Apple Walnut Gorgonzola Rustic Tart

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Every fall we are blessed with a bounty of apples and walnuts. I grew up in what used to be a walnut orchard. At one time our home had 5 huge trees, covering both front and back yards, and yielding 500 pounds of walnuts a year (which sounds great unless you are the teenager chain-ganged into spending your afternoons and weekends raking mountains of dank leaves and stooping to pick those hundreds of pounds of nuts.) The trees are old now. We’ve lost 2 of the 5 trees (commercial orchard trees don’t last forever and these were planted at least 50 years ago), and the remaining trees are just sputtering. It’s only a matter of time before they’re gone too. So we enjoy the bounty while we have it (and leave a bunch for the crows and squirrels.) This tart is a riff on an apple walnut turnover I made this summer. Same idea, an outstanding combination by the way, just this time with maple syrup instead of honey, and in a dead-easy-to-assemble rustic tart form. It’s savory, and a little sweet. I ate a big slice for lunch; my father had his for dessert. Would be great for a brunch too.

Apple Walnut Gorgonzola Rustic Tart Recipe

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  • Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 Pâte Brisée (tart dough) for a 10-inch tart (see all butter crust recipe) or 1 packaged, flat pie crust
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (or blue cheese)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 large granny smith apples (or other good cooking apples such as jonagold or fuji), peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)

Method

1 Toss the walnuts, gorgonzola, thyme, chopped apples, and maple syrup together in a medium size bowl. As you are working with the apples (chopping them, mixing them in with the other ingredients), if you want, you can squeeze a little lemon juice on them to help keep them from discoloring. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap while you prepare the crust.

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2 Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out pastry dough to 13-inches, at an 1/8 of an inch thickness. Place pastry dough on a rimmed baking sheet. (Rimmed because the pastry will leak butter during the cooking process.) Mound the filling in the middle of the rolled out dough, and spread out evenly to 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches from the edge of the dough. Pleat the edges of the dough over the filling.

3 Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until crust is nicely browned. If at any time it looks like the walnuts are getting a little burnt, you can lightly tent a piece of aluminum foil over the center.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. A pizza wheel works great for slicing up the tart.

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Showing 4 of 26 Comments

  • Tom Cassady

    Made this earlier today….it’ll be a big hit!

  • Rachel

    Just made this rustic tart this morning – it was great!

    I used roasted hazelnuts instead of walnuts and fresh, local Braeburn Apples. I also used mostly honey with just a touch of syrup for depth of flavor. I used a store-bought crust but had to bump up the temp to get the crust to brown.

    Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Emiko

    I know what’s next on my list as I try to get through the mound of apples I just picked this weekend (and the sour cream apple pie is next after that). While I do like gorgonzola, I really like cheddar with my apples. Plus, there is cheddar already in my fridge. If I were to make that substitution, do you think should I omit the thyme or replace it with another herb or spice? Thanks!

    I think you can keep the thyme in, it should be fine, it pairs well with cheddar. ~Elise

  • Deniece

    Not only is this recipe amazingly delicious, but it is SOOO incredibly fast AND easy (including the crust)!! I’ve made it twice now with a couple modifications:
    1) I used about 1/4c of brown sugar instead of the maple syrup
    2) I used pecans instead of walnuts (personal preference)…

    After reading through the comments and questions about the use of both of these ingredients I say – just do it! You won’t be sorry!!! :)

    Additionally, the use of fresh thyme enhances the flavors in this dessert so much more than the dried spice. And for all of you with a rich palette, add in some extra gorgonzola, you’ll be glad you did.

  • liz

    YUM. This recipe really does a great job of blending the sweet and savory. I added sage instead of thyme and sweetened up the crust a bit with some white sugar. Very versatile dish and great for my vegetarian friends!

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