Hazelnut Pastry and a Savoury Tart

Last year our squirrel family must have found alternative lodgings, as we did not see them all year, and we enjoyed eating our own nuts. This spring our squirrels returned, so the hazelnuts have long been harvested! I know/suspect it is the same family, as one of them always builds this above my balcony…

He doesn’t live there, but seems to take an afternoon nap there in winter occasionally when the sun shines on it!

At our autumn market a few weeks ago (how time flies!) I bought some hazelnut flour/meal. The smell when I opened the packet was delectable! This would be a wonderful choice for Christmas cookie dough, instead of ground almonds.

However, there’s plenty of time yet till Christmas cookies are on the agenda, and I had plans for pastry. I like experimenting with pastry, and this tart crust was absolutely delicious – aromatic and hazelnutty – and from now on I will definitely use hazelnuts in pastry more often!

Hazelnut Pastry Mushroom and Leek Tart

Here’s the pastry recipe, and the recipe for the leek and mushroom filling too.

  • Grease a 28cm/11 inch flan dish. Preheat oven to 200°C/425°F.
  • Sieve 100g (7/8 of a cup) plain flour, 50g (2/5 of a cup) wholemeal flour, and 50g (2/5 of a cup) hazelnut flour/meal (or very finely ground hazelnuts) with a pinch of salt. Cut 115g (1 stick) cold butter into the flours and rub in with fingertips until crumbly. Add a twist of nutmeg. Stir in just enough cold water to form the dough into a smooth ball. Do not kneed it, but try and handle it as little as possible. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Roll out to a circle large enough to fit your flan dish. Press into dish and prick base with a fork. Bake blind for 5 minutes.
  • Thinly slice 2 leeks and sauté in a little butter or oil until very soft. This can take about 20 minutes. Add 400g (14 oz) sliced mushrooms and cook until tender. In a bowl, mix 2 eggs, 150ml ( 3/5 of a cup) crème fraîche, 2 tbsps milk, 1 tsp mixed herbs (I used bear’s garlic), salt and lots of black pepper. Pour the leek mixture into the tart and cover with the creamy mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Look at that lovely crust!

(P.S. I had a tiny bit of pastry left over, which I used to try a sweet filling: nutella, bananas, chocolate etc. Very nice BUT – I couldn’t taste the hazelnut pastry with all that sugary sweetness! I therefore suggest sticking to savoury fillings!)

😉

Conversion Tables: http://www.traditionaloven.com/tutorials/conversion.html

33 thoughts on “Hazelnut Pastry and a Savoury Tart

  1. The story of the squirrel taking a nap in his other nest is interesting. The squirrles where I live are wreck havoc in the fall on pecan trees. Some people trap and release them at the lake or the river. I have one pecan tree but I would need to spray it in the spring to kill a disease that ruins the pecans before they are ripe. I let the squirrels have what ever few pecans the tree produces.

    The tart looks delicious. I enjoyed this post a lot..

  2. Hazelnut trees are not widely grown here, but that’s slowly changing. Most species are hardy enough to grow in our cold climate, which is great! Your tart looks fabulous, and what a great idea to use hazelnut flour!

    • Absolutely! And it goes well with various savoury fillings! (Have also tried it with carrot and ricotta quiche) I hope you get a chance to try it! 😀

  3. That looks delicious. i can almost smell it.

    We have what we think is a squirrel nest in our orange tree but no activity. They used to pick our almond tree clean as well, but sadly, the tree died.

    • It does smell good while baking! Sad about the almond tree. The nest in the orange tree may be a hiding place for food. I’ve read that squirrels build up to a dozen different drays for different purposes… napping, raising a family, storing food etc. 😉

  4. Interesting to read about your squirrel. The tarte looks delicious! Sometimes we mill our hazelnuts for use in cake. Is the flour you bought different, finer?
    (slightly foggy November-day)

    • The flour was much finer than ground hazelnuts, although I’m sure normal ground hazelnuts would work just as well. The dough may need a little more water to keep it together, or even an egg, but I think the flavour would be the same. (Foggy here again too – let’s hope for some sunshine soon!)

  5. Looks delicious – another of your recipes that I’ll definitely be trying! We rarely see squirrels in the garden, except when the cobnuts are ripening – they always strip the trees of nuts before I can harvest them.

  6. Boy, do I wish I had some hazelnuts…they’re in the Master Plan, but not for next year.
    I made a cookie at Christmas last year with ground hazelnuts subbing for part of the flour – they were heavenly. Hope I didn’t lose the recipe…

  7. That looks yummy, I can almost smell it!
    When I was mother’s help-ing, the lady made a delicious torte with ground hazelnuts, layered with cream and apricot pie filling. I remember the layers were kind of between a chewy meringue and a light sponge, but unfortunately I didn’t ask her for the recipe.

    • How lovely to hear from you Susan! 😀 😀 😀 That cake sounds really scrummy. If you ever come across a similar recipe let me know. Hope it’s sunny today – fog here. Love and hugs! 😀

  8. Oh that tart looks very very VERY yummy. Why do I always check out these posts with delicious recipes just before lunch time. I’m getting really hungry over here 😉
    Thanks for sharing Cathy, I might give it a go!

  9. As to the squirrels: In 2011 I never saw squirrels in our garden. During this autumn – from the end of August, September. October till now – I often could watch one redbrown and two darkbrown ones bustling about in our hazelnut bush. Now and then such a droll busy animal even ran across our terrace.
    Cathy, this tart looks very delicious and I surely would enjoy it very much, but I may not eat this dainty filling….
    Please remind me to buy hazelnut flour when we shall visit our autumn market next year. It really will
    be a wonderful choice for Christmas cookie dough….

    • Thanks Mountainmae. It is very aromatic, gluten-free, and natural too. Sadly I’m running out of mine already, but I’m sure finely ground hazelnuts would be just as good. 😀

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