Ireland Guide

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Highbank fruit and nut tart

Highbank Orchard Syrupby Eunice Power

This tart gets its name from the wonderful Highbank Orchard Syrup, which is made just from their own organically grown apples by the Calder-Pott family in Co Kilkenny. The syrup has a lovely tartness which gives an edgy note to counteract the sweetness of the caramel.

But be warned, once you cut this tart you will not be able to keep away - I keep nibbling slivers each time I pass through the kitchen! If you can’t find this delicious syrup, you can replace it with golden syrup – with a little lemon juice added for tartness. I have used ground almonds in the pastry, giving the pastry a light crumbly finish

Makes one 24 cm (9 ½ inch) tart (serves 8)

Pastry base

175g/6 oz plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
25g/1 oz ground almonds
25g/1 oz icing sugar - its fine starchiness makes the pastry more manageable
100g/4oz very cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk plus 1 tbsp cold water or 4-5 tbsp water

Lightly butter a 24 cm (9 ½ inch) tart tin and put it into the refrigerator.

Put the dry ingredients into a food processor and aerate with a couple of quick on/off pulses. Add the butter and process till the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water (as necessary) and process until the pastry just draws together.

Turn it out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly to form a flat round. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 20 minutes before rolling out.

Pre-heat the oven the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas mark 5

by Eunice Power

Roll out to a round at least 5 cm (2 inches) larger than the tin, wrap around the rolling pin, lift into place and unroll loosely over the chilled tin. Gently lift and press the pastry into the tin to line, then roll the rolling pin over the top of the tin to trim the excess pastry.

Line the chilled pastry case with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and cook for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the beans and paper and cook for another 10 minutes or a little longer, until a light biscuit brown.

Filling

200g/7 oz mixed nuts, I used roughly chopped walnuts, pistachio nuts, flaked almonds and hazelnuts
50g/2 oz dried cranberries
90g/3½ oz butter
60g/2½ oz castor sugar
60g/2½ fl oz (4 tbsp) Highbank Orchard Syrup (or golden syrup)
200ml/7 fl oz cream

To make the filling, put all of the ingredients except the cream into a large frying pan, cook stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is golden. Bring to the boil and add the cream, and let it bubble for a minute or two.

Take off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, then pour into the pastry base.

Return to the oven and bake for 12–15 minutes, until the filling is caramel colour.

Allow to cool, and then remove from the tin.

Serve at room temperature, with crème fraiche or cream.

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