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!

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37 comments

  • October 11, 2011 at 6:46 pm //

    I’m usually a fruit dessert person, but these look over the top delish. I know you shouldn’t eat dessert for the health benefits, per se… but I couldn’t help thinking this would quite the healthy dose of good fat, too ;-)

    • October 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm //

      Hi Regan, I quite love fruit as a dessert too, making bite sized tarts allows me to indulge without the guilt (That’s only if I stop at one) Thank you for commenting.

  • October 11, 2011 at 7:47 pm //

    i really LOVE making tarts and my crusts use butter all the way! That filling sounds amazing.

    • October 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm //

      Thank you Joanne.

  • October 12, 2011 at 12:53 am //

    beautiful! I adore baked nuts, the crunch and savory with a sweet shell… perfection.

    • October 12, 2011 at 12:05 pm //

      Thank you so much Michelle.

  • October 12, 2011 at 1:26 am //

    What a gorgeous little tart, looks so delicious! :)

  • October 12, 2011 at 1:50 am //

    What a lovely nut tart, and a surprisingly simple recipe to go with it! Thanks for sharing. You have a beautiful blog and I’m so glad to have found it. I’m looking forward to seeing more from you!

    • October 12, 2011 at 12:05 pm //

      Hi Georgie, thank you, it’s wonderful to connect, so happy you introduced yourself!

  • October 12, 2011 at 1:52 am //

    Love the smorgasbord of nuts here! I completely understand about the store bought nut tarts. Quality ingredients do make a world of difference and if any one knows how to do pastries it is the french. Thanks for sharing-delicious.

    • October 12, 2011 at 4:19 pm //

      They do, quality ingredients make all the difference, I don’t always buy organic, but I try my best. Thank you for commenting Tina.

    • October 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm //

      Thank you Melissa.

    • October 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm //

      Thank you Stephanie!

  • October 12, 2011 at 9:13 am //

    I’m so glad you left a comment on my blog, because it led me back here to this amazing tart. I will definitely be making this. Your photos are incredible.

    • October 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm //

      It’s great to connect Lynn, thank you for coming over to say “hello”!

  • October 12, 2011 at 9:31 am //

    What a beautiful tart! It looks wonderful and super tasty! I agree, butter makes everything better :) Great pictures too.

    • October 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm //

      Thanks so much Amalia.

  • October 12, 2011 at 11:01 am //

    Oh this is beautiful! I love nuts and butter and tarts. Sigh…

    Laura

    • October 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm //

      Thank you Laura.

    • October 12, 2011 at 4:16 pm //

      With them being bite size Sylivie, there isn’t much calorie guilt = )

  • October 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm //

    Wow, those look great–and yes, totally French!

    • October 12, 2011 at 4:16 pm //

      Thank you Cucina!

  • October 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm //

    Absolutely wonderful! I agree – there are some desserts you just have to stick with butter! …and it IS a filling to die for! Beautiful photos and YUM! Buzzed!

    • October 12, 2011 at 4:16 pm //

      Thank you so much Ann!

  • October 13, 2011 at 12:07 am //

    These look great! I love anything with nuts. I must try them.

    • October 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm //

      Thank you Sandy!

  • October 13, 2011 at 6:27 am //

    This is BEAUTIFUL! I adore anything with roasted nuts – snacking, dessert, thrown in savory dishes but THIS tart is stunning! I’d love to have a bite right now!

    • October 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm //

      Thank you so much Nora!

  • October 13, 2011 at 10:20 am //

    Very delicious tart!

    • October 13, 2011 at 5:02 pm //

      Thank you Natalie!

  • October 14, 2011 at 5:01 am //

    Yes real butter please. If you’re going to indulge do it with the most natural ingredients possible. Your presentation is gorgeous!

    • October 14, 2011 at 8:56 am //

      Yes to BUTTER! Thank you so much for commenting Sandra.

  • October 25, 2011 at 9:29 am //

    these tarts look scrumptious i love nuts!

    • October 25, 2011 at 9:39 am //

      Thank you Betty!