Grandmother’s Tart

Grandmother's Tart

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The British pine tree has been a source of pine nuts in cooking dating back to the Middle Ages and the Romans used pine nuts in both sweet and savoury dishes. British pine nuts, however, were very different from the modern imported ones, being of a rather pungent turpentine flavour and much smaller than the Mediterranean variety. The pine nuts we now use are invariably imported and are sweet, delicately flavoured and full of protein. This is an adaptation of a tart which is steeped in history. In France, it is known as Tarte Grandmere, and in Italy Torta della Nonna, and in Britain it is occasionally called Grandmother's Tart. This is a rather self-indulgent tart - rich and sweet, designed to please grandmothers and their grandchildren.
Servings: 8
Calories: 416


  • 8 oz rich sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 4 oz roasted pine nuts
  • 4 oz soft light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 oz ground rice or plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 oz caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto or brandy
  • 1/2 pint double cream
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar to decorate


  • Line a deep 23 cm (9 in) tart tin with the pastry and pre-bake or bake blind.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.
  • Spread the pine nuts over a baking sheet and place in the oven for 7 - 10 minutes, or until medium golden brown. Cool slightly, then chop the pine nuts roughly. Reserve 15 g (1/2 oz) pine nuts.
  • Mix the remaining pine nuts with the brown sugar, ground rice or flour and cinnamon and spread over the bottom of the pre-baked pastry case.
  • Lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk with the caster sugar in a bowl, then add the vanilla, amaretto or brandy and cream and mix well. Pour into the pastry case.
  • Bake in the oven for 40 - 45 minutes or until the custard is firm, but with a little wobble in the middle. Watch that the pastry edges do not burn and cover the edges with foil strips if necessary.
  • Cool and then cover with a dusting of sifted icing sugar and place the reserved pine nuts in a small cluster in the centre of the tart.
  • Serve with thick or thin cream.
Calories: 416 kcal
Carbohydrates: 45 g
Protein: 7 g
Fat: 23g
Saturated Fat: 8 g
Trans Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 81 mg
Sodium: 169 mg
Potassium: 170 mg
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 24 g
Vitamin A: 498 IU
Vitamin C: 1 mg
Calcium: 44 mg
Iron: 2 mg
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