The combination of the sticky toffee mixture, made from butter, sugar, honey and cream, and the fine flavour of the nuts works well with a simple crisp pastry shell.
To make the pastry: put the flour, salt and sugar in to the bowl of a food processor and ‘pulse’ to combine. Add the diced butter and process until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. With the machine running add the egg yolk and water through the feed tube and process until the mixture just comes together. Wrap and chill the dough until firm – about 20 minutes. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a couple of seconds until smooth.
Roll out the dough to a circle about 27cm across then use to line the flan tin: roll the dough gently around the rolling pin and lift it over the flan tin. Gently unroll the dough so it drapes over the tin. Carefully press the dough on to the base of the tin and up the sides so there are no pockets of air or holes. Roll the rolling pin across the top of the tin so the excess pastry is cut off. If necessary, gently neaten the rim with your fingers. Prick the base several times with a fork. Chill for 20 minutes.
Bake the pastry blind: heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas5. Line the pastry case with a sheet of non-stick baking parchment (if you crumple it up into a ball then smooth it out the paper will fit in easily) then weigh down the base with ceramic or dried beans then bake for about 15 minutes until the pastry is firm. Carefully remove the paper and beans and bake the empty case for a further 5 minutes or so until lightly golden and crisp.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool while making the filling (leave the oven on): put the nuts, butter, sugar, salt and honey into a large heavy frying pan ( non-stick if possible) and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until the mixture is a pale straw gold. Stir in the cream and cook for another minute until bubbling. Pour into the pastry case and bake for about 12 minutes until a deep golden brown. Leave to cool then unmould.
Serve at room temperature with vanilla ice-cream or cream.
Baker’s Tip: In the autumn you can get the best taste by using fresh unshelled walnuts , otherwise use an unopened bag of walnut halves.
Cuts into 8 – 10 slices
For the pastry case:
175g Marriage’s Organic Plain Flour
A good pinch of salt
1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 egg yolk, mixed with 2 teaspoons cold water
For the walnut filling:
250g walnut halves
125g unsalted butter
75g golden caster sugar
A good pinch of salt
75g set honey
225ml double cream
a 23cm/ 8 1/2 in loose-based flan tin