Make Ahead

Maple Cream Tart

November 16, 2012
3 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes one 9-inch tart
Author Notes

This recipe is adapted from Left Bank, a restaurant in New York City. They delivered the tart to our office, and we had to try the recipe!
It's the Tom Wolfe of tarts, nattily dressed in a single color. Its maple cream is as sweet and serene as its dune palette. The tart has a press-in crust (ideal for the holidays when counter space is at a premium) and a filling that can be whisked together in 2 minutes.
Make it the day before. Chill it in the fridge. Embrace its serenity. —Amanda Hesser

What You'll Need
  • Tart Pastry
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
  • Maple Cream Filling
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (preferably grade B)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Creme fraiche or Greek yogurt, for serving
  1. Tart Pastry
  2. In a medium bowl, blend the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is the texture of coarse meal. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together when pressed between two fingers. Form the dough into a loose ball.
  3. Cut the ball into pieces, and press the pieces into a 9-inch tart pan, making sure the dough on the bottom and sides is even. Prick with a fork and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Line the tart dough with parchment paper, and fill with pie weights (or dried beans or rice). Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the pie weights and parchment, and place back in the oven to cook until the bottom is dry, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  1. Maple Cream Filling
  2. Lower the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, maple syrup, cream, and flour until smooth. Pour this mixutre into the cooled tart crust. Bake until the maple cream just sets -- it should still jiggle a little -- 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool. Serve sliced with dollops of crème fraiche or Greek yogurt.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lynn Schwartz
    Lynn Schwartz
  • betty888
  • AntoniaJames
  • mdm
  • favabean
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

28 Reviews

Erica December 14, 2016
What does anyone think about using Labneh instead of heavy cream? Would the filling be too thick? Would it offset some of the sweetness (in a good way?) Or would it just be yuck? Thank you!
chardrucks January 1, 2017
I did it with labneh--I did 3/4 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup labneh and it is definitely NOT yuck; I believe it does offset the sweetness (although I never tried it with 100% heavy cream). Only thing, it boiled over & takes longer to bake. I would do it again, but at 300 degrees for 45 minutes or so. I sprinkled some fleur de sel over the top, which also helps with the sweetness.
Lynn S. December 21, 2015
I have a family member that really needs to watch the sugar intake. Would this dessert still bake and set up well if I use, say, half of the amount of light brown sugar?
Amanda H. January 10, 2016
Hi Lynn, sorry for the slow reply. I'm not sure if it will set.
Lynn S. January 10, 2016
Still going to make it per recipe yet this winter. Thank you for the reply.
Jill October 2, 2015
This is soooo good but teeth-achingly sweet. I would definitely reduce the sugar in it next time.
betty888 December 22, 2014
I made this tonight for my family's pre-Christmas celebration, and everyone loved it. So easy, and so good. It's very rich and sweet, so the creme fraiche was a perfect accompaniment. I did add a pinch of salt to the filling. Also, some of my family members are gluten free, so I used GF flour instead of wheat flour (Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour) and it turned out very well. I'm looking forward to making this again soon!
AntoniaJames November 14, 2013
Wondering what you all think about laying some pecan halves neatly on the top of this, during the cooking time, once the custard has set enough to support them . . . (I'm looking for alternatives to the traditional pecan pie that my husband so adores.) ;o)
mdm January 11, 2013
very sweet, but delicious, thank you!
favabean December 3, 2012
A divinely rich and creamy tart. It reminded me of those candies from the maple sugar vendor in Union Square. Everyone at Thanksgiving loved it! And because I can't leave well enough alone, I made it again last night and substitued half the heavy cream with sour cream; it gave it some nice tanginess. Mine did not come out as brown as yours however. I wonder if i shouldn't give it another 5 min...
Amanda H. December 7, 2012
Like this idea. And yes, maybe a few more minutes would help, but you don't want to overcook the custard.
Savorykitchen November 25, 2012
Delicious! Two comments/data points: first, a low oven is essential. I baked this off in an oven that was a little hot, and yes everything boiled over. Still fantastically delicious however, so no worries (and the little crispy bits on the edge of the baking pan were addictive. Second, I had a little extra filling (had to use a smaller tart pan that was called for), so I baked it in a ramekin alongside and ended up with maple pudding. Cook's treat!
Billy P. November 23, 2012
I cooked this for Thanksgiving dinner and everyone agreed it got 10 out of 10 points! Very nice and smooth and very rich. This will be another go-to recipe for guests and potlucks.
Amanda H. November 23, 2012
Great to hear this!
JadeTree November 23, 2012
This was the dark horse winner of Thanksgiving dessert! I am usually indifferent to maple, but when I saw this recipe, I went straight out to get grade B syrup and wedged this into the already hefty holiday dessert line up. This is heavenly and its ease is astonishing for the pay off. I love how the teeth glide through the creamy topping and then suddenly snap through the crust. Everyone raved about it and the traditional, albeit delicious, pumpkin pie was an abandoned shrine as everyone rushed for seconds of this tart. This is going into my dinner party and desserts-to-take lists and my mother has already requested it for her birthday in February. So glad I embraced the serenity ;)
Amanda H. November 23, 2012
Glad the tart was received so well. Thanks for giving it a try.
sticksnscones November 21, 2012
Wonder if I did anything wrong. After about 15 minutes I noticed it was bubbling up & was about to go spill out of the pan. I took it out & it did settle down. I looks more like the picture now but was it supposed to bubble like that?
Amanda H. November 23, 2012
No, it shouldn't have bubbled, but I wonder if your oven runs a little hot? Did it taste ok?
brockbier December 5, 2012
I had the same problem. I'm wondering if it has to do with altitude as water boils at around 200 degrees where I live. The other problem I had was that the boiling pushed the flour to the top and failed to create the gluten suspension in the custard so it didn't set up properly. Next time I'm going to make the filling on the stove and pour into either a pre-baked tart or smaller puff pastry shells and see how it turns out.
Amanda H. December 7, 2012
I wish I knew more about high altitude cooking. How about trying baking it with the oven at 325?
Tomás R. November 20, 2012
Looks wonderful! Why flour and not eggs as thickener?
Amanda H. November 20, 2012
I wondered the same thing, and was actually quite skeptical. The recipe was sent to us from Left Bank, a restaurant in NYC (and glad you asked this question because I just realized that the credit is not here, but in the blog post, so I'll add it here as well), and they called for flour. So I tried it and it works well. Makes for a slightly less rich custard.
richmon.lisa November 20, 2012
Could I make this a day ahead? Would I store it in the fridge?
Amanda H. November 20, 2012
Yes, totally -- let it cool completely, then store it in the fridge and let it come to room temperature before serving. Oh -- and do serve it with creme fraiche or Greek yogurt. Some people who have made it have noted that it's sweet and you want the creme fraiche or yogurt to work as a tangy counterpoint. Plus a dollop of either looks great on the tart!
NYNCtg November 20, 2012
This is it. Thanksgiving dessert. I can't wait to try it.
MaryWynn November 19, 2012
Could I make this in a glass pie pan? I don't have a tart pan but I want to make this tonight!
Amanda H. November 19, 2012
Absolutely. Hope you like it!
MaryWynn November 23, 2012
So I had a moment of panic when I took the glass pie pan out of the fridge and put it in the oven, but it survived and was a success. This is going in the recipe box.