Make Ahead

Maple Walnut Cream Tart

March  8, 2011
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes one 8 X 11 inch rectangular tart
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.)

Test Kitchen Notes

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. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • cheese1227
  • Nancy
  • MrsWheelbarrow
  • fiveandspice
  • BoulderGalinTokyo
I am an excellent eater (I have been all my life). I’m a pretty good cook (Ask my kids!). And my passable writing improves with alcohol (whether it's the writer or the reader that needs to drink varies by sentence.). I just published my first cookbook, Green Plate Special, which focuses on delicious recipes that help every day cooks eat more sustainably.

42 Reviews

cheese1227 October 10, 2015
Yes that will work great.
Nancy October 10, 2015
Wooooo....Thanks that's great!
Nancy October 10, 2015
The directions say 8 x 11 inch tart pan. The picture shows a round pan. Can I use a 10" round tart pan do you think?
Merry April 8, 2012
Voting for your tart ~ it sounds WoNdeRful and unique~ Anyways, who needs another pork recipe? Haha!
cheese1227 April 11, 2012
Thanks, Merry! I've actually made this pork recipe several times even before it was a finalist and it is pretty amazing!
MrsWheelbarrow April 6, 2012
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!
cheese1227 April 7, 2012
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!
Arbequinas April 6, 2012
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!
cheese1227 April 6, 2012
Great! I think both fiveanspice and I would love to hear how it turns out!
fiveandspice April 6, 2012
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?
cheese1227 April 6, 2012
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.
cheese1227 April 6, 2012
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!
wanderash April 7, 2012
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!!!
cheese1227 April 7, 2012
Thanks for the GF tip!
BoulderGalinTokyo April 6, 2012
Great play on textures and flavors! A big, big winner!
cheese1227 April 6, 2012
Thanks! I'd love some feedback if you give it a try!
Kitchen B. April 5, 2012
Love, love, love it. I'm partial to tarts....
FizzyLizzy123 April 5, 2012
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.
cheese1227 April 5, 2012
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!
Truly S. April 5, 2012
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.
LeBec F. April 5, 2012
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.
cheese1227 April 5, 2012
Thanks for the vote Truly Scrumptious! I hope you were able to figure it all out. Thanks Le Bec Fin for providing the guidance!
Midge April 5, 2012
Beautiful! Congrats cheese1227!
cheese1227 April 5, 2012
Thanks Midge!
ChefJune April 5, 2012
I love maple and walnuts together, but think the cream in the pie is brilliant. Saving this, for sure. Congrats!
cheese1227 April 5, 2012
Thanks, ChefJune! The cream is pretty damn good just by the spoonful! Works great on pumpkin pie too!
hardlikearmour April 5, 2012
Congratulations! This is a gorgeous tart.
cheese1227 April 5, 2012
Thanks hardlikearmour!
gingerroot April 5, 2012
Congratulations, cheese1227! What a lovely tart.
cheese1227 April 5, 2012
Thanks gingerroot!
jenniebgood March 30, 2012
Whipped cream and maple -'nuf said. This looks yummy!
cheese1227 April 5, 2012
I think the cream woudl be great on pancakes, too!
LeBec F. March 27, 2012
this is my idea of a sophisticated dessert. most admirable ingredients and technique! thx so much.
mrslarkin March 8, 2011
Really nice. Love that nut crust! (i'm playing with pink today.)
cheese1227 March 8, 2011
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.....
ChefJune March 8, 2011
LOVE Maple-Walnut. and this looks and sounds SO decadent.
cheese1227 March 8, 2011
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.
hardlikearmour March 8, 2011
Love the dacquoise-like tart idea! Great flavor combo, too.
cheese1227 March 8, 2011
Thanks. It's a very light dessert. Great after a hearty stew.
drbabs March 8, 2011
cheese1227 March 8, 2011
Hubby really likes this one.
drbabs March 8, 2011
Mine would, too.