Just a tablespoon of dark rum or bourbon is enough to intensify the flavor of the nuts in this rustic walnut tart. Photo by: Daniel J. van Ackere/America's Test Kitchen via AP
October 31, 2018 10:47:20 AM
This elegant nut tart is surprisingly easy to prepare, thanks to the very simple filling. For the filling, we used a pecan pie base but swapped in walnuts, reduced the amount of sugar, and added a hefty amount of vanilla as well as a hit of bourbon (or rum).
The liquor cuts through the sweetness and intensifies the flavor of the nuts. We found that it's important to add the filling to a warm pie crust as this helps keep the crust from getting soggy. Pecans can be substituted for the walnuts if desired.
While regular pie crust is tender and flaky, classic tart crust should be fine textured, buttery rich, crisp, and crumbly -- it is often described as being shortbread-like. We set out to achieve the perfect tart dough, one that we could use in a number of tart recipes. We found that using a stick of butter made tart dough that tasted great and was easy to handle, yet still had a delicate crumb. Instead of using the hard-to-find superfine sugar and pastry flour that many other recipes call for, we used confectioners' sugar and all-purpose flour to achieve a crisp texture. Rolling the dough and fitting it into the tart pan was easy, and we had ample dough to patch any holes.
RUSTIC WALNUT TART
Start to finish: 2 hours, 25 minutes (Active time: 25 minutes)
1 recipe Classic Tart Dough (recipe follows)
1/2 cup packed (3 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon bourbon or dark rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups walnuts, chopped coarse
CLASSIC TART DOUGH
Makes enough for one 9-inch tart
Start to finish: 1 hour, 25 minutes (Active time: 15 minutes)
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (2 2/3 ounces) confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
Walnut tart: Nutrition information per serving. 554 calories; 321 calories from fat; 36 g fat (13 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 98 mg cholesterol; 244 mg sodium; 54 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 35 g sugar; 7 g protein.