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 forced 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 3 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.
For more information on which apple varieties are best for baking, check out our Guide to Apples.
Apple Walnut Gorgonzola Rustic Tart
- 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)
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.
Roll out the dough:
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.)
Add filling, pleat dough around edge:
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.
Bake at 350°F 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.