Ethiopian Honey Tart (Mare)

Elazar Tamano

4 hours

10-in / 26cm tart pan

Photo by Sivan Roshiano

When I joined my father on a heritage tour to Ethiopia, we visited his hometown village Uzava. My father travels to Ethiopia annually, but this was his first visit to the village in 40 years. When we arrived his neighbors, a Christian family and good friends of our family, were still there and welcomed us with a rustic Ethiopian hospitality. They have a beehive in the yard and keep the honey in barrels. We were served a huge honeycomb and Ethiopian coffee. I had never tasted honey like it before and wanted to share that experience through this tart — which takes its name from the term for ‘sweetie’ in Amharic. I use Ethiopian honey, which is white in color and has a deep vanilla flavor, but lately it has been challenging to source. 

I recommend making the effort and tracking down Ethiopian honey for this recipe, it is one of the finest honeys available! Alternatively, source honey from small independent producers — the flavor difference in the final result is significant. — Elazar Tamano

Check out recipes for kitfo (a beef tartare), injera, and more from Elazar’s collection here.

Ingredients

  • For the pastry:
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons / 300 grams all-flour
  • 3 tablespoons / 25 grams powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 7 ounces / 200 grams cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • For the honey filling:
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5½ tablespoons / 120 grams honey
  • 4 tablespoons / 40 grams cornstarch
  • 2½ cups / 600 ml heavy cream 38% fat
  • ¾ cup / 150 grams sugar
  • ½ teaspoon / 4 grams table salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
  • To serve (optional):
  • Atlantic sea salt
  • Fresh oregano blossoms or hyssop leaves

Preparation

  1. Prepare the pastry: whiz the flour, salt, powdered sugar and cold butter in a food processor in short pulses to a crumbly mixture. Add the egg yolks and process just until the pastry starts to form (avoid over-processing). Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film, flatten to a disc and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare the filling: Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and honey in a bowl. Mix the cornstarch with a little heavy cream in a saucepan until smooth with no lump. Add the remaining heavy cream while continuously whisking. Add sugar, salt, and ground cardamom and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until thickened. Gradually and while continuously stirring, pour into the warm mixture over the yolks in a very low stream (so as not to cook the yolks) to a smooth cream. Cover the surface of the cream with cling film and cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325°F / 170°C and grease the tart pan with butter.
  4. Roll the cold pastry between two sheets of parchment paper to 0.1-in / 3mm thick. Carefully transfer and press into the pan. Use excess pastry to patch any tears. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  5. Pour the filling over the tart, smooth to an even layer and bake until the mixture is bubbling and amber, about 45 minutes. Cool for at least 2 hours.
  6. To serve: sprinkle several crystals of Atlantic Sea salt, fresh oregano blossoms or hyssop leaves.

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