As far as pies go, this one is not only inherently comforting, but there’s also something hopelessly autumnal about it. About its caramel filling, warm and toasty and really, yes, really, best when it just comes out of the oven, bubbling gently. About its crust, buttery and flaky, holding its shape when you cut into it and meltingly soft to the taste. In short, it’s the best accompaniment on a cosy autumnal evening or, as timing would have it, the best kind of pie for a wintry March morning, with the wind blusteringly, bitingly cold.
You can have this cake ready in under two hours, from start to finish, and the only fussy part about it is making the caramel filling, which is something you can do if you have ten minutes to spare.
If I had to point a flaw, it’s this one: I don’t remember where I got the recipe, which is written down on a piece of spare paper and which I pulled out of my “Recipes To Try” binder a number of years ago. And more’s the pity.
Walnut and Hazelnut Pie
- 300 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 100 grams light soft brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 150 grams butter, cut into small cubes
- 150 grams caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 125 millilitres double cream
- 125 grams walnuts, roughly chopped
- 100 grams blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- To make the pastry, sift the flour and baking powder above a big bowl, and stir to combine. Add sugar, 1 egg and the butter and mix until a slightly sticky but soft dough forms. You can also do this in a standing mixer.
- Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 26cm springform tin with a little butter.
- Once the pastry has cooled, roll out on a floured work surface to the thickness of 2-3 millimetres and slightly larger than the tin. Cover the bottom and the sides of the tin and save the excess pastry for the top of the pie.
- For the filling, put the sugar in a thick-bottomed saucepan over low heat and melt until lightly golden, about ten minutes. Carefully add the honey and the cream and mix well. Add the chopped walnuts and hazelnuts and stir, coating the nuts evenly in the mixture.
- Pour the nut mixture to the prepared tin and spread evenly over the bottom. Cover with the excess pastry in whatever pattern you like; I usually either opt for a make-shift lattice top, as pictured, or cover it entirely. Brush with the remaining egg until evenly coated.
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling and fragrant.