Walnut tarts, a specialty of southwestern France, are my favourite within the fall. Chunks of walnuts are bathed in caramel sauce after which baked in a gentle tart shell to create candy and chewy pastries – consolation meals at its finest. This tart would make a pleasant innovation at Thanksgiving, and will add a festive contact to Christmas or New Years. With the vacations upon us, I need to share a recipe with you. There is just one drawback…

Tarte aux noix / walnut tart

…I’ve by no means made a walnut tart earlier than. Why hassle? The pastry store across the nook makes a scrumptious model that I can seize. I thought of it, although. For years I’ve pestered pastry cooks to share their recipes. He refused. Then he offered the place and it was taken over by vegans, who by the best way make scrumptious bread – however as a result of there isn’t any butter of their pastry, the normal walnut tart isn’t on the menu. So I turned to a buddy.

Julia Watson is a author, cookbook creator and, extra lately, a meals blogger who I met in Moscow after we have been each posted there within the Eighties. He’s a tremendous prepare dinner, and was the primary particular person to get me within the pleasure of recent herbs in Georgian delicacies. Though British, he spent a whole lot of time in southwest France. I tasted her walnut tart someplace alongside the road, and after I began interested by making it for this website, I requested for the recipe. Which he generously provided. It was revealed just a few years in the past in an article he wrote for Connoisseur journal about a day farmers’ market within the Dordogne.

Effectively, pricey reader, I adopted the directions and the result’s what we name in France a cauchemar en delicacies (the phrase – which implies ‘nightmare within the kitchen’ – was popularized by chef Philippe Etchebest in his eponymous TV sequence, the place he rushes to assist save the scenario for completely satisfied restaurant patrons). The issue is caramel, which is made by boiling sugar and water. It refuses to show brown. So after boiling for, say, about 20 minutes, I gave up, went forward with the recipe and put the tart to bake.

Are you able to think about the slopes of Mount Etna after a volcanic eruption? That is how my tarts got here out of the oven, with ridges and crevices that regarded like solidified lava and have been simply as laborious. I had made a tart for a cocktail party that night, and my friends agreed to strive it. Not too dangerous, I suppose, as a result of they requested for extra – though somebody stated that he had by no means seen a tart that regarded like a moonscape.

Whereas the tart was nonetheless within the oven, effervescent like a witch’s cauldron, I known as Julia in a panic. What I did unsuitable? ‘Oh,’ he replied, ‘Connoisseur modified my recipe of their tasting kitchen. Strive much less water.’ Which I did on my second try. Success!

Now do not be intimidated by this story. Making a walnut tart is definitely fast and really straightforward, offered you get the proportions proper. You begin by making a candy tart shell (pâte sablee), which do not must be rolled – you simply pat them into the tart pan. Whereas the shell is cooling, you toast the walnuts, warmth somewhat cream and in a separate pot make the caramel. As soon as the caramel has browned, you pour within the cream – this step is fairly superior, as a result of all the pieces boils like a sea of ​​boiling lava. Then you definitely add somewhat butter, stir within the walnuts, switch the filling to the pores and skin and put the tart within the oven.

Tarts are finest served heat, maybe with somewhat cream on the facet. Within the colder months, it is the proper finish to a festive meal.

By the best way, one other fall dessert I like is pear clafoutis, which I posted in 2012, when this website was simply beginning out. I made it once more lately and up to date the recipe with higher images. If you wish to strive, the recipe is right here.

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