Rustic Walnut Tarts

For an elegant addition to our for-two repertoire, we wanted to create individual walnut tarts with rich caramel flavor, crunchy nuts, and a buttery crust. We started by making a simple all-butter dough quickly in the food processor. To give the crust a subtle flavor that would complement the filling, we added brown sugar and a handful of ground toasted walnuts. For the filling, we swapped the granulated sugar for a combination of corn syrup, which ensured a smooth, cohesive filling, and light brown sugar, which lent a subtle caramelized flavor. A dash of vanilla and a pinch of salt balanced the sweetness of the filling and rounded out the flavors. Finally, a little bourbon brought the nutty, caramel notes of our tart to the forefront. Pecans can be substituted for the walnuts if desired. You will need two 4-inch fluted tart pans with removable bottoms for this recipe. Serve with vanilla ice cream or Whipped Cream.

TART SHELLS

½

cup (2½ ounces) all-purpose flour

2

tablespoons packed light brown sugar

2

tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

teaspoon baking powder

teaspoon salt

4

tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled

FILLING

cup packed (2⅓ ounces) light brown sugar

3

tablespoons light corn syrup

2

tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2

teaspoons bourbon or dark rum

½

teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch salt

1

large egg

cup walnuts, chopped coarse

1. FOR THE TART SHELLS: Grease two 4-inch tart pans with removable bottoms. Process flour, sugar, walnuts, baking powder, and salt in food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter butter over top and pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal, about 8 pulses.

2. Sprinkle mixture evenly into prepared pans. Using bottom of measuring cup, press crumbs firmly into even layer on bottom and sides of pans. Use your thumb to level off top edges and remove excess crumbs. Use excess crumbs to patch any holes. Place crumb-lined tart pans on large plate, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until fully chilled and firm, at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Set crumb-lined tart pans on rimmed

baking sheet. Press parchment paper or double layer of aluminum foil into frozen tart shells, covering edges to prevent burning, and fill with pie weights.

4. Bake tart shells until golden brown and set, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Carefully remove weights and parchment; transfer tarts with sheet to wire rack and let cool slightly while making filling.

5. FOR THE FILLING: Whisk sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt together in medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Whisk in egg until combined. Pour filling evenly into tart shells and sprinkle with walnuts. Bake tarts until filling is set and walnuts begin to brown, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.

6. Transfer tarts with sheet to wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 1½ hours. To serve, remove outer metal ring of tart pans, slide thin metal spatula between tarts and tart pan bottoms, and carefully slide tarts onto individual plates.