Delicately spiced nuts encased in tender, buttery pastry - even the burst of citrus from the lemon zest is authentic as you would normally find that in the syrup poured over the baklava. Easy to make and very good!
- 1⁄2 cup butter, room temperature
- 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1⁄4 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 small lemon, zest of
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 dash salt
- To make pastry: Dump everything into a bowl, roll up your sleeves and get your hands right into it. Work the dough well and knead for a couple of minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or more) before proceeding with recipe.
- Make 12 balls of equal size out of the dough and tamp a pastry ball down into each of 12 non-stick muffin cups, making sure pastry covers bottom and comes 3/4s of the way up sides.
- To make filling: Mix all filling ingredients together well. Carefully distribute filling mixture into pastry-lined muffin cups.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. The pastry should be a light golden colour (loosely tent with aluminium foil if walnuts are browning too quickly, but the mixture will be dark – like a pecan or walnut pie). Wait 2 minutes after removing from oven and very carefully, using the tip of a thin, pointed knife, gently knudge each tart out of its cup and transfer to a rack to cool. Some tarts may be a little stuck, just run the tip of the knife around then knudge gently.