Caramel Nut Tart

Here is a delicious autumn nut tart that you can make with practically any mixture of nuts. Just make sure you get the freshest nuts possible – from your local farmers market, or from the bins at stores with high turnover like Whole Foods. We use nuts frozen from last year’s harvest. Nuts will get rancid, so definitely check for that before using. Freeze any nuts left over. The recipe is from Bon Appétit magazine, December 1998 issue. The Bon Appétit recipe calls for the drizzling of melted white chocolate on top of the tart for decorative effect. Just melt a ounce of white chocolate over a double boiler and use a fork to drizzle swirls on top of the tart. I don’t think this tart needs any more sweetness, so we skipped that step. But it is excellent with whipped cream.

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Caramel Nut Tart Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 10.

Ingredients

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Method

Crust:

1 Place flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a food processor, and pulse until mixed. Add the pieces of butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Mix in vanilla and enough ice water by tablespoonfuls to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

2 Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll dough out on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer dough to 9 1/2-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Fold overhang in and press, forming high-standing double-thick sides. Pierce dough all over with fork. Freeze 15 minutes.

3 Bake crust until set but still pale in color, piercing with fork if crust bubbles, about 20 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool. Increase oven temperature to 400°F.

Filling:

nut-tart-a.jpg nut-tart-b.jpg

4 Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat. Boil without stirring until caramel is deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.

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Gradually whisk in cream (mixture will bubble). Stir until caramel is smooth. Add butter, honey and vanilla. Stir until well blended. Mix in all nuts.

5 Pour caramel mixture into crust. Bake until entire filling bubbles, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on rack.

Serve with whipped cream (optional).

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Nut Tart

14 Comments

  1. Lady Amalthea

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love nut pies. My aunt makes an amazing pecan pie every Thanksgiving, but adding walnuts and almonds sounds pretty special.

  2. Michele

    This sounds delicious. My grandfather used to prepare a sweet potato pie with pecans and this recipe reminded me of how much I love sweet nut filled desserts. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Somia

    I just have to comment on this – this was a HUGE hit at our Thanksgiving dinner! One of best desserts I have ever had the pleasure of baking and eating. Top recipe!!

  4. Elise

    Hi Lady – nut pies are great, aren’t they? Not so forgiving for the waistline… ah well. You only live once.

    Hi Michele – sweet potato pie with pecans is another great use of pecans. Yummm.

    Hi Somia – I’m so glad you made the pie! Isn’t just fabulous? I brought some to my acupuncturist who declared it the best pie he’d ever had, ever.

  5. susan ohlson

    One of the best recipes I have made…I love making desserts and this one received rave reviews.

  6. louis

    I am very grateful to you sharing this recipe. This is really amazing. I own a bakery and my hobby is to try new recipes. It’s a really good one. Again thank you very much for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

  7. Patricia Scarpin

    Elise, this looks amazing!

    I have some walnuts at home and they need to be used – the perfect excuse! :D

  8. Caitlin

    I made this and I suggest raising the amount of water in the caramel to 1/2 cup because the sugar kept crystallizing and it was easier with more water. You definitely need to wash down the sides of the pan with water because if you don’t it will crystallize!

  9. Karin Jung

    Wow, this is one of the best tarts I’ve ever made! We had similar individual nut tarts served at my wedding as part of the dessert buffet. Everyone at my house for Thanksgiving said it took them right back to the day. I will be making this tart every year as part of my baking repertoire. I was even thinking of using the crust as a cookie and sprinkling with sanding sugar. Delish! Thanks Elise, you have become one of my “Go-to-Gal’s” for all of my recipe needs.

  10. Maxia

    Hi, Elise! I want to make this tart for my mom on Mother’s Day, but I don’t have a food processor. Is it possible to make the crust without mixing the ingredients in it? Thanks for your time :)

    Sure. Use a whisk to whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Then use a pastry cutter, two butter/dinner knives, or your fingers to cut in the butter until the mixture looks like a coarse meal. Then mix in the vanilla and the water until the dough is just moistened enough to hold together. ~Elise

  11. Karin

    I just made this and it was rather great, though I wish I’d cooked it for not quite as long – it was a bit too much on the chewy side for my tastes. Still, thank you!

    (Also, I made the crust with my fingers. Worked just fine.)

  12. Jordie

    Hi, I am planning on making this an your apple pie for Thanksgiving on Thursday. Can I make the pie dough 2 days in advance and then make both or either on Wednesdy? Thank you!

    Yes. ~Elise

  13. Catherine

    I have just taken this out of the oven ready for a late Thanksgiving meal tomorrow…it looks amazing – thanks for the recipe!!
    Comments:
    – I needed half a cup of water to start the caramel – and it took around 20 minutes of boiling to turn amber.
    – I was taken aback by the amount of steam produced when I added the cream – might be worth mentioning in the recipe.

  14. Nadia

    I wanted to ask if I can use Splenda in this recipe. If not, is there another alternative.
    I lI’ve this recipe, I have tried it many times.
    Thanks,

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