Butter, for greasing
Scented orange cream (see recipe below), chilled créme fraîche or whipped cream, to serve
Sweet Almond Pastry
165 g (6 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
55 g (2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
40 g (1 ½ oz) ground almonds
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
120 g (4 ½ oz) cold butter, diced
1 egg, lightly whisked
Pine Nut Toffee Filling
150 g (5 ½ oz) pine nuts
2-3 large sprigs rosemary
80 g (2 ¾ oz) unsalted butter
150 g (5 ½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
40 g (1 ½ oz) mild honey
40 g (1 ½ oz) golden syrup or dark corn syrup
225 ml (7 ½ fl oz) thick (double/heavy) cream
Zest of 1 orange
Pinch of fine sea salt
36 x 13 cm (14 ¼ x 5 in) fluted tart tin with a removable base
To make the pastry, put the flour, sugar, almonds, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to blend. Add the butter and pulse a few more times, until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Don’t worry if it seems a bit uneven. Drizzle in the egg, then pulse in 5 second bursts, just until the pastry starts to clump together.
Tip the pastry out onto a lightly floured work surface and use your hands to bring it together briskly into a rough flattish disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
Liberally grease the tart tin and stick it in the fridge, too.
Take the chilled pastry out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature for 5-10 minutes so it becomes more pliable. Roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking paper. Aim for a rectangle 5 cm (2 in) larger than your tart tin; it doesn’t need to be too neat. Now lift the pastry onto the tin, pressing it into the base and edges and leaving an overhang. Take particular care to mold it into the fluted sides. Prick the pastry all over and return to the fridge for another 30 minutes (or longer) before blind baking.
Preheat the oven to 160ºC (320ºF) fan-forced/180ºC (350ºF).
Line the tart shell with foil and baking beans and blind bake for around 20 minutes until the edges are golden. Remove the foil and beans and return to the oven for another 5–10 minutes to set the base. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes. Use a sharp knife to shave away the pastry overhang, leaving a nice flush edge, then set aside until you are ready to add the filling.
For the filling, scatter the pine nuts onto a small baking tray and roast for 5 minutes until just beginning to color.
Strip one of the rosemary sprigs and finely chop the leaves – you need enough to make a generous tablespoon. Keep the other sprigs whole.
Put the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Add the sugar, honey, and golden syrup and stir over a low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for around 12 minutes until it caramelizes to a deep amber color. Swirl the pan every now and then.
Take the pan off the heat and pour in the cream, taking care in case it splutters. Swirl to combine and return to a low heat. Stir in the pine nuts, rosemary sprigs, chopped rosemary, orange zest, and salt and remove from the heat. Set aside for 20 minutes so the flavors infuse.
Remove the rosemary sprigs, then tip the infused pine nut mixture into the tart shell. Sit the tart tin on a large baking tray and bake for 30 minutes. You may need to cover the edges of the pastry with strips of foil to stop them browning too much. Once the filling has colored a lovely deep chestnut brown, remove the tart from the oven. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before unmolding and serving. This tart is gooey at room temperature and thickens up to a firmer toffee in the fridge; delicious both ways.
Serve with orange-scented cream, or with chilled créme fraîche or whipped cream.
Scented Orange Cream
125 ml (4 fl oz) thick (double/heavy) cream
80 g (2 ¾ oz) mascarpone
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
Combine the cream and mascarpone in a mixing bowl and whisk very gently to soft peaks. Fold in the orange zest, marmalade and orange blossom water with a large metal spoon and chill until required.
Formulation excerpted with permission from SUQAR by Greg and Lucy Malouf, published by Hardie Grant Books November 2018, RRP $40.00