If your favourite piece of natural produce has yet to be nominated a superfood of some sort, don't worry. Its time will come.
This week's nominee appears to be the walnut, which cures cancer if the Daily Mail is to be believed. The Mail is famous for regularly proclaiming that 'X' causes cancer and then a week later claiming it cures it, so I wouldn't put too much faith in their statement. I am sure that walnuts are good for you in moderation, and they may well have positive effects on blood pressure, brain function, and the like, but the main reason to eat them is because you enjoy them. Be warned - like many nuts, walnuts are high in calories.
The recipe below the jump certainly won't cure cancer, but it will cure a sweet-tooth craving. What more could you want?
250g plain flour
2 tbsps sugar
1 tsp salt
9 tbsps cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg
3-5 tbsps ice water
160ml double cream
370g sugar, with 30g held back
4tbsps unsalted butter
1.You will need to make enough pastry to fill a 9-inch loose-bottomed tart tin. Put the flour, sugar, and salt from the pastry section of the ingredients in a large bowl, and whisk together. Then, using your (clean!) fingers, rub the butter into the mix until the combined ingredients begin to look like coarse breadcrumbs. Beat the egg with 3tbsps of chilled water and stir into the mixed ingredients until fully incorporated. The dough should hold together when you squeeze it. If it doesn't, slowly add more water, stirring as you add. Stop once the dough holds together, and do not overwork. Press the dough into a five-inch disk, cover with clingfilm, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
2. Roll out the dough to a twelve-inch round. Carefully fit the dough into your tart tin, pressing against the sides as you go. Trim off the excess. Refrigerate for another half hour.
3. Pre-heat oven to 220°C.
4. On a baking tray, toast the walnuts for about five minutes. Put the walnuts aside, and put the baking tray back in the oven.
5. Using a small saucepan, heat the cream slowly. While waiting for the cream to heat, bring the water and 340g of the sugar to the boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. As the pan is heating up, stir constantly until the sugar has fully melted, taking care to wash down any sugar stuck to the sides of the pain. Once the sugar has melted, stop stirring and let the pan come to the boil. The caramel should become amber in colour.
6. Remove the caramel from the flame and slowly pour in the heated cream. It will bubble like mad. It's supposed to. Once the bubble have died down, stir in the walnuts and the butter (1tbsp of butter at a time), and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly, over a medium heat.
7. Pour the filling into the shell and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar. Put the tart in on the pre-heated baking tray and bake for around 25 minutes. If the top looks like it's at risk of burning, cover it with a silver foil tent. Reduce heat to 160°C and bake until the filling is set; this should take about 15 minutes. The tart should be a deep golden-brown with a golden crust.
8. Let the tart cool in its tin for about half an hour. While the tart is still slightly warm, slide the tart - on its loose-bottom disk - out of the tart tin. It is now ready to serve.