Walnut Rose Petal Jam Tart
I love walnuts but they aren’t everyone’s favourite. Have you ever had a fresh just shelled Walnut? They are sweet and very crunchy.
If you have ever had those dark, bitter, stale little walnuts in bags from the supermarket then I don’t blame you if you don’t like walnuts. The taste has as much to do with the type of walnut as much as the fact they aren’t fresh. There is hope though. I made this tart from sweet lovely Australian walnuts.
Fresh Walnuts are amazing have you tried them?
There are almost 1.5 million tonnes of walnuts produced globally each year, the USA and China are the two major producers. The demand throughout the world for tree nuts is soaring and although Australia produces masses of Almonds and Macadamias they are just starting to enter the race to grow Walnuts. Mind you there is no race when it comes to Walnut growing because it’s four years before you can even think about harvesting a walnut from a tree and then it’s another four years till it actually reaches maturity, eight years in total in investment before any kind of return.
Walnut trees are wind pollinated and can grow to 25 metres living a hobbit-ish life of up to 200 years. Australia is experiencing an incredible growth in the Walnut industry. Last year we produced 12,000 tons. Does that sound like a lot?. Well California produced 470,000 tonnes and China produced 600,000 tonnes, but hey we are trying. In Australia they are harvested around mid April each year, usually mechanically shaken from the tree. They grow commercially in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales with smaller orchards also in the Adelaide Hills and Riverland regions of South Australia and in south-west Western Australia. Their is one major producer of note, Walnuts Australia, and they are stepping up the game. They have not only invested in planting but have set up Australia’s first $11 million cracking processing plant at Leeton. Incredibly before now nuts were sent to Vietnam to be shelled then sent back here again!.
Most nuts grown here are light coloured and very sweet rather than the dark bitter ones. Try and find some near you and check the difference.
Last month I showed off a jar of Rose Petal Jam I was given. It’s a lovely light jam with a lightly rosy flavour and lovely pinky red colour. It was a serendipitous occasion because I had a big bowl of left over egg yolks in the fridge as well. This encouraged me to make some pastry and then a filling based on the jam. It’s kind of like a walnut Frangipane. If you don’t have Rose Petal jam use any that you have on hand
- 250 gm Plain Flour
- 150 gm unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons (30 gm) caster or superfine sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons of water (makes a ¼ cup/ 60 ml with the yolk)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 150 gm Rose Flower Jam ( or whichever you like)
- 2 x Eggs
- 100 gm (3.5 oz) Soft butter
- 100 gm (3.5 oz) icing sugar
- 100 gm (3.5 oz) almond meal ( flour)
- 100 gm (3.5 oz) of Walnut flour or all walnut meal
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 tablespoons rosewater
- 50 gm (2 oz) walnut pieces - chopped
- 50 gm whole and pieces walnuts for the top
- Make the pastry first by putting the flour, butter, sugar and salt into a food processor and blending till combined (It will have an even bread crumb like look)
- Add the (1/4 cup- 60 ml) combined cold water and egg yolk and process till it comes together in a ball.
- Tip onto the bench and push into a flat disc and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Roll out using a little extra flour to stop it sticking to the bench. Trim the edges and then rest again for ½ an hour in the fridge ( or 15 minutes in the freezer)
- Line with baking paper and bake blind filled with beans or rice for 15-20 minutes then remove the paper and bake till golden ( another 10-15 minutes).
- Meanwhile beat the butter, sugar and rosewater till light and fluffy in the bowl of a stand or hand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time then add the nut flour and 50 gm of the chopped walnuts . Mix well
- Spread the jam onto the base of the tart case. The filling is like a thick batter . Spoon it onto the base and spread with a spoon and finish by pushing it into place with your fingers Cover with the remaining walnut pieces.
- Bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes you can place a piece of foil over the top if you like. This will prevent the walnuts from scorching. Bake another 10 minutes ( Total 40 minutes)
- I like to paint mine with some melted jam when it comes out of the oven for shine and taste. You will have to dab it a bit as the jam will try to pull the nuts off. if they move just stick them back.
When baking blind make sure you bake the pastry till it is golden crisp and cooked through. That way the finished pastry will be gloriously crisp and perfect. It wont cook too much more once filled and baked again