Christine McFadden Cookery and Food Writing
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Christine McFadden with students
Barbecued Lobster with
New Potatoes, Watercress
and Chives
Blackberries with Sweet
Spiced Ricotta
Candied Seville Orange
Peel in Syrup
Celeriac Steaks with
Mushrooms, Parmesan and
Sizzled Sage
Celery and Barley Soup
with Seeds
Coconut Flour Pancakes
with Lime
Deep-Fried Egg
Easy Curry
Fennel, Orange, Olive
and Red Onion Salad
Globe Artichokes
Glorious Green Stir-Fry
Gooseberries with Orange
and Bay Syrup
Goose Egg Frittata with
Potato, Onions and
Piquillo Peppers
Greengage and
Cobnut Crumble
Guinea Fowl with Peppercorn
and Kaffir Lime Leaf Butter
Japonica Jelly
Korean Roasted Roots
Medlar and Ginger Creams
Medlar and Rosemary Jelly
Meringue Roulade with Strawberry, Cucumber
and Mint Filling
Mexican-Style Cabbage Soup with Pork and Beans
Moroccan Goat Tagine with
Apricots and Almonds
Oxtail, Celeriac and Carrots
Pan de Higo
(Spanish Fig Bread)
Pan-Fried Cauliflower with
Lovage Crumbs and Lemon
Parsnip and Ginger Cupcakes with Tangerine Drizzle
Pasta Con Le Sarde
Peach and Almond Ricotta
Peaches in Strawberry-Rose Syrup
Pear and Chestnut Tart with
Rosemary and Orange Syrup
Quince Compôte
Quince and Ginger Sorbet
Rabbit with Potatoes,
Peppers and Lemon
Roasted Parsnip and
Cumin Soup
Roasted Squash and
Chilli Soup
Roasted Swede, Ginger and
Spiced Black Bean Soup
Rosemary Sorbet
Rhubarb and Angelica Sorbet
Rhubarb Tart with Star Anise
and Orange
Salted Sevilles with Star Anise, Coriander and Chilli
Sea Bass Parcels
with Fennel and
Preserved Lemon
Sea Buckthorn, Apple
and Ginger Cake
Seville Orange Ice Cream
Sicilian Sesame Bread
Spiced Medlar Tart with
Walnut Pastry
Spiced Poached Pears,
Walnuts and Sheep’s Cheese
Spiced Roast Quince with
Honey and Clotted Cream
Spring Lamb and Barley Pie
with Lemon, Rosemary
and Mint
Strawberry and
Black Pepper Ice-Cream
Strawberry Compôte with
Tarragon and Orange Zest
Steak and Kidney Pie
Sweet Pepper Tarte Tatin
with Black Pepper Caramel
Turkey Egg Frittata with
Roasted Red Peppers
Two-Cherry Yogurt Ice
Venison Vindaloo
Warm Duck Breasts with Peppery Leaves, Radishes and Walnuts
Warm Salad of Partridge,
Pears and Walnuts
Watercress and
Mushroom Pâté
Medlars tarts walnuts pastry recipes Christine McFadden

Spiced Medlar Tart with Walnut Pastry

The pleasantly astringent flavour of this autumnal tart will have your friends guessing. Make sure the medlars are well bletted (see Remarkable Medlars) – the flesh should be dark orangey-brown and very soft.
The recipe looks long but can easily be broken down into manageable parts. For example, you can deal with the pastry the day before. You can also make the filling in advance and keep it in the fridge.
Serves 6–8

for the pastry:
shelled walnuts 55g
plain flour 150g
caster sugar 55g
salt a pinch
butter 75g, chilled and diced
egg yolks 2, lightly beaten
cold water 1½ – 2 tbsp

for the filling:
bletted medlars 850g
eggs 3, lightly beaten
single cream 150ml
caster sugar 75g
ground cinnamon ½ tsp
ground ginger ½ tsp
nutmeg ¼ tsp, freshly grated
salt ¼ tsp
lemon juice 1 tbsp
walnuts small handful roughly chopped, to decorate
icing sugar sieved, to decorate
whipped cream to serve

1) To make the pastry, first finely grind the walnuts using a food processor or Nutribullet. Next, sift the flour into a bowl, then mix in the sugar, ground walnuts and salt. Rub in the diced butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg yolks and water, and lightly mix to a dough. Roll into a ball, then flatten to form a thick disc. Wrap in greaseproof paper (not cling film) and chill for 30 minutes.

2) Lightly grease the base and sides of a fluted shallow 23cm tart tin with a removable base. Make sure the sides are well lubricated. Roll the pastry disc thinly into a circle and carefully lift it into the tin. Press it well into the sides with the edge of your index finger. Trim the top with a sharp knife and use the off-cuts to reinforce any weak areas. Chill for 30 minutes.

3) Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 6. Prick the pastry base with a fork and line with foil and baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and bake for 5 minutes more. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

4) Meanwhile, slice the medlars in half horizontally. Scrape out the flesh, discarding the seeds. Push through a coarse sieve, pressing hard with the back of a wooden spoon. Scrupulously scrape the outside of the sieve to remove every bit of flesh. You will need about 350g.

5) Set the oven temperature to 180°C/gas 5. Put the flesh in a blender with the eggs and cream. Combine the sugar, spices and salt in a small bowl. Add this to the medlar mixture along with the lemon juice, then whizz to a smooth purée.

6) Pour the purée into the pastry case. Bake for 45–50 minutes, rotating the tin halfway through, until a knife tip inserted in the centre comes out clean.

7) Leave to cool then sprinkle with chopped walnuts followed by a dusting of icing sugar.

Recipe © Christine McFadden, November 2022

    Photography: Christine McFadden    
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