Makes one 23cm/9in tart
Preheat the oven to 200˚C/fan oven 180˚C/gas mark 6.
Place the mixed nuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the preheated oven or for 2-3 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool and then roughly chop them.
To make the pastry by hand, rub the flour into the cold butter with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs. Pour in the cold water, a tablespoon at a time, until it starts to form a dough. Gently knead the dough for 30 seconds, just until it comes together (be careful not to over-knead.) Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
To make the pastry in a food processor, put the flour and cold butter into the processor and whizz until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the cold water and pulse until it comes together. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry on a floured worksurface and use it to line a 23cm/9in loose-based flan tin. Chill again, this time in the freezer for 15 minutes. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake it blind (see Lotte’s tips) in the oven for 10 minutes.
Remove the paper and the beans and then return to the oven for 2 minutes. Brush with a little of the egg for the filling, place on a baking sheet and then return again to the oven to seal for 1-2 more minutes. Remove.
Reduce the oven temperature to 180˚C/fan oven 160˚C/gas mark 4.
To make the filling, beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Slowly add the beaten eggs and cornflour. Stir in the maple and golden syrup and the vanilla extract. If it looks a bit curdled, don’t panic it’s fine!
Stir in the toasted nuts, and then pour the filling into the pastry case.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Cover with a piece of foil and then replace in the oven for another 25-35 minutes or until the filling is just set in the middle.
Serve warm with some cream or ice cream and perhaps a little more maple syrup.
Scrunch your piece of greaseproof up a bit, you’ll find it fits the flan tin better. I don’t use bought baking beans made of clay – I use green lentils. I keep them in a jar for this very purpose and use them over and again – cheap to buy and they last for ages!
This tart is a rather marvellous way to use up the Christmas nuts that you buy each year with enthusiasm and then spend the rest of January regretting – the pile never seems to go down! Use them for this - any mixture of nuts will do.