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James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Walnut-Caramel Tart

A fail-safe press-in crust makes this tart easy to pull off. Prep and Cook Time: about 1 hour, plus at least 4 hours to cool.

Sunset FEBRUARY 2006

  • Yield: Makes 12 to 16 servings


  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups walnut halves
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche or whipping cream


1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1/2 cup butter and the brown sugar until smooth. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Add flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt and beat until mixture forms a ball.

2. Press dough over bottom and up sides to rim of a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable rim. Freeze until firm, 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, spread walnuts in a large baking pan. Bake until lightly golden under skins, about 8 minutes (leave oven on). When walnuts are cool enough to handle, chop 2 cups; reserve remainder.

4. Bake tart shell until golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack.

5. Meanwhile, in a 3- to 4-quart pan over medium heat, combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then increase heat to high and boil, swirling mixture occasionally, until mixture is a deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in crème fraîche, remaining 1/4 cup butter, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt (mixture will foam). Stir until smooth.

6. Spread chopped walnuts in tart shell, then pour in hot caramel; spread level. Garnish edge of tart with reserved walnut halves. Let tart cool until caramel is firm enough to slice, at least 4 hours, or chill up to 2 days (bring to room temperature before serving). Cut into thin wedges.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 366
  • Calories from fat: 54%
  • Protein: 4.2g
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated fat: 8.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 40g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Sodium: 209mg
  • Cholesterol: 43mg

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Walnut-Caramel Tart recipe