Caramel Nut Tart

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

Caramel Nut Tart

The recipe is from a recipe in Bon Appétit magazine with a few minor changes. The Bon Appétit recipe calls for the drizzling of melted white chocolate on top of the tart for decorative effect. If you want to do this, 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 or vanilla ice cream.

Caramel Nut Tart Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 10

Ingredients

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (200 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 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 (250 g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons 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 Make the tart dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the cut up pieces of butter and use a pastry cutter to cut into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are no bigger than a pea. (You can use a food processor for this if you want.)

Sprinkle with vanilla and add 3 tablespoons of ice water. Use a fork to work the water and vanilla into the dough. (You can use a food processor.) Add up to a tablespoon more of ice water, just enough so that the dough easily sticks together when you pinch it with your fingers.

Form the dough into a ball, kneading once or twice if necessary, and flatten into a disk. Wrap the dough disk in plastic and chill for 1 hour.

2 Roll out the dough, place in tart pan, freeze: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit for 10 minutes. Place the dough on a lightly floured clean surface. Roll out the dough to a 12-inch round. Place the dough in a 9 1/2-inch-diameter tart pan with a removable bottom.

Press the dough down and into the sides. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to even off the top edges.

Pierce the bottom of the dough in the tart pan all over with fork. Freeze for 30 minutes.

3 Pre-bake the crust: Bake the crust at 375°F for 20 minutes, piercing the bottom with fork if bubbles form. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Filling:

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4 Make the caramel nut filling: Put sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan with high sides. Heat on medium-low heat and stir until sugar dissolves.

Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to medium high. Boil without stirring until caramel is deep amber color, occasionally swirling the pan, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.

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Slowly stir in the cream. Be careful as the mixture will bubble up significantly (this is why we are using a high sided pot). Stir until the caramel is smooth.

Add the butter, honey and vanilla. Stir until the butter has all melted.

Stir in all of the nuts.

5 Bake: Pour caramel mixture into the pre-baked crust. Bake at 400°F (205°C) 20 minutes. Remove from oven to cool completely on rack.

Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional).

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Caramel Nut Tart

Showing 4 of 11 Comments

  • 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,

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.)

  • 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

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