Dear Deborah: I love everything about this tart. Not too sweet and with just the right touch of saltiness, this rustic dessert takes on light floral notes from the addition of Tasmanian honey, balancing the richness of the buttery pine nuts. The crust owes its perfectly flaky texture to a little lard, which the restaurant renders from heritage pigs. Pastry chef Suzanne LaFleur was happy to share her recipe, which we've adapted below.
Perbacco's pine nut honey tart
Total time: 1½ hours, plus chilling time
Note: Adapted from a recipe by Suzanne LaFleur at Perbacco Ristorante in San Francisco. Butter can be substituted for the lard in the crust if desired. Tasmanian honey is available at select gourmet markets and online; another good honey can be substituted. This recipe requires a 14-by-4-inch tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom. LaFleur recommends serving the tart with vanilla whipped cream or zabaglione and poached pears.
Scant 1 cup (4 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (½ ounce) cake flour
3/4 teaspoon (¼ ounce) baking powder
1 teaspoon (½ ounce) kosher salt
5 tablespoons (2½ ounces) cold butter
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (1⅔ ounces) cold lard
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
1. In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose and cake flours along with the baking powder. Add the salt.
2. Cut the cold butter and lard into cubes about one-fourth inch in size. Spread out on a metal pan and freeze for 30 to 60 minutes until well-chilled.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour mixtures with the chilled butter and lard. Mix the ingredients on low speed until the mixture comes together resembling peas. With the mixer slowly running, gently drizzle over the water just until the dough barely comes together.