Walnut Tart

Walnut Tart

A simple nut filling. A delicious crust. An oh-so-scrumptious walnut tart.

For the filling, walnuts, sugar, a hefty dose of vanilla and a touch of bourbon or dark rum all come together beautifully. The liquor cuts through the sweetness and intensifies the flavor of the nuts.

Pour the filling into the pie crust while it's warm to keep the crust from getting soggy. If you don't have walnuts or don't like them, sub in pecans. 

While regular pie crust is tender and flaky, classic tart crust should be fine textured, crisp and crumbly, more shortbread-like.  

Walnut Tart

Makes 8 servings. 

1 recipe tart dough (recipe follows)

½ cup packed (3½ ounces) light brown sugar

⅓ cup light corn syrup

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 tablespoon bourbon or dark rum

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1¾ cups walnuts, chopped coarse

1. Roll dough into 11-inch circle on lightly floured counter. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, letting excess dough hang over edge. Lift dough and gently press it into corners and fluted sides of pan. Run rolling pin over top of pan to remove any excess dough. Wrap loosely in plastic, place on large plate and freeze until dough is fully chilled and firm, about 30 minutes.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 F. Line chilled crust with double layer of aluminum foil, covering edges to prevent burning, and fill with pie weights. Bake until tart shell is golden and set, about 30 minutes. Carefully remove weights and foil and continue to bake until tart shell is fully baked and golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, whisk sugar, corn syrup, butter, bourbon, vanilla and salt together in large bowl until sugar dissolves. Whisk in egg until combined. Pour filling into warm tart shell and sprinkle with walnuts, pressing them into the filling. Bake until filling is set and walnuts begin to brown, 30 to 40 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.

4. Let tart cool on sheet to room temperature, about 2 hours. To serve, remove outer metal ring of tart pan, slide thin metal spatula between tart and tart pan bottom, and carefully slide tart onto serving platter or cutting board. Serve with whipped cream, if using.

Tart Dough

Makes enough for one 9-inch tart. 

1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon heavy cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ¼ cups (6 ¼ ounces) all-purpose flour

⅓ cup confectioners' sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces and chilled

1. Whisk egg yolk, cream, and vanilla together in bowl. Process flour, sugar, and salt together in food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter butter over top and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 15 pulses. With machine running, add egg mixture and continue to process until dough just comes together around processor blade, about 12 seconds.

2. Turn dough onto sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into 6-inch disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour. Before rolling dough out, let it sit on counter to soften slightly, about 10 minutes.