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Recipe

Walnut, whiskey and salted caramel pie

This pie is given a lively hint of spice from the addition of rye whiskey, which pairs magically with walnuts and salted caramel. Complete with a homemade sweet pastry base, this recipe is all you need for a winter dessert.

  • 55 mins preparation plus cooling & resting
  • Serves 8 - 10
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Ingredients

  • 200 g walnuts
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp plain flour
  • 30 ml rye whiskey
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • Pure icing sugar and thickened cream or ice cream, to serve
Sweet pastry
  • 1 2/3 cups plain flour
  • 60 g pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 120 g butter, chilled, coarsely chopped
  • 3 egg yolks
Salted caramel
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 100 ml cream
  • 80 g butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Method

  • 1
    For sweet pastry, process flour, icing sugar and salt in a food processor to combine; add butter and process until fine crumbs form; add yolks and process to combine. Tip mixture onto a work surface and bring together with the heel of your hand. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 150ºC. Roast walnuts on an oven tray until golden brown (10-15 minutes). Cool briefly, then process in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Set aside.
  • 3
    Coarsely grate pastry evenly over base of a 25cm-diameter pie dish, then press evenly onto base and up sides. Pinch rim to create a crimped effect and refrigerate pastry case for 1 hour.
  • 4
    For salted caramel, stir sugar and 80ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, brushing crystals down sides of pan, until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and cook without stirring until a dark caramel (6-8 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in cream, butter, 100ml water and salt (be careful, caramel will spit). Return to heat and stir until smooth (1-1½ minutes). Stand to cool briefly (15 minutes).
  • 5
    Preheat oven to 170ºC. Whisk 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks together in a bowl; whisk in caramel, flour, whiskey, vanilla seeds and a pinch of salt. Stir in chopped walnuts, then pour into pastry case and bake until set and golden (25-35 minutes). Dust with icing sugar; serve with cream or ice cream.

Notes

Make sure the dough is chilled until firm before grating it. Grating, rather than rolling the dough, reduces the risk of overworking the gluten, and it's easier, too.

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