Pignon Tart

My hero doesn’t just do well with fish but he does a very creditable job with desserts, as well, particularly tarts. Pine kernels are certainly not cheap but lashing out on loads for this is well worth the investment.


serves: 8
preparation time: 1 hr
cooking time: 1 hr


  • 50g sultanas
  • 2 tbs eau de vie (clear spirit – proper German schnapps)
  • 1 quantity sweet pastry
  • 110g butter, softened
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 100g pine kernels
  • icing sugar (to dust)


Mix the sultanas and eau de vie together and let the sultanas soak for 2 hours, turning them occasionally.

Use 10g of the butter to grease a loose-bottomed flan tin measuring 2½cms deep by 22cms diameter. Roll out the pastry thinly and use it to line the flan tin. Prick the flan base well witha fork and chill it for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

Blind bake the pastry case, lined with greaseproof paper and baking beans, for ~15 minutes until the edges are biscuit coloured. Remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans and return the case to the oven for a further 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Remove the flan case from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/gas 4.

Make the filling. Beat the remaining 100g butter in a bowl until very soft. Beat in the caster sugar until light and fluffy. Lightly beat the eggs and beat them into the mixture gradually to prevent curdling. (Adding a few ground almonds along with later additions of egg apparently helps.) Mix in the ground almonds and any unabsorbed eau de vie. Fold in the sultanas and 75g of the pine kernels before filling the flan case with the mixture. Now distribute the remaining 25g pine kernels on top. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden on top. Now cover the flan with some domed foil to prevent burning while it finishes cooking for about another 15 minutes (until an inserted skewer comes out clean). Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Dust with icing sugar and serve at room temperature with crème fraîche or just regular cream, if you prefer.

Get a pdf version of this recipe

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