If you thought you couldn’t give up your traditional Thanksgiving pecan pie for any other pie, wait until you try this tart. It is impressive and beautiful to look at, and from my experience over the years, it is the first dessert to disappear from the table.
The mixed nut tart doesn’t get soft and saucy like a pecan pie since it doesn’t use as much filling, and that is a big plus in my eyes. The amount of nuts used in the tart exceeds the amount of pecans used in the pecan pie, so the nuts really are the center of attention. The flaky crust is buttery and crumbles in your mouth like a good shortbread. The roasted and salted nuts make the tart crunchy and the variety of the different nuts is like a game of textures and flavors in your mouth. The caramel adds creaminess and sweetness but doesn’t overpower the nuts. It perfectly complements their saltiness. Texture wise, the caramel is more like a coat and a binding agent to the nuts. To sum it up, this mixed nut tart is THE perfect dessert for Thanksgiving or any other festive event (so says my hubby).
Use a 9” tart pan.
For the crust:
2 cups plus 2 tbs (300g) all-purpose flour
½ cup (100g) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6.5oz (180g) very cold butter
1 egg, beaten
For the filling:
4oz (100g) butter
1/3 packed cup (80g) dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (100g) honey
¼ cup (60g) heavy cream
350g roasted and salted nuts
Combine the flours, salt, sugar, and butter in a food processor, and process into a crumbly mixture. Add the beaten egg and mix it in, with short pulses, just until the dough is uniform, soft and not sticky. Do not over process or you lose the flakiness in the crust.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten it into a disk, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Remove from the fridge and let sit for 20 minutes. It makes it easier to roll out. Lightly flour a work surface.
Roll out the dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll it around the rolling pin and place it onto the tart pan. Press the dough gently into the indentations in the sides. Trim the edges. Place the pan with the crust in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Heat the oven to 360F.
Remove the crust from the freezer and place it immediately in the preheated oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust turns golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Lower the oven temperature to 320F.
In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, honey, and brown sugar, and stir constantly until the butter and sugar are completely dissolved. Add the heavy cream, bring to a boil, and remove from the heat. Add the nuts into the pot and mix well.
Top the crust with the nut mixture (including the sauce) and spread it evenly. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until bubbles form in the filling. Remove from the oven.
Carefully, remove the tart from the baking pan when still hot. Once the caramel cools off, it hardens and “glues” the tart to the pan.
Serve at room temperature. You may serve the tart with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I love it as is.
May you all be blessed with good health, happiness, peace, and prosperity!