Notes: As the westernmost state, Hawaii has been pivotal in introducing us to a whole range of foods and flavors from the Far East and South Seas. This rich dessert uses Hawaii's signature nut. Make up to 2 days ahead; store airtight at room temperature.
1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine, cut in chunks
1 large egg
1 cup whipping cream
1 large egg white, beaten until frothy
How to Make It
Reserve 3 or 4 whole nuts for garnish. Rub remaining macadamias in a towel to remove excess salt; lift nuts from towel and set aside.
With your fingers or a food processor, mix or whirl flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and butter until mixture is fine crumbs. Add egg and mix with a fork or whirl until dough holds together; pat into a ball.
Press 2/3 of the pastry over the bottom and sides of a 1 1/2-inch-deep, 9-inch-wide round cake pan with removable rim. Cover and chill. Roll remaining pastry between 2 sheets of waxed paper into a 9-inch-wide round. Chill flat.
Meanwhile, pour remaining 2 cups sugar into a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan. Set over medium-high heat and stir often until sugar melts and turns pale amber, about 7 minutes.
Pour in cream (mixture will bubble up) and remove from heat. Stir until sauce is smooth, about 5 minutes. Stir in nuts (except those reserved for garnish). Let nut mixture cool 10 to 20 minutes, then pour into pastry shell.
Peel 1 sheet of waxed paper from pastry round and invert pastry onto nut-filled torte. Peel off remaining paper. Fold edges of top pastry in until flush with pan rim. Press pastry rim with the flour-dipped tines of a fork to seal. Brush top of torte lightly with beaten egg white.
Bake in a 325° oven until deep golden brown, about 1 hour.
Cool in pan on a rack 10 to 20 minutes. Run a thin knife between pastry and pan rim. Remove rim and let torte cool.
Garnish with reserved macadamia nuts. Cut into thin wedges.
I've made this several times to rave reviews. It is delicious, not difficult, and very impressive. Don't forget the egg wash on the top crust. This step is crucial for a professional presentation, as I found out when I forgot it once!
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