tartlicious tuesday’s: gateau au noix (nut tart)
Gateau au Noix is a traditional French nut tart from Périgord which used to be a province of France and now is part of a northern area of the Aquitaine région. It is known for its rich cuisine. The nut tart is usually made with walnuts which are known to have properties that lower cholesterol levels, but as an avid foodie, that should be the least of your worries.
A lot of the commercially made nut tarts tend to be pies. They are too sweet and the crust is virtually inedible and as hard as the pie pan they were baked in. When you bake a gateau au noix, each ingredient you put into it should have a corresponding key note in the process of artistic creation and passion. All the effort you put into the dessert comes out in the taste and aroma. It can be likened to making love and reaching a climax of having created a delicately perfect bite-sized tart.
Another secret is butter. How the French love their butter and scorn all other substitutes that tend to ruin the taste and outcome of any dessert. The richness in flavor and delicate texture is mainly because of butter and this makes all the difference. Here is a quick and simple must try recipe that we highly recommend. It will truly tantalize your taste buds, and impress your husband, friends, lovers, children, and even foes.
The secret recipe to the perfect crust
Adapted from Epicurious via Bon Appetite
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c plus 1 tablespoon chilled salted butter cut into small pieces
1/4 c sugar
2 tbsp chilled whipped cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix flour and sugar together in an electric mixing bowl. Add the pieces of butter until mixture is blended together. Add 2 tablespoons of cream (more if crust seems dry). Keep mixing until clumps form. Remove dough from mixer and flatten with a rolling pin. Sprinkle flour on the surface of the table and on the rolling pin so dough won’t stick. Cut out pieces of dough to fit the tiny tart pans. (You can make this a day ahead of time.) Cover and chill. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before putting filling.
Tart filling to die for
3/4 c whole almonds toasted and cooled
3/4 c hazelnuts toasted and cooled
3/4 c walnuts toasted and cooled
3/4 c light corn syrup
1/4 c golden brown sugar packed well
1/4 c salted butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven at 350°F. Mix whole almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts in a food processor and run it through until it is ground coarsely. Whisk gradually into the mixture in a large bowl the corn syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Spoon the filling into the crust. Bake tarts until it is set firmly and golden brown and cool in a rack. These fabulous gateau au noix are best served warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!