Rustic Nut Tart
Prep time
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This is a simple, rustic, wonderfully delicious nut tart that overflows with toasted walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. There are no eggs in the filling, but instead a cooked toffee-like mixture of honey, butter, cream, and sugar. Serve small pieces, this tart is decadently rich and satisfying.
Recipe type: Dessert | Nut Tart
Serves: 10 to 12
Rich Tart Pastry:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons whipping (heavy) cream
Nut Filling:
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup clover honey
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup whipping (heavy) cream
  • 1½ cups walnuts, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped in large pieces
  • ¾ cup unblanched almonds, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped in large pieces
  • ¾ cup hazelnuts (filberts), lightly toasted, skins removed, coarsely chopped in large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Rich Tart Pastry:
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Add 4 tablespoons whipping cream and stir until the dough comes together and can be formed into a ball. Tip: If the dough seems too dry and is not forming into a ball, add another tablespoon of cream. Flatten the ball into a 6 inch disc, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Tip: If refrigerated for more than 30 minutes the pastry will become too cold to roll without cracking. If it becomes too cold, let pastry sit at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes before rolling.
  3. On a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board, and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the chilled pastry to a 12 inch circle and fit into a 10 or 10½ inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press pastry gently against the sides of the tart pan. Trim excess pastry to ½ inch. Fold the edge of the pastry under and press gently around the rim to seal the edge, allowing pastry to extend ⅛ to ¼ inch above the top of the pan to allow for shrinkage. Leave the border plain for a rustic look or crimp as desired. Lightly prick the bottom and sides with a fork at three-fourth or one inch intervals. Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate tart shell until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  4. While tart shell is refrigerating, preheat oven to 425 degrees F, allowing 15 to 20 minutes for the oven to preheat before baking.
  5. Line the tart pastry with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or a large coffee filter. Fill the pastry with pie weights or dried beans or rice to keep the pastry from puffing up and shrinking.
  6. Bake: Leaving the tart shell on the baking sheet, bake 15 minutes. Carefully remove the paper and pie weights or beans and continue to bake another 5 to 6 minutes or until the pastry is a light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Nut Filling:
  1. In a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, honey, and butter. Cook to boiling, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon so mixture does not burn. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the whipping cream. Add the walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, bourbon, and vanilla; stir until thoroughly combined.
  2. Leave the cooled tart shell on the baking sheet for adding the filling and baking so the bottom of the pan doesn’t separate from the outside ring when moved. Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell.
  3. Bake: Bake 20 minutes to set the filling. At the end of the baking time the filling will still jiggle if the pan is given a gentle shake but will firm up as it cools. Tip: During baking, if crust is getting too brown, loosely place a piece of foil over the top to prevent the crust from over-browning.
  4. Remove from oven. Cool on a wire cooling rack for at least 3 hours before cutting and serving. The filling will firm as it cools.
Adapted From: Sax, Richard, Classic Home Desserts, Chapters Publishing Ltd, Vermont, 1994
Recipe Notes
Pan: One 10" Tart with Removable Bottom Pastry: Rich Tart Pastry Prep: Baked Starting Oven Temp: 425° Storage: Covered, Cool Place or Refrigerate

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