Walnut tart

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Since I saw the walnut trees in the Southwest of France last summer, I wanted to return later in the year for walnut saison. Now in early October an abundance of noix is about to fall from the trees all over the Périgord region, ready to be turned into local delicacies like precious oils, traditional walnut cakes, or perhaps this simple walnut tart, my current favorite.

This dessert is easy to make with only a handful of ingredients – just roasted walnut kernels tossed in a luscious honey caramel and spread onto a lightly salted crust – but quite addictive, especially with a good dollop of greek yoghurt (or why not crème fraîche, if you prefer?) and bien sûr a petit café noir.  It´s my autumnal version of a stone fruit tart – how I adore those sweet sides of fall!

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walnut-tree-lusignac
walnut-tart-3Salted caramel walnut tart :
dough:
180 g flour
90 g unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 tsp fine salt
45 g confectioner´s sugar
3  tbsp cold water

In a kitchen machine or by hand, combine flour with sugar, salt and butter. Add water and continue to mix until you obtain a homogenous dough. Shape a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat oven 180°C/350°F.

Line a small buttered and floured tart pan (18 cm/7.5 inch diameter) with the rolled out pastry, cut off excess pastry and prick with a fork all over. Place in the refrigerator.

Using oven proof weights (or rice grains/lentils), pre bake tart shell for 15 minutes, until slightly golden. Leave to cool.

filling:
180 g walnuts
120 g cream
100 g acacia honey
1 pinch of fleur de sel (or fine salt)
1 tbsp /30 g unsalted butter

As soon as the tart shell is baked and out of the oven, turn on the oven grill. Grill walnuts on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 2-3 minutes under constant sight, until browned ( they burn really fast). Take out of the oven and set aside.

Make the honey caramel: In a high sided sauce pan, bring cream and honey to boil over medium heat. Allow to bubble for a couple of minutes (about 8-10 minutes), stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and golden-beige in color.

Return heat to low, stir in the butter and add the salt. Add the grilled walnuts to the pan and toss them so they´re covered in the caramel all over. Cook the mixture for another 2-3 minutes over low heat.

Pour filling into tart shell and leave to cool completely. Keep in the refrigerator, and take out a few minutes before serving.

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29 thoughts on “Walnut tart

  1. yum, yum, salted caramel dough. Hard to resist and so much quicker than mine which is covered and therefore on my list for the weekend. I love the extra calories one could eat while nursing, hurrah!

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  2. We have several walnut trees in our garden so I always have a basket of walnuts in the kitchen. Just finished last years harvest a few days ago and am starting to dry out this years crop, which is still falling from the trees.

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  3. OMG your timing is spot on. Our walnuts are just starting to fall and tomorrow being a Wednesday (no afternoon school for the children) we have friends coming for lunch, I was wondering what I should make for a dessert and this popped up in my inbox, guess what I am making tomorrow! Merci Mille fois

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    1. I really lost my heart to the region, Gerlinde. It´s a real food lover´s paradise, if only the food wasn’t so heavy – always coming home with 2 extra pounds😉

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    1. me too, Alex! I just love it there, and still have so much to discover. Still could´t make it to Sarlat – you told me you were there a while ago…. but one day soon (hopefully) !

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  4. I love walnuts in my baking too but it’s easier to get fresh pecans and macadamia nuts here. Pecans are a good substitute for walnuts though it’s lighter and sweeter so they lack the density of the walnuts and do not offer that bitterness that accompanies chocolates so well. I would never use pecans to make my chocolate and walnut cake.

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  5. Oh, to be in Périgord again in the fall. But, failing that, I think your tart would be a good bit of consolation. We have many black walnut trees on our property. This time of year it often sounds like firecrackers as they fall to the ground. They are delicious nuts, but we’ve given up on trying to use them. The shells are just too hard. We’ve broken many supposedly unbreakable nut crackers. (Some people drive their vehicles over them to crack!)

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    1. Stubborn little things! I had no idea it can be THAT hard to get those walnuts out of their shell. The ones we cracked in Périgord didn´t refuse as much. What a pity you have those trees for which I deeply envy you😉 but can´t use your harvest!

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