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La Belle Cuisine - More Pie Recipes

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Caramel Walnut Tart




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~ Julia Child, in "Julia's Kitchen Wisdom"

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Tuesday, December 03, 2002

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Caramel Walnut Tart
Gourmet November 1995

1/4 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups walnuts (about 10 ounces)
1 sweet pastry dough for a double crust 9- to 10-inch pie
2 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Whipped cream

In a heavy saucepan bring water with sugar to a boil, stirring [only] until sugar is dissolved. Boil syrup, without stirring, washing down any sugar crystals that cling to side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, until it begins to turn golden. Swirl pan until syrup is a deep golden caramel and remove from heat. Add cream carefully (mixture will bubble up and steam) and return pan to heat. Add butter, honey, and salt, stirring until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in walnuts and simmer mixture, uncovered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Transfer filling to a bowl and cool to lukewarm (filling will thicken as it cools).
While filling is cooling, on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin roll out larger piece of dough into a 12-inch round (about 3/8 inch thick) and fir it into a 9- to 10-inch tart pan with removable fluted rim. Chill shell until firm, 20 to 30 minutes, and in it, spread the filling evenly. On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out remaining dough into an 11-inch round (about 3/8 inch thick. Gently roll dough onto rolling pin and unroll over filling. Press top crust edge to bottom crust to seal and roll rolling pin over pan to trim edge. Freeze tart 20 minutes.
While tart is freezing, preheat oven to 400ºF. Bake tart in middle of oven until crust is golden, 25 to 30 minutes, and cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Remove side of pan and cool tart completely. In a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Cool chocolate and transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain tip. (Alternatively, transfer chocolate to a small sealable plastic bag and seal bag, pressing out excess air. Squeeze chocolate to one corner of bag and snip slightly less than 1/8 inch off corner, making a small hole.) Pipe chocolate decoratively over tart and let tart stand at room temperature until chocolate is set, 1 to 2 hours. Tart may be made 1 day ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature. Serve with whipped cream.

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