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Midnight Lace Walnut Tart

October 6, 2011

Picture by Gerik

Pecan Pie has been a favorite, especially with the men in our family. Among the pies gracing the Thanksgiving buffet or table it never fails to appear.

Nuts were important in our family. Mom and Dad traveled to California to visit relatives often and on the trip home they carried a bounty of gunnysacks filled with nuts in their shells. The long winter evenings were filled with cracking nuts and stuffing the freezer with bags of them. While shelling, Mom told stories of growing up with 11 brothers and sisters where much of their evenings were filled, like ours were at that moment, shelling dried corn, nuts or whatever their farm produced.

What I loved most was that after I married and moved away, Mom and Dad would bring a box full of shelled nuts for my freezer. Sadly, Mom and Dad are both gone but baking with nuts bring back those wonderful memories.

Although Pecan Pie is preferred in our house, for catering purposes I prefer having less of the gooey filling in the pies so I started adjusting the recipe into tarts for my clients. Changing from pecans to walnuts gives it a new twist although pecans would still substitute easily.

The Midnight Lace Walnut Tart makes a stunning presentation on a dessert buffet. It cuts like a dream without disturbing the chocolate lace on top and serves easily. Thanksgiving is coming up pretty soon and this just might be the ticket for a place on your table.

Midnight Lace Walnut Tart

1 pie pastry for one 10-inch tart pan with remove-able bottom.

Pastry Recipe or purchase if desired
1 cup flour
⅓ cup shortening
½ tsp salt

Mix the salt and flour together. Rub the shortening with the flour until there are thin cornflake size flakes in the flour. Stir in 3 or so T of cold water, enough to bring the dough together when you stir it. Gather dough, knead 2 times then roll out on floured board. Fit into tart shell, trim the edges.

3 large eggs, whip with fork to combine yolk and whites
½ cup sugar
3 cups walnut halves and pieces
1 cup + 1 T light corn syrup
4 ½ T butter, softened
3 tsp orange flower water
½ tsp orange zest

Lace Topping:
2 oz. chocolate chips
Walnut halves to decorate

Instructions for filling . . . .

Mix the sugar and eggs together and then stir in remaining filling ingredients. Pour into the tart shell. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. The middle should puff up when done.

Remove from oven and let cool. Push the tart out of the pan using the loose bottom. Slide the tart off the bottom onto your serving plate.

Instructions for Lace . . . .

Melt the chocolate chips gently. If you don’t have a pastry bag or decorating tips, a zip lock bag will work fine. Place the chocolate in the bag, snip a tiny hole in one corner. Begin piping the chocolate in a thin stream back and forth across the tart. Turn tart ¼ th turn and do it again. Let set. Decorate with walnut halves before serving.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2011 10:54 pm

    This is so nice looking. Pecan is a favorite of mine too. But if I have to choose, with just two of us in the house for the holiday, I pick pumpkin. OK, we normally still do both!

  2. October 19, 2011 2:27 am

    I’m not the biggest nut fan, as you know, but this is delicious!

  3. Sue permalink
    October 20, 2011 1:37 am

    Hey, this looks scrumptious! I am going to make it for T-giving dinner. But, since I’m not familiar with orange flower water, please share.

    • October 20, 2011 2:11 am

      Check the World Market, they should have it.

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