Choc Mint Squares
For a variation, omit peppermint essence to make plain chocolate squares.
50 g pecan halves
20 g cold butter, in small pieces
25 g self-raising flour
20 g brown sugar
450 g golden syrup
zest of 1 lemon
1 slightly rounded tsp ground ginger
2 large (or 3 small) red-skinned dessert apples
150 g fresh white breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
75 ml double cream
8-10 blackberries, halved
For the pastry:
225 g plain flour
2 Tbsp icing sugar
150 g cold butter, in small pieces
1 large egg yolk
For the pastry, sift the flour and sugar into a bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix the egg yolk in a cup with a teaspoon of cold water, stir it in and bring the pastry together with your hands (you may need a few more drops of water). Form a disc and wrap it in clingfilm; chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Line a round 23cm, 4.5cm-deep fluted tin with the pastry; chill for 20 minutes.
Scatter the pecans on a baking tray and toast them in the oven for 8-10 minutes; cool.
Line the pastry shell with baking paper and baking beans (or uncooked rice). Bake on a tray for 20 minutes, then take the paper and beans out and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the oven; reduce the temperature to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.
For the crumble, rub the cold butter into the self-raising flour. Mix in the sugar and half the toasted pecans, finely chopped. Mix in a drop or two of cold water – just until the crumble mix starts to clump together.
For the filling, tip the golden syrup into a pan and stir in the lemon zest and ginger. Peel and grate one of the apples, squeeze out the excess moisture and add the apple to the pan. Heat, then stir in the breadcrumbs, eggs, cream and a pinch of salt; mix well.
Tip the filling into the pastry and scatter with the crumble mix. Slice the other apple and arrange the slices on top of the tart with the remaining pecans and the blackberries. Bake for 45 minutes and serve.
Credits: Sarah Randell
Photo Credits: Dan Jones