the nuts together when the pie was baked.
The pastry is a deliciously rich shortcrust pastry that almost melts in the mouth. I actually baked the excess as biscuits for myself after the pie had baked. The was simply wonderful. I shall be making this again for sure and will also try it with hazelnuts, which are my favourite nuts.
For the pastry:
- 300g (2 1/4 cups + 1 tbps) plain flour
- 180g(3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) cold butter cut into cubes
- 150g(3/4 cup) caster sugar
- 6 medium egg yolks(large in USA)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
- 300g(2 1/2 cups) ground walnuts
- 150g(3/4 cup) dark brown sugar
- 50g(3 1/2 tbsp) melted butter
- 1 tbsp golden syrup(or corn syrup)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
- Place the flour, caster sugar, salt and butter into a food processor and pulse until it all resembles fine bread crumbs.
- Tip that mixture into a large bowl and add the egg yolks and vanilla extract, then mix together until it starts to clump.
- Use your hands to pull the mixture into a nice, smooth, dough.
- Divide the dough into two pieces, one of 1/3 and one of 2/3 of the dough.
- One a floured surface roll the larger piece of dough into a circle of about 13 inches in diameter.
- Carefully place that into a 10in(25 cm) tart tin or pie dish.
- Gently press the pastry into the sides and flat on the bottom of the tin. Cut off the excess dough.
- In a large bowl mix the dark brown sugar and the walnuts together, breaking up any lumps of sugar.
- Add the melted butter and the syrup and stir to combine. The mixture may begin to clump a little, that is fine.
- Tip that mixture into the dough-lined tart tin and spread to level the mixture across the entire base.
- Roll the remaining dough out, on a floured surface, to a diameter of about 11 inches and place it on the top of the tart tin.
- Press the edges down to meet the dough forming the side of the pie.
- Poke some holes into the top to allow for any steam to release during baking.
- Place the pie into the oven and bake for 35 minutes, until the top has turned a nice golden brown and the pastry has begun to shrink away from the side of the tin.
- Allow the pie to cool completely before removing from the tin for serving.