Our cook­ery writer and for­mer Great Bri­tish Bake Off com­peti­tor Kate Barmby has cre­ated a real au­tum­nal treat with her wal­nut frangi­pane twists.

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Nutty recipe with a wal­nut twist

As chil­dren dur­ing the au­tumn months, my brother, my sis­ter and I used to go to school look­ing like we’d been chain-smok­ers for 60 years be­cause our hands were per­ma­nently stained a re­volt­ing yel­low. This was not, in fact, due to a to­bacco habit, but in­stead the re­sult of a far more whole­some ac­tiv­ity – wal­nut gath­er­ing! There were two large wal­nut trees in our farm­house gar­den and we used to spend hours peel­ing the acrid green cas­ings to get to the nuts within. I used to be quite proud of my hands ‘gilded’ as a re­sult of my labours. I have al­ways loved the bit­ter-sweet taste of wal­nuts and now my own lit­tle squir­rel, Rebecca, is equally fond of them. I have de­vel­oped th­ese pas­tries as a way of pass­ing on my mem­o­ries of my child­hood to my youngest daugh­ter, Rebecca (my other daugh­ter, Lucy, can’t stand wal­nuts). I have lay­ered slices of English pears sprin­kled with chopped wal­nuts on top of a wal­nut frangi­pane on Dan­ish pas­try dough that has been twisted to re­sem­ble a wal­nut shell. Once baked the pas­tries are glazed with warm East Anglian honey. If you are short of time, th­ese pas­tries also work well with shop­bought puff pas­try.

Kate’s beau­ti­ful sea­sonal wal­nut frangi­pane twists. WAL­NUT FRANGI­PANE TWISTS



This will make dou­ble the amount of dough you re­quire but it’s eas­ier to make a larger quan­tity and freeze half of it for an­other day. The ex­tra dough can be used to make crois­sants, pain au choco­late or you could try mak­ing pas­tries with your own favourite fill­ings.

625g strong white bread flour, plus ex­tra for dust­ing 1tsp salt 75g chilled un­salted but­ter 10g Doves Farm Fast Ac­tion Yeast 75g caster su­gar 200g cold full-fat milk 3 large eggs A fur­ther 450g chilled un­salted but­ter ( Or al­ter­na­tively use a shop-bought puff pas­try)

Wal­nut frangi­pane

115g wal­nuts 115g caster su­gar 115g ic­ing su­gar 2 large egg yolks


2– 3 English pears Juice of a lemon 100g wal­nuts Honey to glaze

Method: dough

1 Put flour and salt into bowl of a stand mixer fit­ted with a dough hook. Use your hand to dis­trib­ute salt through the flour. Add 75g of but­ter cut into cubes, and rub into flour.

2 Once in­cor­po­rated add yeast and caster su­gar. Again dis­trib­ute th­ese through the flour, then place bowl on stand mixer.

3 Add eggs to jug con­tain­ing milk. Mix briefly with a fork.

4 With mixer run­ning slowly, grad­u­ally add milk and eggs mix and con­tinue mix­ing to a soft dough ( about six min­utes). Scrape this soft mix down from the sides a cou­ple of times dur­ing this process. The dough will not come to­gether as a smooth ball in the mixer; tip it on to a floured sur­face and knead briefly un­til it is smooth. I use a mixer and try to avoid han­dling the dough too much as I don’t want to melt the but­ter with the warmth of my hands.

5 Put dough in a large, tall plas­tic box ( I use a five-litre) and leave at room tem­per­a­ture for half an hour.

Wal­nut frangi­pane

6 Grind wal­nuts in a food pro­ces­sor fit­ted with a chop­ping blade un­til they are very fine. Then add caster su­gar and ic­ing su­gar and con­tinue to process un­til all in­gre­di­ents are evenly dis­trib­uted.

7 Add egg yolks and process un­til a soft dough is formed. Tip out dough on to the work sur­face and briefly knead into a smooth ball. Wrap the ball of wal­nut frangi­pane in cling­film and put to one side.


8 Peel and core pears and cut each one into 18 wedges. Toss th­ese wedges in a bowl with lemon juice to pre­vent dis­colour­ing.


9 Roll dough into a square ap­prox 50cm x 50cm. Ar­range slices of chilled but­ter into a square be­tween two sheets of bak­ing parch­ment. Bash and roll the but­ter into a square ap­prox­i­mately 30cm x 30 cm. Peel off the top sheet of parch­ment and place but­ter on to dough at 45 de­gree an­gle, so it forms a smaller di­a­mond inside the square.

10 Fold cor­ners of dough over the but­ter. Seal joints by gen­tly press­ing out any air as you go.

11 Gen­tly roll out the dough into a rec­tan­gle, be­ing care­ful not to ex­pose the but­ter. Reg­u­larly free dough from sur­face dur­ing rolling.

12 When the rec­tan­gle is about 60cm long, fold a short end into the cen­tre and the other end over that ( fold­ing the rec­tan­gle into three). Wrap dough in cling­film and leave to rest in fridge.

13 Roll and fold the dough three more times, turn­ing it through 90 de­grees each time. Re­turn dough to fridge for 15 min­utes be­tween each fold. The dough will be ready when it looks even and smooth and feels silky.

Shape the dough

14 Pre-heat oven to 200C ( fan). 15 Roll dough into a large rec­tan­gle ap­prox­i­mately 5mm thick. Use an 11cm pas­try cut­ter to cut out 12 rounds.

16 In cen­tre of each round place 30g flat­tened oval of wal­nut frangi­pane. On either side of frangi­pane use a sharp knife to cut a 1cm strip from edge of the dough. Do not join up the cuts. Lift the C-shaped strips over wal­nut frangi­pane, cross­ing them over to form twist. Push three slices of pear into frangi­pane, ar­ranged length­ways.

17 Place pas­tries on three heavy bak­ing sheets and leave to prove for about 20 min­utes.

18 Brush puffy pas­tries with beaten egg and sprin­kle cen­tres with chopped wal­nuts.

19 Bake in pre-heated oven for about 15 min­utes, un­til risen and golden brown.

20 Warm jar of honey with lid re­moved in mi­crowave for a minute on full power, then stir.

21 Once baked, put pas­tries on cool­ing rack to cool slightly.

22 While pas­tries are still warm to touch, brush them all over with warm honey.

A per­fect treat - Kate Barmby’s wal­nut frangi­pane twists.

Lay the sheet of but­ter on to the rolled out dough.

Fold the dough to cre­ate an en­ve­lope around the but­ter.

Fold­ing over the dough is an im­por­tant part of the process.

Care­fully ease the edge of the dough across the cir­cle to form a nest around the frangi­pane.

Sprin­kle chopped wal­nut pieces over the pears.

Cut out large cir­cles of pas­try.

Cut a slice into the dough on either side of the cir­cle.

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