Caramel Nut Tart

I finally found it again, just in time for Thanksgiving. This is one of the very first things I tried after winning some French tart tins on eBay 13 years ago. Hubby brought it to work for a pot-luck celebration of some sort and came home beaming — people were telling him how good it was and that I should sell it. It is just perfect — the crunch from the nuts, the caramelly stickiness of the honey and cream mixture, the rich all-butter crust and best of all, the simple chocolate glaze that’s just the perfect touch. Any more would be over the top.


from Gourmet, November 1998, p. 170

all-butter pastry dough:

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons ice water

3 cups pie weights or raw rice for weighting shell
1 1/2 cups pecans (about 6 ounces)
1 1/2 cups walnuts (about 6 ounces)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)

Accompaniments:
ginger ice cream
cinnamon nutmeg tuiles
Preparation
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Between 2 sheets of wax paper roll out dough into a 14-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick). Transfer dough to a baking sheet and chill 10 minutes. Lift top sheet of wax paper from dough and gently replace on top (this will facilitate removal of paper later). Flip dough over, discarding wax paper now on top, and carefully invert dough into an 11-inch tart pan with a removable fluted rim. Lightly press dough up side of rim, using pieces from overhang to patch any holes. Chill shell 30 minutes, or until firm.

Line shell with foil, folding over edge to cover pastry entirely, and fill with pie weights or raw rice. Bake shell on a baking sheet in middle of oven 35 minutes and carefully remove foil and weights or rice. If bottom of crust still has patches of translucent undercooked dough, return shell to oven without foil and weights or rice and bake until pastry is completely cooked and golden, 3 to 5 minutes more. Cool shell in pan on a rack.

Reduce temperature to 350°F.

Coarsely chop nuts. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and honey, stirring, and simmer 1 minute. Stir in nuts and cream. Simmer mixture 1 minute and pour into shell. Bake tart on baking sheet in middle of oven 30 minutes, or until filling is a few shades darker. Cool tart in pan on rack.

Chop chocolate and in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Cool chocolate slightly and transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a #3 plain tip (slightly smaller than 1/8 inch). (Alternatively, transfer chocolate to a small heavy-duty sealable plastic bag. Squeeze chocolate into one corner of bag and with scissors cut a tiny slice off corner to form a small hole.) Pipe thin lines of chocolate over tart in a back and forth motion to form stripes. Tart may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.


Will update with a photo after I make it again come November! Some diners are about to get really really lucky.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *