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Caramel-Nut Tart

Caramel-Nut Tart

Ingredients

Crust

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Filling

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashews (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (about 2 1/2 ounces), lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces (about 2 1/2 ounces), lightly toasted

Recipe Preparation

Crust

  • Using electric mixer, beat butter, powdered sugar, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add egg yolk and cream; beat until smooth. Add flour and beat just until dough comes together. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead briefly to combine. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.

  • Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Gently fit dough into pan, trimming all but 12 inch of overhang. Fold overhang in, forming double-thick sides. Pierce bottom of crust all over with fork. Freeze 30 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line crust with foil. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until sides are set, about 20 minutes. Remove foil with beans. Bake crust until golden, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 20 minutes longer.

  • Meanwhile, whisk egg white in small bowl until thick and foamy.

  • Brush hot crust lightly with some beaten egg white and place on rack to cool. Maintain oven temperature.

Filling

  • Stir sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Cook until syrup is deep amber, swirling pan occasionally, about 9 minutes. Remove from heat and pour in juice, then cream. Whisk over low heat until smooth. Whisk in butter, honey, orange peel, vanilla, and salt. Stir in cashews, pine nuts, and walnuts.

  • Pour filling into crust. Bake tart until filling is bubbling thickly all over, about 22 minutes. Cool tart completely on rack. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with foil and store at room temperature.

  • Cut tart into wedges and serve.

Recipe by Sarah Patterson Scott,Reviews Section

How to Make a Perfect Caramel Nut Tart (+ Recipe)

Making a pastry that beats or rivals that of a pastry shop isn’t something that happens to me very often. I mean, a good cookie or muffin are doable, but those more delicate, often French, pastries, aren’t as easy.

But, this caramel nut tart exceeded all expectations. It’s made by following a recipe from Bouchon bakery and truly brought me back to a French patisserie. Delicious and not even that hard to make, once you understand what you’re doing.

Sweet vs savoury pastry tart shells

When you’re making tarts you will generally use some sort of a tart shell. Within French pastry there are of course a ton of recipes, but for this tart we’ll look at one main aspect: choosing to use a savoury vs. a sweet tart shell.

In French pastry these two pastry styles are called pâte sucrée and pâte brisée. The pâte sucrée is the sweet version, the other is a savoury pastry dough without any sugar in it.

If you’re making a tart with a very sweet filling you want to limit the overall sweetness by using the savoury dough. On the other hand, if your filling isn’t as sweet you could consider using a sweeter pastry to balance out the flavours.

Balancing these flavours is what distinguishes a good from a brilliant pastry chef. I’m definitely not at that level, but can learn from the experts! In this caramel nut tart we’re using a savoury tart dough since the filling, with the caramel, is pretty sweet by itself.

Making a caramel sauce

So we’ve got a savoury pie crust, and we want to add a sweet, flavourful topping. A caramel works great for that, especially since the nuts in this tart aren’t sweet, but have a great depth of flavour. Caramels get that great flavour thanks to the series of chemical reactions called caramelization.

We’ve discussed how to make a caramel before and how to fix it. As long as you don’t burn it, it can just about always be fixed! Crystallization? Add some water and start over. Cooked it to too little moisture? Add water and cook to the right temperature.

Caramel sauce consistency

For a tart like this the main challenge sits in creating a caramel sauce that is just the right consistency. It should be thin enough to seep through the whole pie, soft enough so you don’t break your teeth biting it (the tart shell should be more crispy than the caramel), but firm enough so it doesn’t pour out as soon as you cut into the tart.

The higher the temperature of your caramel, the thicker and firmer it becomes. If you stick with just sugar and water, you can use a thermometer to determine the consistency of your final syrup (as we discussed in greater detail here). The less water and thus the more sugar, the higher the boiling point and the less runny and firmer the final product.

Enriching the sauce with butter & cream

Once you’ve caramelized your sugar, you can enrich a caramel sauce by adding cream and butter. They both contain a lot of fat, which will make the sauce more creamy and richer. Since they also contain proteins, they will also enrich the flavour and colour because of the reactions between the proteins and the sugar in the caramel, the Maillard reaction.

Caramel nut tart recipe

Bringing all the science and understanding together gives us a wonderful caramel nut tart: a savoury tart shell, filled with roasted nuts and a deliciously sweet and just firm enough caramel filling.


How To Make A Caramel Nut Tart

After blind baking the shell, I started cooking the caramel on the stovetop.

Making caramel can be quite a gamble. If you don’t let it cook long enough the sugar won’t melt all the way and if you let it go too long it burns.

My advice is to watch it carefully, but be patient waiting for that deep golden color and unmistakable aroma.

Once the caramel is finished, you can breathe easy. The rest of the filling is basically a bag of nuts.

I even threw in some pumpkin seeds. A caramel nut tart can be a great way to clear out your pantry.

The bites of this tart were crunchy and salty from the nuts, but then the caramel was wonderfully gooey and sweet especially underneath that first visible layer of nuts on the surface.


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Caramel-Nut Tart

Seek out fresh, high-quality nuts for this sweet, rich tart. It is delicious just as it is, but a dollop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on each slice is a nice addition. If you are pouring wine with dessert, a tawny port or a sherry would be perfect.

Caramel-Nut Tart

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. ice water

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) plus 2 Tbs. firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) honey
  • 1 cup (5 1/2 oz./170 g) blanched whole almonds, toasted
  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) walnuts, toasted
  • 3/4 cup (4 oz./125 g) salted roasted cashews
  • 2 Tbs. heavy cream

1. To make the pastry, in a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and lemon zest. Process until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and ice water until blended. Gradually pour into the flour mixture and process just until the dough begins to gather together. Form the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

2. Butter an 11-inch (28-cm) tart pan with a removable bottom. Roll the dough disk between sheets of waxed paper into a round 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Peel off the top sheet and transfer the round to the prepared pan. Peel off the remaining paper and press the pastry gently into the pan. Trim the edges even with the rim. Pierce the crust in a few places with a fork. Cover and freeze for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

3. Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).

4. Bake the crust until golden brown, about 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then place on a baking sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).

5. To make the filling, in a saucepan over low heat, combine the butter, brown sugar and honey, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Raise the heat to high and whisk until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil without stirring until large bubbles form, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the almonds, walnuts, cashews and cream and immediately pour into the crust.

6. Bake until the filling bubbles, about 20 minutes. Transfer to the rack to cool for about 30 minutes. Remove the pan sides and let the tart cool completely. Place on a plate, cut into wedges and serve.

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Caramel Nut Tart

Caramel Nut Tart is a combination of the rich pecan pie that we all love but filled with pecans, pistachios, cashews walnuts. A beautiful presentation for sure and one that will be a family favorite! Without a doubt, dessert is the focus in my house and we tend to over do it on the desserts. There are traditional recipes that we love to share, but this year I am focusing on The Art of the Tart. Tarts and pies are extremely similar and loved because they are loaded with butter, for the most tender crust and a variety of decadent fillings. Although they are in the same family of sweets, there are a few differences.

Pie
A Pie is made of sweet or savory ingredients using a deep or sloped pan. Pies can be a single layer of crust or a double and has a flaky and crisp texture. Pies and tarts can have the same fillings, but pies do not need to be removed from the pan so they tend to be filled to the maximum.

Tart
A Tart can also be made with sweet or savory ingredients and is baked in a shallow sided pan, usually with a removable bottom. Tarts are made of a buttery and tender crust that is stable enough to be removed from the pan. Tarts can be round, rectangle or square depending on the pan that you choose. Keeping the focus on my Thanksgiving table, I chose to create two tart recipes that will be a centerpiece.

Caramel Nut Tart
Assorted nuts are always at our thanksgiving table, whether it is a bowl of assorted nuts or your favorite pecan pie. Try taking all of your favorite nuts and pouring them into a buttery tart shell. Caramel Nut Tart is a combination of the rich pecan pie that we all love but filled with pecans, pistachios, cashews walnuts. A beautiful presentation for sure and one that will be a family favorite!


Pastry for Single-Crust Pie

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup shortening
  • 4 &ndash 5 tablespoons cold water

In a medium bowl stir together all-purpose flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the flour mixture gently toss with fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat moistening flour mixture, using 1 tablespoon water at a time until all the flour mixture is moistened (about 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water). Form pastry into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Wrap pastry circle around the polling pin to transfer it unroll circle into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease into pie plate without stretching it. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edges of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry. Crimp edges as desired.


Caramel Nut Tart

Preheat oven to 450 degree F. In a bowl, stir together flour and salt. Cut in cream cheese and butter until pieces are pea-size. Using a fork, stir in ice water and vinegar until all dough is moistened. Using your fingers, gently knead the dough, just until a ball forms. Flatten dough into a disc.

Roll pastry into a 16x6-inch rectangle. Transfer pastry into an ungreased 13-3/4x4-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. (Or, roll dough into a 10-inch circle. Transfer to an ungreased 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.) Press pastry into the fluted sides of tart pan. Trim edge. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil bake 8 minutes more. Cool on wire rack. Decrease oven temperature to 375 degree F.

In a heavy small saucepan combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to boiling over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in mixed nuts and vanilla. Pour filling into cooled crust, spreading evenly. Place tart pan on a baking sheet.

Bake in the 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes remove sides of pan. Cool completely. Makes 10 servings.


THE BAKER -- Going Nuts About Caramel

Call it bias, but I can't resist any dessert that requires cooking sugar to the caramel stage. Its nutty, sweet flavor is luscious and sophisticated at the same time.

But the idea of caramelizing sugar -- heating granulated sugar until it turns to an amber liquid -- is often intimidating. How do you properly dissolve the sugar? When do you stir it? What color should it be when it's done?

If you keep in mind a few simple rules, you can have what I think is the quintessential caramel experience -- a Caramel Nut Tart. This tart, with its rich, melt-in- your-mouth filling, is cooked rather than baked.

The tart's charm is its simplicity: Toasted nuts are mixed with a warm, full-flavored caramel. In this way, the crunchy nuts complement the caramel's flavor rather than masking it.

-- When melting sugar in a sugar syrup, it's OK to stir it occasionally to help the sugar to dissolve more quickly. Stop stirring after the sugar has dissolved.

-- The sugar must be completely dissolved -- at a low heat -- before you raise the heat to take it to the caramel stage.

-- Should any sugar crystals form on the side of the pan while the sugar solution cooks, dip a pastry brush in cold water to wash them down.

-- If the sugar syrup begins to color in one section of the pan first, lift the pan a bit and swirl it to distribute the heat evenly.

-- The lighter the caramel, the less flavor it will have if it becomes too dark, it will taste bitter. The optimal color is a deep amber.

-- To check for the desired color, place a small amount of the hot caramel on something white to provide a contrast you cannot get by looking in the pan.

-- Be careful as you cook: Boiling sugar is far hotter than boiling water spatters can cause extremely painful burns.

A small wedge of this tart goes a long way. Although the dough may be pressed with the fingertips into the pan rolling is faster, gives a more even thickness, and requires less manipulation.

INGREDIENTS:

TART DOUGH:

-- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

-- 4 ounces ( 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4-inch slices

FILLING:

-- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

-- 3 cups nuts, preferably a mixture of toasted pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts

-- 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, melted

INSTRUCTIONS: Adjust rack in lower third of oven preheat to 375 degrees. Tart dough: Put flour, sugar and salt in bowl of food processor. Process just to blend ingredients. Scatter butter slices over flour mixture, and process with on/off bursts until mixture has the consistency of cornmeal. Whisk together egg yolk, water and vanilla.

With food processor running, pour egg mixture down feed tube. Process just until the ingredients form a ball. Remove dough to a work surface, and, using the heel of your hand, press dough together just until it is smooth and holds together. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface into an 11 1/2- to 12-inch diameter circle (pastry should be about 1/8 inch thick). Lay rolling pin across upper third of the circle. Lift edge of that section of pastry and fold it toward you, draping it over the rolling pin.

Roll the pin toward you, wrapping the dough loosely around it. Lift the pin and, holding it about an inch above the farthest edge of tart pan, unroll the dough toward you as you ease it into the pan.

Fit the dough into the pan (if it tears, press together to patch) trim the overhang by rolling the pin across the rim of the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the surface of the crust is no longer shiny and the dough appears set and golden. (Check the pastry for signs of blistering after it has baked for 6 minutes if necessary, prick dough with fork in 4 or 5 places to release steam.) Set on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Caramel filling: Combine the corn syrup, sugar and water in 2- quart heavy-bottom saucepan place over low heat and cook until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and boil mixture without stirring until caramel turns amber.

Remove from heat and pour in the heavy cream all at once. The mixture will bubble vigorously and rise in the pan. Carefully stir with wooden spoon to distribute the heat and to blend.

If the caramel forms lumps when you add the cream, put the saucepan over very low heat and slowly stir until smooth.

Pour the caramel into a bowl to cool and thicken a bit, about 15 minutes. Add nuts to the warm caramel and stir to coat.

Spoon the filling into the tart shell and spread evenly. (It will thicken to a soft, slightly chewy consistency.)

When the caramel is completely cool, fill a small handmade paper cone with melted chocolate. Cut off tip to provide a thin flow of chocolate. Using light and even pressure, pipe lines of chocolate back and forth over the top of the tart. Remove outer tin rim of pan. Serve tart at room temperature.

PER SERVING: 620 calories, 5 g protein, 62 g carbohydrate, 42 g fat (13 g saturated), 70 mg cholesterol, 116 mg sodium, 3 g fiber. ..


Caramel Nut Tart

Here’s one of our favorite ways to use up the odd bits of nuts left over from all our holiday baking: Caramel Nut Tart, aka Leftover Nut Tart. This tart is sturdy enough to slice and eat by hand – but warm, with a scoop of cinnamon or vanilla ice cream … oh my! This year’s assortment included brazil nuts from our brazil nut shortbread, pistachios from biscotti and some lovely hazelnuts from Oregon, sent by good friend Wendy M.

What to do with the leftover nuts from holiday baking?

We used a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom, but a pie tin would likely work:

For the filling, bring the caramel to a boil:

Add the nuts to the cooked caramel: