Sense of Home Kitchen
Do you ever have those cravings? You know the ones, you want something, but you are just are not sure what. Something sweet, maybe a little salty, crunchy and chewy at the same time, filling and very satisfying. Perhaps a honeyed walnut tart is what you are craving? Flipping through the October 2005 Bon Appétit I came across a photo of this tart and immediately marked this page. Not sure why this recipe did not catch my attention back in 2005 when the magazine was new, but another time, another place and I had to make this one for myself. This recipe comes from Susan Herrmann Loomis, I read her book On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town when it first came out back in 2001 and loved it, to attend even one class of her cooking school would be a privilege. A few changes to the recipe to suit our tastes and pantry and I was ready to bake.
We have this wonderful local honey that people stock up on while traveling through town. The honey is raw and pure, made from the nectar of sweet clover, wild flowers, and sunflowers. Raw honey means that it has never been heated and contains some pollen, this is why it is beneficial to eat local raw honey, the pollen helps to reduce the sensitivity to hay fever. The man our health food store buys honey from is old school and has no website, we always stock up in the fall so we have enough to last until the next honey harvest. If the raw honey begins to crystallize, simply place the jar in a pan of water and warm over a low flame, do not boil. It will be runny enough to drizzle over toast soon enough.
This recipe uses a simple crust and while a traditional tart pan with removable bottom would be best, any pan would work, just roll out the crust pour the filling on top and fold up the edges. Don't get hang up on having the perfect pan to bake with, use what you have, and if you find you enjoy making tarts, then invest in a good tart pan. Toast the walnuts first to help them keep their wonderful crunch.
Honeyed Walnut Tart
~from the Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from Bon Appétit, October 2005~
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 tablespoons (or more) ice water
3 cups toasted walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
1 egg, whisked to blend with 2 teaspoons water (for glaze)
Blend flour and salt in processor. Add butter; using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add 5 tablespoons ice water; process until moist clumps form, adding water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Much of this will depend on the amount of humidity in the air. I have to add more water in winter when the air is dry, less in the summer. Gather into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and let stand for 1 hour (do not chill). This is a very easy crust to work with, holds together and rolls out well.
Mix first four ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk eggs, honey, lemon juice, and orange liqueur in another medium-sized bowl. Add egg mixture to nut mixture; stir until well blended.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll crust out on lightly floured surface to an approximately 14-inch round. Transfer to an 11-inch-diameter tart pan with a removable bottom, allowing crust to drape over pan (or use any pan that can withstand the 400 degree heat and shape as you please). Pour filling into crust, spreading evenly. Fold edges over filling pleating as needed. Brush with egg glaze.
Bake tart until filling is deep golden and almost set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack; cool 15 minutes. Carefully insert small knife between top edge of crust and pan sides in several places to loosen tart. (And here is where the removable bottom comes in so handy.) Gently push up on tart bottom to release tart from sides of pan. Cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead, cover with foil and store at room temperature.) Cut tart into wedges and serve with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream.
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