Monday, July 26, 2010

A Pie a Week - Nuts

This week's pie was made to serve as dessert to a Greek-inspired dinner, with barbecued lamb, roasted potatoes, and Greek-style beans. The filling combine roasted nutmeats - walnuts, pistachios, and almonds - in a rich, honey-caramel syrup delicately flavored with rosewater.

The tart shell used a press-in dough made from flour, confectioner's sugar, and butter. It was flavored with grated orange peel and cloves.
Tart shell:
1.5 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/8th teaspoon of salt
10 tablespoons of butter
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
The dry ingredients can be quickly mixed up in the food processor or in a bowl. Add the butter in slices - it should be cold from the fridge. Pulse the food processor until the mixture looks like coarse sand. If doing it by hand, use a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers to mix. If you're using your fingers, press the slices of butter with the flour between your thumb and index finger, squeezing them and breaking them up with the flour.

Once the flour and butter are mixed, add the grated orange peel and cloves, and then add 2 - 4 tablespoons of cold water. The dough should gather into moist clumps, like wet sand - it shouldn't be a smooth doughy mass. Pour it into your tart shell (I used an 8" fluted shell) and then, using your fingers, press it flat and up the sides.

Freeze the shell for about a half hour.
Filling:
1/2 - 3/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 - 3/4 cup unsalted pistachios
1 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1.5 teaspoon rosewater

Toast the nuts on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until slightly browned. Chop by hand or in the food processor until they are a mixture of fine and coarse pieces.

Combine the cream, the sugars and honey in a heavy saucepan, and heat, stirring, until it begins to bubble. Cook about 5 minutes until it thickens and darkens slightly. Remove from the heat, then add the nutmeats and the rosewater.


Pour into the frozen shell. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes. Take out and cool, and remove the outer ring of the tart pan.

It will be a bubbly, dense, chewy, decadent pie - denser than the most sinful American-style Thanksgiving pecan pie. It has the texture of a Payday bar, chunks of nuts glued together in a rich, sweet goo. The rosewater and the hint of cloves and orange peel lend an exotic perfumed taste that evokes the Middle East or Greece or Persia.


Serve with sweetened whipped cream, or with yogurt sweetened with honey.

Recipe adapted from this one at Epicurious.com : Caramelized pistachio, walnut and almond tart.

7 comments:

Mary said...

What a gorgeous tart. That filling is really a triple treat and I can imagine how wonderful the three combined must taste. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

That looks delicious!

A pie a week....I think I would gain a few pounds.
~

Kate said...

This pie looks sooooooo good. Yum.
Thanks for the recipe!

MAYBELLINE said...

That's it. I need to know when your neighbor plans to sell. I must move in.

kcinnova said...

It's like a pie version of Baklava!

(Sadly, my cholesterol levels are denying me this pleasure.)

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Oh my head, that looks incredible!

Blog Princess G said...

Oh I'll be trying this! I'm very behind on catching up on all my favourite blogs. This looks amazing!