I raise my eyebrows and think "Ohh, really Paul? you're a bit stating the obvious here, aren't you?", but already I'm gone, half smiling and suddenly taken back to my grandma's kitchen, where she would bake in minutes the most delicious apple cakes without ever measuring the ingredients. Two seconds later and I am thinking of my grandpa, flipping crepes in an old pan with a coin in his hand for good luck as told by old Pancake day traditions.
And you, if I talk to you about cakes and baking, where does that take you back to?
My walnut pie
This pie was supposed to be a pecan pie, but when my supermarket turned out to be out of maple syrup, I improvised!
I used golden syrup instead of maple syrup, and walnuts instead of pecans, to make this cheap and delicious alternative to our usual pecan pie!
This pie is surprisingly light and not dry at all. It shows off the flavours of the walnuts, coated in the lovely caramel-like filling. It's divine, and perfect for a winter tea break or dessert!
Ingredients for the pastry
185g plain flour
95g softened butter
95 caster sugar
1 pinch of salt
up to 30ml of water
Make the pastry
1/ In a food processor, place the flour, sugar, egg, and salt in the bowl with the dough hook. Process for 30sec until mixed
2/ Add the butter in cubes, while running, add the water via the feeder tube until the dough form and ball. (you might not need to use all of the water. just stop adding water when the pastry forms a ball)
3/ Take out of the processor, knead briefly and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for 30mins.
Ingredients for the filling
225g soft brown sugar
170g golden syrup
1/2 tsp salt
55g butter, melted
1tsp vanilla extract/ essence
2tbsp plain flour, sifted
Make the tart
1/ Pre heat the oven at 200deg C
2/ Line a metal pie dish with the pastry, prick all over with a fourch, cover with foil and baking beans (or rice) and bake blind for 15min. Remove the paper and the beans and bake for 5 more minutes (the pastry should be cooked but not golden)
3/ Chop 3/4 of the walnuts and put the best looking aside.
4/ In a big bowl, whisk the eggs. Stir in the sugar, golden syrup, vanilla essence, melted butter, salt
5/ Sift in the flour, making sure there are no lumps in the mixture, and stir in the chopped walnuts. Spread over the pastry case and arrange the remaining walnuts in top of the pie
6/ Bake for approx 25-30 min or until well golden. Serve warm or cold
Pastry recipe adapted from Magimix cook book
Filling recipe adapted from Leith Cookery Bible
I dedicate this blog post to my grandpa Maurice and my grandma Gisèle, with all my love.