Halawa & Pistachio Tart with Cornflake Cruch


For the crust:

1 ½ cups crushed graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

1/8 teaspoon salt


For the filling:

1 cup pistachio halawa

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

¼ cup corn syrup

2 tablespoons rose water

2 tablespoons sugar


For the corn flake crunch:

1 ½ cups cornflakes

¼ cup slivered raw pistachios

1 ½ tablespoons sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 cup milk powder

2 ½ tablespoons melted butter


First prepare the cornflake crunch which will be used as the garnish/topping.  This can be made ahead of time and kept in an air-tight container at room temperature for a couple of days.

Preheat oven to 275F.  Line a large cookie sheet with baking paper or a slip mat.  Place the cereal in a large bowl and gently crush to about half the original size using your fingers.

Add the pistachios, sugar, salt, and milk powder to the cereal; toss to combine.

Pour the melted butter over the mixture and stir to form small clusters. 

Spread the mixture evenly on pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow mixture to cool completely.

To prepare the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium sized bowl *(as you can see I substituted butter biscuits for the graham crackers as I didn’t have any on hand. Measurements remain the same)

Pour melted butter over the mixture and use a fork to combine, gently pressing the crumbs together making sure they are evenly coated with the butter.  The mixture should resemble wet sand. 

Transfer the mixture to a pie pan and press firmly into the bottom and sides of the pan.  Use a metal measuring cup to ensure the sides and bottom are packed well.  This also helps to create an even surface.

Place pan in the freezer to firm, about 30-45 minutes.   Once the crust is firm, proceed to preparing the filling.  Additionally, ensure the cornflake crunch is ready to go as you will need to sprinkle it immediately after pouring the filling so it will stick to the top (as it hardens quite quickly.

To prepare the filling, combine the halawa, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup, and sugar in a medium sized saucepan.  Cook on medium heat until mixture is melted, stirring often as to not let the milk burn.  Remove from heat and add rose water.  Stir to combine.

Immediately pour halawa mixture into the prepared crust.  Use the back of a spatula to smooth the top. 

Before the halawa filling sets, sprinkle the cornflake crunch over the top while still soft.  Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.  Serve cold and keep any leftovers refrigerated.

Cornflake crunch adapted from ‘Momofuku Milk Bar’ Cookbook via Martha Stewart