Sift in the flour then rub in butter. Add egg yolk and water. Mix to form a dough then knead lightly on a floured surface until smooth. Roll out and use to line a 20cm fluted flan ring or pie dish. Chill for 20-30 minutes if possible.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Line pie pastry with greaseproof paper. Bake on top self for 15 minutes. Remove paper then return to oven for 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
Cream butter and sugar until soft and creamy. Gradually beat in the syrup. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla essence (mixture may look curdled). Pour into the prepared pastry case then sprinkle nuts over the top.
Bake at 220 degrees C for 10 minutes. Lower the temp to 180 degrees C then cook for an additional 30-35 minutes. Serve cool with whipped cream.
Maple syrup can be used in place of the golden syrup and walnuts can be used in place of the pecans.