These little walnut baskets are based on a favourite Hungarian treat.
My sister Margaret, who lives in Canada, was checking on Pinterest and came across a Hungarian treat called Diós kosárka. That translates, according to Google as Walnut Baskets.
Basically these little baskets are made with a wonderfully crumbly shortcrust pastry case which is then filled with a little apricot jam and a meringue made with ground walnuts.
From reading about these little baskets it seems that they are often enjoyed for celebrations such as Christmas and weddings. I can quite understand why as they are very easy to make and they really taste very good indeed.
Although I say they are enjoyed in Hungary I believe they may be very popular in some other countries as well, such as Croatia.
I checked a good many recipes, having to use a translator in most instances, and they all seemed very similar. The important thing in the recipes is that they all use ground walnuts, which are not so readily available in the UK. Certainly they don’t appear on the shelves of any of my local supermarkets, and buying them online looked to be quite expensive.
So, I decided that I could grind my own walnuts. However when trying to grind nuts it is very easy to go too far and create a paste rather than a fine textured powder. So what I did was to grind some walnuts with the sugar, which would usually be used when whipping the egg white. The sugar in with the walnuts helps to prevent the oils in the nuts causing them to bind into a paste.
Although these baskets are usually made in little fluted tart tins they can also be made in a bun tin or a muffin tin. In the case of a muffin tin the pastry will only come part way up the side, just enough to form the cup to take the filling.
The recipe is very simple indeed and it doesn’t take very much time. The end result is really delicious with a the crispy meringue top leading to a more chewy and fruity centre, which combines very well with the shortcrust pastry.
Mine turned out very well indeed, baking to perfection and tasting great. I think they are really a cross between a biscuit/cookie and a little cake. I enjoyed them with a nice cup of tea.
For another very easy little treat you might enjoy Gingernuts – Crunchy Ginger Biscuits
Walnut Baskets – Walnut TartsCourse: Biscuits & CookiesCuisine: Hungarian(and others)Difficulty: Easy
Delicious little walnut meringue in a pastry case
- For the pastry case
150g(1 cup, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
80g(5 tbsp+2 tsp) butter
6 g(scant 1 tbsp) icing sugar
1 medium egg yolk(large in USA)
- For the filling:
60g(5 tbsp) caster or granulated sugar
1 medium egg white
4 tbsp apricot jam
- In a food processor place the flour and sugar and then add the butter.
- Pulse the ingredients to achieve a coarse breadcrumb texture(you can rub the butter in manually too).
- Add the egg yolk and blitz until the mixture starts to clump together(or stir in with a spoon).
- Squeeze the mixture into a dough and knead for a few seconds to make it malleable.
- Roll the dough out, on a lightly floured surface, to a thickness of about 3mm(1/8 inch).
- Cut out 8cm(3 inch) discs using a scallop edged cutter.
- Place each disc into a fluted tart tin, or a bun tin, or a muffin tin, and press to fit, patching any cracks.
- Place the filled tins into the fridge to chill.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
- Place the walnuts and sugar into a food processor( I used the smallest of my immersion blender mixers) and process to a fine texture.
- Whisk the egg white until it has just about reached stiff peaks.
- Fold the walnut mixture into the egg white until fully combined.
- Spoon a little jam into the base of each pastry case(up to about 1 level tsp).
- Spoon the meringue mixture over the top of the jam and try to level it off a little.
- Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the meringue has risen and formed a crust and the pastry has baked through.
- Remove from the oven and allow the walnut baskets to cook in the tins for 10 minutes then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cook completely.