Wednesday, April 20, 2011

that's just nuts! chewy nut tart-#20 of 52

bake one original pie each week for 52 weeks.  sounds easy.  actually, it's more work than you might think.  even for me, a person who bakes pies, lots of pies, almost every day of the week.  after the pop tarts, it was tough to come up with an idea.  i wanted something fruity and fitting for spring.  but to be honest, around here, there isn't much fresh fruit to choose from in spring.  it is either shipped in from far away and very expensive or it's frozen and we won't even mention the stuff in the there i was, wandering the aisles of my local supermarket searching for inspiration at an affordable price.  and then i spied the little packets of nuts-recipe helpers or something like that.  each packet has about a half cup of  nuts in it.  i thought about it for a moment, i had some hazelnuts at home and if i added pecans, walnuts and almonds, i could make a mixed nut tart.

i tossed them together and toasted them in the oven

a cooked syrup of honey, brown sugar and butter makes a gooey tart.  the comb in front of the jar is from our hive-i can't wait to get some of the honey from our bees.  until then, it's honey from the store.

after cooking the syrup, it gets tossed with the nuts and poured into a prebaked tart shell.  then after a bit in the oven, it gets bubbly and later it gets chewy and gooey!

the finished tart, make sure it is completely cooled or it will not cut nicely!

chewy nut tart
1 (9") tart that serves about 8

1 prebaked (9") tart shell-use a rich, short dough rather than a flaky pastry crust
2 cups nuts-any combination of nuts you like, i used equal parts of walnuts, almonds pecans and hazelnuts
4 ounces unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar-light or dark
1/3 cup honey-any light variety
2 tablespoons heavy cream (or coconut milk if you have some open)
1 teaspoon vanilla 

preheat the oven to 350.  completely bake the tart shell making sure that it is just beginning to turn a light golden brown.  if the dough is sweetened, take care not to allow it to color too much or it will gain a burned flavor during the second bake.  do not remove the crust from the pan at this point or it could collapse.  mix the nuts and place them on an oven proof pan.  toast the nuts until fragrant, about 5-7 minutes.  allow them to cool while you make the syrup.  in a sauce pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the brown sugar and the honey.  stir it occasionally to prevent hot spots and scorching.  bring the mixture to a gentle boil and allow it to boil for 5 minutes.  stir in the cream and the vanilla and bring it back to the boil for a minute.  remove from the heat and combine with the nuts.  scrape the filling into the tart shell and bake it until it is bubbly, about 10-15 minutes.  cool completely, remove the tart from the pan and cut into wedges with a sharp knife.

and as always, bake one and send me a photo-i will post it here!  come on, i dare ya!  double dare ya!!!


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