1 batch sweet almond pastry (see recipe), baked into ten 7cm (2¾ inch) tart shells
125g (4½ oz) macadamia nuts
80g (2¾ oz) hazelnuts
50g (1¾ oz) almonds
250g (9 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
165ml (5½ fl oz) thickened (whipping) cream
40g (1½ oz) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
SWEET ALMOND, PISTACHIO OR HAZELNUT PASTRY makes one 30cm (12 inch) tart shell, two 23cm (9 inch) tart shells, ten 8cm (3¼ inch) mini tart shells or ten 7cm (2¾ inch) mini tart shells
200g (7 oz) unsalted butter, softened
120g (4¼ oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar
60g (2¼ oz) egg yolks
pinch of salt
280g (10 oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g (3½ oz) almond, pistachio or hazelnut meal (see Tip)
1 egg yolk, extra, for brushing

This is a sort of cross between pecan pie and nutty millionaire shortbread – nutty, caramelly, sweet and bitter. I’ve made this one using a combination of macadamias, hazelnuts and almonds, but you can use any nut combination you like – peanuts and pecans are a natural pair. Serve the tart with a dark chocolate ice cream for a really luxe dessert.


I’ve lumped these three nuts together because they are interchangeable in this pastry. Use any nut meal you love – these three, in my opinion, are the most flavoursome nuts and pack the most punch. Roasting the nuts before grinding them into a meal will see their flavour at the forefront of the pastry. If you skip the roasting, you will instead get a more mellow flavour with all of the benefits of the lovely sandy texture that nut meal adds. This pastry is best made a day in advance, refrigerated overnight and then massaged back into a pliable, workable dough when you are ready to use it.

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2.Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
3.Spread the nuts over a baking tray and toast in the oven for 10–12 minutes or until they are lightly golden. Set aside to cool, but leave the oven on.
4.Tip the sugar into a saucepan and stir over medium–high heat until the sugar has caramelised to a deep golden brown.
5.Add the cream and butter to create a caramel – be careful as this will splutter.
6.Bring the caramel to the boil to ensure the sugar is well dissolved, then remove from the heat.
7.Add the vanilla and salt and stir to combine, then stir in the toasted nuts.
8.Pour the nutty caramel into the baked tart shells and bake for 15 minutes.
9.Allow the tarts to cool completely so that the caramel sets before serving.
11.Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, icing sugar, egg yolks and salt together until evenly combined and smooth – you don’t want aeration here, just a nice cohesive mass.
12.Be sure to scrape down the side of the bowl to ensure the mixture is evenly combined.
13.Add the flour and nut meal and mix until the ingredients come together into a soft dough.
14.Turn the dough out of the bowl and use your hands to bring it together into a ball.
15.Flatten the pastry into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 1–2 hours (preferably overnight).
16.Put the chilled pastry on your lightly floured bench and massage it into a pliable dough.
17.Roll out the pastry until it’s 3mm (⅛ inch) thick and about 5cm (2 inches) larger than the tin or tins (just a guesstimate works here – don’t go getting out a ruler!).
18.Trim away any uneven edges to reduce tearing, and reserve any leftover pastry.
19.Drape the pastry over your rolling pin, gently lower it into the tin and press it into the edges.
20.Put the pastry in the fridge to chill for a further 15–20 minutes before baking.
21.Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
22.Line the pastry with baking paper and weigh it down with baking weights or rice.
23.Bake the pastry for 35–45 minutes for a 30cm tart shell, 30–35 minutes for two 23cm tart shells or 8–12 minutes for mini tart shells, removing the paper and weights halfway through cooking.
24.You want the pastry to be a beautiful, deep golden brown all over.
25.If you find any little holes in your pastry case, fill them with some of the leftover pastry and return the pastry to the oven for 2 minutes – if you don’t, the filling will leak out of the shell.
26.Finally, egg wash the hot pastry – whisk the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons water and evenly brush it over the surface.
27.The residual heat will cook the egg wash and seal the pastry. Allow the pastry to cool completely before filling.

Images and text from
First, Cream the Butter
and Sugar by Emelia
Jackson, photography
by Armelle Habib.
Murdoch Books
RRP $69.99.