Pine Nut Tart

It had been a busy week for me of hectic baking and finally I am getting some rest. I also realised that I cooked only once last week, 😉 hubby asked because Sunday was my off day sometimes from cooking. I had an Italian indulgence on Saturday. My dear friend invited us over for dinner, her husband who is Italian is a fab cook and wants his Italian food done in the most authentic way ever. Having said that, we know that each time we are invited we have to fast or starve ourselves for the day or actually start the day before, heheheh! Mind you there will not be just 3 courses! I just love Giovanni’s tiramisu I always told him whatever it is must have tiramisu. The glut that I am I will always have 2 or 3 servings of tiramisu, after all the courses!. Oh well, I have a fire breathing dragon in the depth of my stomach I guess because it sort of disintegrate all my food that enters. On that Italian Mediterranean note I found this recipe in Flavours magazine. That issue they were doing some Mediterranean stuff. This recipe uses pine nuts and orange blossom water. I love the scent of orange blossom water its just sweet and exotic that goes very well in custards, cookies or sweet desserts. It is actually a highly aromatic liquid distilled from bitter orange blossoms. They have been used for centuries in Iran, Africa and Turkey in their cakes, confections and desserts including their Turkish delight, sorbet or ice creams. Pinenuts, are just lovely toasted lightly and made into pesto or tossed in a salad, pasta or baked in a dessert like this or cookies too! They are the edible seeds of pine trees that grow in Italy, China, North Africa, Mexico and South Western United States. The nuts are high in fat and expensive owing to the labour intensive process of harvesting them. These little fellas from Italy or the Mediterranean variety are more expensive due to its delicate flavour and shaped like little torpedoes. The ones from China are shaped like a squat triangle and has a pungent pine flavour and aroma. Pine nuts are highly susceptible to rancidity and should be store in an airtight container or in the refrigerator or freezer. Also known as Indian nuts, pinon nut or pignoli. So here is the recipe below for anyone who wish to try it. I guess rosewater would make it lovely too, but that would be a different story. 😉

Recipe for Pine Nut Tart Scented with Orange Blossom Water adapted from Flavours Magazine, Cuisine Studios

Shortcrust pastry
150g flour
65g butter
50G sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 egg lightly beaten

Custard filling
400ml milk (I used 210ml evaporated milk, 150ml milk, 40ml pouring cream)
4 egg yolks
150g caster sugar
30g cornflour
1 tbsp orange blossom water (or orange flower water some call it)
1 lemon zested
70g pine nuts (or slightly more its okay.)

To make pastry:
1. In a mixing bowl, or food processor,  combine the flour, butter, sugar, salt. Add egg gradually to form a dough.
Wrap with a cling film and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

To make filling:
1. Bring milk to  boil in a saucepan. In a separate bowl cream the yolks and sugar. Add in the cornflour and mix well.
2. Bring saucepan off the heat and slowly pour a little boiling milk in to the egg mixture and mix well. You have to work fast so that u will not scramble the eggs. Then add the yolk mixture  back into the saucepan with the balance of hot milk and cook over low heat, whisking until mixture is thick and bubbles appear.
3. Transfer to bowl mix in orange blossom water and lemon zest. Chill covering with a cling wrap touching the cream custard so that it does not form a skin.
4. To bake, Preheat oven at 180C ( remember no oven is the same in temperature so adjust accordingly). Place greased 20-22cm tart tin on a baking tray lined with parchment paper ( I just place it in tart tin when cool u can lift it off easily)
5. Roll out dough on silicon mat or between 2 cling wraps so that u can undo one side and place the other onto tart tin. Tidy edges. Fill the tart shell with cream custard, sprinkle with pine nuts and bake for 40 minutes or so. Remove from oven and cool before serving or refrigerating.
To serve Dust with icing sugar or drizzle with honey.
Happy trying peeps!


About Nisa Koolhaas

Hi there, I’m Nisa, housewife to a Dutch husband in Singapore. We live with two cats, Nappy and Lulu. Cooking and baking is a crazy passion in me, since young. I love trying different recipes from any nook and corner of the world, or various foodblogs from dedicated fellow bloggers who are food fanatics just like me. I hope you will enjoy reading my kitchen experiment ramblings, plus some recipes I have tried and tested, hopefully they work for you as they did for me. I will update as much and as best I can as I embark with you on my food journey, trials and errors. Please feel free to leave me a note, link, comment or email. I would really love to hear from you. Thank you kindly!
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