Somerset nut and cider brandy tart recipe

Somerset nut and cider brandy tart
Hix flavours this tart with his friend Julian Temperley's Shipwreck cider brandy - Matt Austin

I like to call this A Shipwrecked Tart – my version of a classic American pecan and bourbon pie, but made with my friend Julian Temperley’s Shipwreck cider brandy. I’ve made it in a long rectangular tart case, but you can do it in a round tart case or smaller individual ones.


Prep time: 25 minutes, plus chilling time

Cook time: 1 hour




For the sweet pastry

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

  • 140g caster sugar

  • 1 large egg, beaten, plus 1 more beaten for egg wash

  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

For the filling

  • 3 medium eggs, beaten

  • 200g soft dark brown sugar

  • 220g golden syrup

  • 120ml Shipwreck cider brandy

  • 100g unsalted butter, melted and left to cool

  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

  • 100g walnuts, roughly chopped

  • 100g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped or left whole as you like

  • 100g chestnuts (vacuum-packed or roasted and shelled), roughly chopped (prepared weight)

  • vanilla ice cream, crème fraîche, or double or clotted cream, to serve


  1. To make the pastry, cream the butter and caster sugar together until fluffy. Gradually mix in the large beaten egg until incorporated, then fold in the flour. Very briefly knead the dough on a floured work surface into a flattened ball. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  2. To make the filling, place the eggs, brown sugar, golden syrup, cider brandy, melted butter and vanilla essence in a liquidiser and blend until smooth.

  3. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the nuts along with a pinch of salt, mixing well. Set aside. To assemble, roll out the sweet pastry on a floured table to about 3mm thick.

  4. Grease a 25cm round tart tin (or a long tin, approximately 30x12cm, plus a smaller individual tin, as I have here) and line the tin with the pastry.

  5. Trim the edges and use the trimmings to patch up any holes that might have appeared; although the pastry is delicate it’s also quite forgiving. Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork. Place the pastry-lined tin in the fridge to chill for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6.

  6. Line the tart case with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes then remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until the base is golden and cooked.

  7. Brush the inside of the tart with egg wash, making sure to well cover any of the fork holes in the base to stop the filling leaking out. Return to the oven for 2 minutes to set the egg.

  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Give the nut mixture a stir and pour into the tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is golden and just set.

  9. Remove the tart from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature in the tin. Serve with vanilla ice cream, crème fraîche, or double or clotted cream.