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 butter unsalted
- 30 gm caster or superfine sugar 2 tablespoons
- 1 egg yolk
- 40 ml water 2 tablespoons makes a 1/4 cup / 60 with the yolk
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 150 gm Rose Flower Jam or whichever you like
- 2 eggs 70 gm
- 100 gm butter softened
- 100 gm icing sugar
- 100 gm almond meal flour
- 100 gm Walnut flour or all walnut meal or almond if not available
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 20 ml rosewater 1 tablespoons
- 50 gm walnuts chopped
- 50 gm walnuts left whole for the top
Just a note. Add just enough liquid to bring the pastry together.
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