Our kitchen garden cook goes nuts for hazelnuts at this time of year – try her delicious recipes that make the most of this seasonal treat.

We have a glorious hazelnut tree, but, each year, the squirrels stash the nuts away before they’re even ripe. Luckily, my local supermarket also squirrels hazelnuts away, in neat little plastic bags on shelves.

Chocolate, pear and hazelnut frangipane tart

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 60g ground hazelnuts
  • 140g plain flour
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 free-range egg

For the frangipane

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 beaten free-range egg
  • 100g ground hazelnuts
  • 1tbspn cocoa powder
  • 30ml milk
  • 3 ripe pears
  • 50g chopped, toasted hazelnuts
  • Grated plain chocolate to serve

Method
In a food processor, blitz the hazelnuts until ground, then add the remaining pastry ingredients – flour, butter, sugar and egg – and pulse until it just comes together. Tip onto a clean surface and bring together to a disc with your hands. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat your oven to 200˚C/350˚F/gas mark 6 and prepare a loose-bottomed, 25cm fluted tart tin with a parchment circle in the base.

Gently roll out the dough to the thickness of a £1 coin on a lightly floured surface. Line the tin with pastry, trim the edges, prick the base and put back in the fridge for about half an hour (chilling it will avoid shrinkage). Bake the chilled tart base for about 10 minutes or until gently browned.

To prepare the frangipane, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the beaten egg followed by the ground hazelnuts and cocoa powder. Mix well and add a splash of milk, if needed. Peel, halve and core the pears, then slice them thinly, but without cutting all the way through. Pour the filling into the tart case, arrange the pears on top and bake for about 25 minutes or until the frangipane is set.

Scatter the cooked tart with chopped, toasted hazelnuts while it’s still hot and then sprinkle with grated chocolate before serving warm slices with cream.

More ways with hazelnuts

Hazelnut, fig and Mozzarella salad

Roast halved figs with a little seasoning and olive oil until slightly softened. Mix the figs together with torn Mozzarella pieces, handfuls of rocket and roasted and chopped hazelnuts. For the dressing, shake together 100ml of olive oil, 30ml of red-wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses and seasoning. Drizzle over the salad and serve.

Hazelnut-and-Parmesan crumbed pheasant goujons

Cut pheasant breasts into goujons and dip each one first in flour, then beaten egg and finally a mixture of ground hazelnuts, grated Parmesan and seasoning. Batch fry in oil and butter and serve with aioli and salad.