Crispy Caramel Walnut Tart

Crispy Caramel Walnut Tart It´s less than one week before Christmas.....  and I´m still sitting here, behind the window, staring at the landscape without any snow, thinking I should probably go and FINALLY find the most amazing presents for my...

Crispy Caramel Walnut Tart
Crispy Caramel Walnut Tart

It´s less than one week before Christmas.....  and I´m still sitting here, behind the window, staring at the landscape without any snow, thinking I should probably go and FINALLY find the most amazing presents for my family and friends. Hope I´m not the only one scared of that jungle in the shopping malls. Last week I just wanted to have a cup of coffee with a friend of mine in one shopping center and it took me 15 minutes to get from the entrance to the coffee shop. There were two huge crowds of people in every corridor moving in different directions and escaping from one was almost impossible. I realize that the situation won´t get any better with Christmas approaching but my procrastination is still stronger. Maybe they could just open the mall at midnight, I would just quickly sneek into there, buy everything I need and leave almost unnoticed.

On the other hand I must say I can´t wait for Christmas Eve! Baking, decorating the tree, packing the presents (yes I´m in that minority of people who actually like to wrap presents and decorate them with bows and colourful strings).  I really love all those activities that bring the family together again. This year our Christmas Eve is gonna be different though, there is a newcomer in our family,a little Bolognese puppy called Harry. I´m sure that he´s gonna be the one with the most presents haha.

Caramel Walnut Tart
Caramel Walnut Tart

I´m sure you are now surrounded by plenty of different recipes for different Christmas “snacks“. At this time of the year we prefer those small bites, canapés and cupcakes. They seem so harmless, that you can have a lot of them and still end up by eating nothing at all. And that´s the weight-gaining story of Christmas. So I´m bringing you this recipe for a large tart so that you can have one big bite and won’t have to bother with picking away at other small pastries haha. Just joking.  The real reason I am posting this recipe for you is because of it´s winter-like character.

It is very rich.... (let´s not lie about the volume of calories in buth caramel and nuts) but still the combination of crispy nuts, tender caramel filling and crumbly dough is just irresistible. Cutting it in thin triangels is literally a piece of cake as the caramel filling sticks the two layers of dough nicely together. So no fear, you can divide this rich tart into little “shortbreads“ and enjoy it together with all the other Christmas pastries. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, tasty food on your table and happy times around the table.

Martina with Love

Ingredients:

Short Dough

  • 250 g cake flour
  • 70 g granulated sugar
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tea s. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 230 g sugar
  • 60 ml heavy cream
  • 70 g butter
  • Juice from  ¼ of lemon
  • 120 g chopped walnuts

Ganache

  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 50ml heavy cream

Directions:

I can´t say that it is difficult to make this tart, however, it can be tricky at times so it is important that you keep in mind a few facts.

  • You are baking the bottom part twice, once alone and then with the filling.
  • The other issue is caramel, there is a very thin line between well caramelized sugar and burnt sugar. If you burn your caramel your filling will be of bitter taste and too hard a texture.

  1. First we prepare dough. In a big bowl mix together flour, sugar and a pinch of salt, add butter cut in cubes and pulsing with fingers turn into a sandy texture. Add egg mixed with vanilla extract and knead into a nice homogene dough. Divide in 1/3 and 2/3 part and flatten in disks. Put into a fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  2. For filling cut walnuts roughly and roast them on medium heat until golden brown.
  3. Take a heavy-bottomed pan and at medium heat melt sugar together with lemon juice.
  4. When melted, cook caramel, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until lightly golden.
  5. Put away from heat and quickly add the cream at room temperature stirring constantly.
  6. Finally stir in butter and chopped pre-roasted walnuts. You can also make the filling ahead, then you just reheat it carefully so that the caramelization does not continue and spread in onto the crust.
  7. Take 2/3 piece of dough and roll out into 0.5cm strong circle, fit into a baking pan, cover with baking paper and baking weights (or legumes) and bake at 190°C for 15 minutes.
  8. Take out, let cool a bit and spread on an even layer of caramel filling.
  9. Brush the edges of crust with egg. Roll out the second half of dough and cover the filled crust, pressing the edges well.
  10. Bake for an additional 30 minutes at 175°C until the top is golden brown.
  11. Meanwhile prepare the GANACHE for the topping. Heat a cup of water in a small pot, set a bowl on the top and melt the chocolate. When completely melted gradually add the cream stirring constantly.
  12. When the tart is completely cool pour a thin layer of ganache on the top and spread well. While the ganache is still soft put a big cookie cutter, small tart form or anything else that is not too heavy bowl  in the middle and sprinkle the edges with chopped walnuts. Remove the bowl.
  13. Now just wait for the ganache to firm and you are ready to serve your amazing rich caramel-walnut tart!

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