Maple Walnut Cream Tart

By • March 8, 2011 • 43 Comments



Author Notes: Since moving out of New England 11 years ago, my husband has sorely missed ready availability of his most favored ice cream flavor: maple walnut. I adapted this tart recipe from an old Good Housekeeping angel pecan pie recipe to help him bide the time between visits home.

(Note: Making the crust ahead and storing it overnight in the fridge, gives it a slightly chewy texture that balances the silky whipped cream very nicely.)
cheese1227

Food52 Review: WHO: cheese1227 is a food writer and lifelong student of the culinary arts.
WHAT: A tart of maple-kissed whipped cream with a meringue crust, topped with candied walnuts.
HOW: A modular cooking process -- whip up and bake the meringue, then fill with maple cream at your convenience -- makes this tart perfect for a busy day.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Pastry crust is fine and dandy, but the unique shell for this tart, with its walnuts and crushed soda crackers, is more than just a holding pen for its filling.
A&M

Makes  one 8 x 11 inch rectangular tart

  • ½ cups granulated maple sugar
  • ½ cups white sugar
  • 3 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup good quality New England maple syrup, divided
  • ¾ cups chopped walnuts, toasted
  • ¾ cups unsalted soda crackers, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 16 intact walnut halves
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a rectangular tart pan. A large round one will work too. But regardless of its shape, it’s best to have a removable bottomed pan.
  2. Combine white and maple sugars in a small bowl. Put egg whites and salt in a large mixing bowl and beat them together at high speed until you get soft peaks. Keep whipping them as you slowly add the sugar, two tablespoons at a time until the cup of sugar is fully incorporated and egg you’ve got glossy peaks. Slowly mix in two tablespoons of maple syrup. Fold in the chopped walnuts, crushed soda crackers and baking powder. Spread the mixture into the prepared tart pan, taking care to make the sides high, so that there is good indentation in the middle to hold the maple whipped cream for service.
  3. Bake the shell 25-35 minutes or until the meringue is golden but not brown. Remove from the oven, and cool completely. Refrigerate the shell at least two hours (preferably overnight if you’ve got the time).
  4. Meanwhile, put ¼ cup of maple syrup in a non-stick skillet and add the walnut halves, coating them with syrup. Using a medium-high flame, heat up the mixture, letting the syrup bubble up around the nuts. When the syrup is caramelized and very sticky and the nuts are coated, they are sufficiently candies. Lift the nuts out of the pan one at a time to let them cool separately on waxed paper or a Silpat mat. When they are cooled completely, store them in an air tight container.
  5. When you are ready to serve the tart, whip the cream to soft peaks. Add 4 Tablespoons of maple syrup and whip the cream a bit more. Spread the cream in the meringue cavity. Top with the candied walnuts and serve. This does keep well in the fridge for several hours.

Comments (43) Questions (1)

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over 2 years ago Merry

Voting for your tart ~ it sounds WoNdeRful and unique~ Anyways, who needs another pork recipe? Haha!

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Thanks, Merry! I've actually made this pork recipe several times even before it was a finalist and it is pretty amazing!

Cathybarrow_allrecipes_%c2%a9_2014

over 2 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Squeeee Christine! This is beautiful! I want I want I want. And as soon as my class is over this weekend, I Will Have It. Congratulations!

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Thanks Cathy!!! I'm up here in Maine looking ot collect lots of syrup! As good a tart as this is, it's a really tough sell against ENunn's pork shoulder!

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over 2 years ago Arbequinas

I am making this mouth watering tart (subbing soda crackers with almond flour to make it Gluten Free!) this weekend - for Easter! Thank you for this beautiful recipe!

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Great! I think both fiveanspice and I would love to hear how it turns out!

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congrats on being a finalist! This is such a cool, unique, and completely delicious sounding dessert! As a side question, do you think it would still be good without the crushed crackers if one were to make it for a gluten free friend?

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Thanks, fiveandspice! I think you have two options on the GF option. Double the nuts or use GF crackers, which I think would work well.

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Thanks for the encouragement, fiveandspice! I think you have two options for GF here. You could double the nuts, mayben griding half into a meal. Or you could use GF crackers. I think they would work well!

Ashtaco

over 2 years ago wanderash

I make GF meringue pie crusts a lot. You can also follow chees1227's fab sounding recipe and just omit the crackers all together-- no need to change the nuts/add almond flour, etc. What a fun way to fill a meringue crust-- thanks for the recipe!!!

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Thanks for the GF tip!

Smokin_tokyo

over 2 years ago BoulderGalinTokyo

Great play on textures and flavors! A big, big winner!

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Thanks! I'd love some feedback if you give it a try!

Ozoz_profile

over 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Love, love, love it. I'm partial to tarts....

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over 2 years ago FizzyLizzy123

RE: particality to tarts! Oh my, I just had unrelated but related flashback to the first time I was invited to a Vicars and Tarts party while living in England. In that sense, I'd have to say I am partical to Vicars, but its always fun to party with a few Tarts, too.

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Sorry for the confusion, Kitchen Butterfly. I was signed in on my friend's computer for that last comment! I'm not sure if FizzyLizzy123 preferes tarts or vicars!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations, much deserved. A beautiful tart that truly showcases the maple.

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over 2 years ago FizzyLizzy123

Thanks, sdebrango! I happen to be in Maine right now where they are lamenting the looney weather that is impacting the maple syrup yield this year. Hopefully there will be enought to go around so that the whole Food52 community can try both recipes! I've made ENunn's dish several times and it is fantastic!

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Sorry, sdebrango. I accidentally commented from my friend's login. Don't know if she's made ENunn's dish, but I have!

100_2517

over 2 years ago Truly Scrumptious

i vote for this one in the maple contest...i am not sure how to vote for it specifically... i clicked and so on... but i cant figure how to vote ... .. que sara.

Photo_squirrel

over 2 years ago LE BEC FIN

ts, when you get to the page where one finalist photo is above the other and there is a 'vote for this recipe' flag on each, that is where you click- on the flag you want.

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Thanks for the vote Truly Scrumptious! I hope you were able to figure it all out. Thanks Le Bec Fin for providing the guidance!

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over 2 years ago Midge

Beautiful! Congrats cheese1227!

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Thanks Midge!

Junechamp

over 2 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love maple and walnuts together, but think the cream in the pie is brilliant. Saving this, for sure. Congrats!

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Thanks, ChefJune! The cream is pretty damn good just by the spoonful! Works great on pumpkin pie too!

Gator_cake

over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congratulations! This is a gorgeous tart.

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Thanks hardlikearmour!

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

Congratulations, cheese1227! What a lovely tart.

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

Thanks gingerroot!

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over 2 years ago jenniebgood

Whipped cream and maple -'nuf said. This looks yummy!

Christine-28_small(1)

over 2 years ago cheese1227

I think the cream woudl be great on pancakes, too!

Photo_squirrel

over 2 years ago LE BEC FIN

this is my idea of a sophisticated dessert. most admirable ingredients and technique! thx so much.

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Very nice, looks spectacular. Love maple walnut flavor combo.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Really nice. Love that nut crust! (i'm playing with pink today.)

Christine-28_small(1)

over 3 years ago cheese1227

Thanks!! I have found that I need to really candy the sliced grapefruit to help get the bitter out. In that experiment I am finding that blanching brings out the pink.....

Junechamp

over 3 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

LOVE Maple-Walnut. and this looks and sounds SO decadent.

Christine-28_small(1)

over 3 years ago cheese1227

It's not decadent in the way that say, a really good chocolate cake is. It's very subtly decadent, if there is such a thing.

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Love the dacquoise-like tart idea! Great flavor combo, too.

Christine-28_small(1)

over 3 years ago cheese1227

Thanks. It's a very light dessert. Great after a hearty stew.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

OMG

Christine-28_small(1)

over 3 years ago cheese1227

Hubby really likes this one.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Mine would, too.