My grandmother often baked this walnut pie, especially for holidays. This pie can be stored without refrigeration, and it was a great thing in the old days when fridge didn’t even exist. Although written sources are not available, I’m inclined to think that this walnut pie appeared first in the Hungarian cuisine sometime during the 19th century. The word magnate in its name may also refer to that age, I believe it was called magnate’s pie because only the wealthy class could afford to buy walnut and lemon.
Making magnate’s walnut pie is not a big deal. The base is a shortcrust pastry topped with appricot jam and a light, fluffy walnut foam. Apricot jam can be replaced by any other kind of jam (plum, rapsberry, etc.). Making the grid on the top of the walnut filling needs some handiness, but don’t worry, if I can do it, you can do it, too.
For the dough:
- 300 g (~2 1/2 cups) flour
- 8 g (~2 tsp) baking powder
- 150 g (~2/3 cup) cold butter
- 100 g (~1/2 cup) sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- zest of 1 lemon
- pinch of salt
- 80 g (~2 3/4 oz) sour cream
For the fillling:
- 3 egg yolks
- 150 g (~3/4 cup) sugar
- 200 g (~7 oz) ground walnut
- 5 egg whites
- 400 g (~14 oz) apricot jam
Size of the baking pan: 34×38 cm / 13×15 inch
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 356°F.
In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar, lemon zest, salt and cold butter cut into small cubes. Add the egg yolks and sour cream and knead until a soft ball is formed. Roll out the two-thirds of the dough into a 1-1,5 cm thick rectangle. Place in a greased baking pan and spread to make edges. Set aside.
Whip the egg yolks with sugar, then add ground walnuts. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the walnut-yolk mixture.
Spread apricot jam on top of the dough, then pour the walnut filling on the apricot topping.
Roll out the remaining one-third of the dough into a rectangle and cut into 1 cm / 1/3 inch strips. Place the strips diagonally on the top of the filling to form a grid. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let completely cool before cutting.