Lammas is one of the greater Sabbats in the Witches calendar year, celebrated on the first of August above the equator. It is known as a celebration of the first fruits and first corn (grain) harvest of the year; a little out of sync with the rhythm of the land here the last few years. Berry season has been in full swing for five weeks and it is very likely blueberries ( bilberries if you live across the pond and a traditional part of Lammas activities ) will be finished by the time we get to it.
Some recipes just don’t get better than when fresh berries are used while others allow for frozen variations. This recipe swings both ways so that if the season is past where you live, berries can still be part of your celebration table.
Feel free to mix and match the fruits and nuts in this recipe. This is a walnut raspberry combination but blueberries and almonds work as do blackberries and pecan. Feel free to mix and match as suits your taste and pantry supplies. If you go the frozen fruit route, keep fruit frozen when putting the recipe together. The flan may also need to bake a little longer.
You will need:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup walnuts
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
60 – 75 raspberries or enough for one layer of fruit of your choice
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. rum
Gather the ingredients while bringing your intention into the kitchen. Find a place of gratitude for the bounty the land has offered up. Release internal tensions through several slow deep breaths and inviting in the compassionate spirits, begin.
Combine the dry ingredients for the crust in a food processor. Flour, icing sugar, walnuts and butter. The walnuts can be added whole as the food processor will do a fine job of turning them into meal once turned on. Pulse for 30 – 45 seconds or until the dough forms a ball.
There is no need to grease the inside of the pan as there is enough fat in the cookie dough to allow for easy release, especially with a removable bottom in the form. The pan is best at a 9 to 10 inch width. I used a flan pan that was about 3/4’s of an inch in height.
My choice would be to use something a little deeper next time, especially if the berries I have to work with are as large as the ones I used this time, which might also involve increasing the egg mixture by 50%.
Place the dough in the form, using fingers to spread the dough. Press it evenly all over the inside of the tart pan and up the sides. Use the palm of your hand to even out the top if needed. Pop in the freezer and freeze for at least one hour. Longer is okay too.
I used a fork when the tart was baked to gently push down the corner of the tart shell where the flat portion meets the inside side side. This gave the filling more room at the edges and stopped that last piece of crust when eating the flan from being just cookie dough. That seemed to be the only place where there was excess expansion. If you feel, like when making pastry, that there might be some slumping, pastry weights are another option. Let cool while preparing the filling.
You can see in the picture that I got a bit ahead of myself and added the nuts before baking. It was no issue to take them off and add again once out of the oven. The few bits that did not come off where not a problem.
Place the raspberries over the nuts in an arrangment that makes sense to you, keeping the fruit level with or below the level of the tart form.
The filling is made by combining the eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and rum until there are no lumps and then pouring the mixture over the berries. Vanilla or almond extract are other options if you prefer a different finished flavour. Pouring slowly, covering as much territory as possible is a better option than filling up the center and letting it move out to the edges.
Bake for 40 minutes. The top should be nicely browned, the crust crisp and the filling set although it can still jiggle a little in the center, like a quiche would.
The cookie dough crust should have shrunk away from the form a little but if you see any place where the egg mixture has gone over the edge and is sticking or if something looks like it is still attached, a sharp knife can be used to separate the tart from the form before it cools and becomes a bigger issue.
When ready to serve, sprinkle the last of the chopped nuts over the finished tart and voilà!
This is a dessert that is best enjoyed fresh. The liquid from the fruit will, over time, affect the center but while everything is fresh and crunchy and soft centered — Enjoy!
Fruit & Nut Flan from My Kitchen Wand.