Chef's Recipes

Walnut and Armagnac tart

Australian Gourmet Traveller fare exchange recipe for walnut and Armagnac tart from Bistro Ortolan in Leichhardt, Sydney.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking plus macerating, freezing, cooling
  • Serves 6
  • Print
Walnut and Armagnac tart
“I had the pleasure of sampling the walnut and Armagnac tart at Bistro Ortolan in Leichhardt recently. Would you obtain the recipe?”
Joan Davey, Cronulla, NSW
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, , GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant’s name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


  • 30 gm dried muscatels
  • 100 ml Armagnac
  • 150 gm double cream
  • 60 gm walnuts, roasted, finely chopped
  • 50 gm caster sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 50 gm pure icing sugar
Walnut and date ice-cream
  • 150 gm walnuts
  • 400 ml milk
  • 150 gm caster sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 270 ml pouring cream
  • 100 gm dates, pitted and roughly chopped
Chocolate sable
  • 180 gm unsalted butter, softened
  • 80 gm pure icing sugar
  • 20 gm Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 200 gm plain flour
  • 50 gm cornflour
  • 30 gm almond meal


  • 1
    Macerate muscatels in half the Armagnac until plump (1 hour).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for walnut and date ice-cream, preheat oven to 180C. Roast walnuts on a baking tray until golden (5-7 minutes). Cool, coarsely chop, then combine with milk in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat, then stir over low heat until infused (30 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan (discard solids) and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk sugar and yolks in a heatproof bowl, then gradually stir in milk. Return to pan and stir continuously over medium heat until mixture reaches 85C and coats the back of a wooden spoon thickly (5-7 minutes). Add cream, strain into a heatproof bowl over ice, stir occasionally until cool. Freeze in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions, stir through dates, freeze until firm. Makes about 1 litre.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for chocolate sable, beat butter, icing sugar and cocoa in an electric mixer until smooth (2-3 minutes), beat in egg until just incorporated. Sift over flours and almond meal, stir until combined. Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate for 1 hour to rest. Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick, then cut six 12cm-diameter rounds and line six 10cm-diameter fluted tart tins, trimming edges. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Blind bake until just crisp (10-12 minutes), remove paper and weights, bake until crisp (5-7 minutes).
  • 4
    Reduce oven to 150C. Drain muscatels (discard liquid), scatter over base of tart shells. Whisk cream, walnuts, sugar, and egg in a bowl to combine, pour into tart shells, bake until just set (10-12 minutes), set aside to cool.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, combine icing sugar and remaining Armagnac. Brush tarts with glaze, cool to room temperature, serve with walnut and date ice-cream.


This recipe is from the July 2009 issue of .