Hazelnut Tart

The buttery, cookie-like crust of a tart is less finicky than its flaky pie cousin. You can use any tart crust you like, but this one has the added bonus of doubling as sugar cookie dough. This recipe makes a tad bit more dough than you need for a tart, which means you’ll have to bake off some cookies for the crowd…

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Ingredients

Pate Sucree (sweet tart crust)

3.5 ounces 125g Butter
1/2 cup 100g Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 tsps Vanilla extract
1 Egg
nearly 2 cups 250g Flour

Directions

  1. Cream the butter, sugar and salt with a paddle attachment in a stand or hand held mixer. Need a workout? Start with room temp butter and beat with a wooden spoon. Either way, mix until no chunks or bits of butter remain.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the flour and stir until your dough just comes together.
  3. Grab two sheets of parchment paper (about the size of a cookie sheet) and a rolling pin (or wine bottle). Roll the dough between the sheets until it covers the entire area. This is a good thickness for a tart crust. Slide this dough onto a cookie sheet and freeze for at least an hour. Or a week.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350F. Grab an 8" or 9" tart pan or a couple of 4" ones. Peel off the top layer of parchment back and cut out circles about 2" larger than your pan. Once you can bend the dough without it cracking, lower it into your tart pan. Don't freak out if it does crack a little; you can patch this up.
  5. Tarts need to have thin crusts- no one wants to bite into a doughy corner. Be sure to thin out the crust, but not so much that you can see metal. If the dough is too warm, pop it back in the freezer for a few minutes.
  6. Grab a fork and dimple the dough all the way to the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden- not anemic- but a nice, even golden color throughout. Set aside.

Hazelnut Caramel Filling

1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Brown sugar
2 Tbsps Honey
2 Tbsps Water
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Heavy cream
1-1/2 cups Chopped hazelnuts
1 Tbsp Flour
1/2 cup Chocolate pieces (optional)
  1. Place the sugars, honey and water in a medium pot and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Once the sugars begin to take on a nice amber color, pour in the heavy cream and salt all at once.
  2. Stir over medium for a minute or two- you'll notice that the caramel will begin to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the nuts. Stir in the flour and mix until just combined.
  3. Toss the chocolate at the bottom of your already-bake tart shell. Pour the nut mixture over the chocolate and return to the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the edges of the caramel begin to brown.
  4. Remove from heat, listen as the fantastic bubbles of caramel crackle and cool the tart a half hour before digging in.

How to repurpose the tart dough

leftover tart dough
  1. Roll up your scraps and revisit your play-doh skills! Roll the leftovers into a cylinder 2" thick. If you have coarse sanding or Demerara sugar, roll to cover the entire cylinder.
  2. Wrap the cylinder of dough up in parchment or plastic. Freeze until solid. Slice and place on parchment-paper lined cookie sheet and bake at 350F until just golden on the edges.