Saturday, March 14, 2015

Rosemary-scented Caramel Pine Nut Tart

I try to go out to dinner with a couple of different friends at least once a month to try new restaurants.  A month or two ago I went out and had this tart for dessert.  When the server was explaining the desserts (which I usually don't order), I decided a rosemary infused pine nut tart had to be mine to try.  I like different flavor combinations and this one intrigued me enough to try it.  Not only was it very delicious it stuck in my head.  I searched the internet for a way to make this.  The only place that has a recipe is a recipe by Claudia Fleming when she worked at the Gramercy Tavern.  So this recipe is adapted from her cookbook The Last Course.  Though I tend not to make many desserts, I think this will become a cookbook that I use for those adventures.  

Rosemary-scented Caramel Pine Nut Tart
Serves 8-10

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup almond meal

1 cup pine nuts, toasted
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup vanilla sugar
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 sprigs rosemary (about 5 inches each)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Crust: In a mixer bowl, beat the butter and powdered sugar for about a minute.  Add the lightly beaten egg and mix together.  Whisk together the flours (white and almond meal) with the salt.  Add the flour mixture to the butter, sugar and egg mixture.  Mix only until just combined.  Wrap the dough and chill for at least an hour.

 Preheat oven to 325F.  Roll the dough out into a 12 inch round which should fit into a 10 inch tart pan with removable bottom.  Trim extra dough and prick with a fork.  (I used a 10 inch spring-form as my tart pan does not have a removable bottom.)  Chill for an additional 10 minutes.  Remove from the refrigerator and bake for about 20 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Let cool.

 Filling: Preheat oven to 350F and toast the pine nuts for about 7-8 minutes or just until starting to lightly brown.  Remove from oven and let the pine nuts cool.

In a saucepan, melt the butter.  Once melted add the honey, corn syrup and sugar.  Keep the heat low until the sugar is dissolved and then raise the heat to high.  Let the mixture boil, stirring to keep it from burning.  It will turn a dark amber color color after about 14 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in the heavy cream.  It will sputter, so it is better if you add a little at a time and keep the caramel over low heat.  If the cream is too cold the caramel will seize.  Keep stirring and it will become smooth.  Turn off the heat and add the toasted pine nuts, vanilla, rosemary sprigs and salt.  Let the rosemary infuse for about 15 minutes.

Wrap the outside of the cooled tart shell with aluminum foil.  Remove the rosemary sprigs and pour the filling into the shell.  Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

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