This is a seriously gourmet dessert with an incredible combination of flavors. Rich, buttery pine nuts, light floral, clover honey and an herby rosemary are very well balanced in this unique nut tart.
Get a bit adventurous and serve an extraordinarily memorable dessert for the holidays this year. The flavors set it apart from the usual and will create an extravagant and sophisticated flair to your meal.
This is actually a very easy dessert to make so don’t be intimidated by the complexity of flavors.
The crust comes together in a flash. Blend everything up in a food processor, then dump it in the tart pan and press it down. A crust just doesn’t get easier…or taste better. There isn’t anything complex about creating the filling either, stir the ingredients together in a bowl and pour it in the baked crust. If you haven’t made browned butter before, it just takes a watchful eye and constant stirring so you don’t burn it. Believe me, this step is worth your time, it will add an extra layer of complexity to the dessert.
There is an extra step to making the whipped cream. A portion of the cream is heated up with a rosemary sprig to infuse the flavors into the cream. Hot cream will not whip so after it has infused add it to the remaining cold cream and give it a good chill before you whip it. You wont regret taking the extra time to do this.
I will caution you about the tart pan. The bottom of the pan has a removable bottom that simply pushes up. It doesn’t fasten to the sides like a cheesecake pan does so if you pick the pan up by the bottom, the outside ring will fall down your arm. To prevent this from happening, place the pan on a cookie sheet and don’t remove it until it has cooled completely. The convenient thing about the removable bottom is that you can slip the cooled dessert out of the ring and slice it quite easily since the edges of the pan wont get in the way.
This recipe was adapted from Epicurious
- ½ cup pine nuts (70 grams)
- ½ cup almonds (70 grams)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (13 grams)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups flour (180 grams)
- ½ cup cold butter (8 tablespoons) cut into cubes
- 1 egg
- 2 cups pine nuts (280 grams)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 1 cup clover honey (340 grams)
- 2 tablespoon dark molasses (40 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
- 1 egg white
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 3 tablespoons bakers sugar*
- Place the pine nuts, almonds, sugar, rosemary and salt in a food processor and process until it is the consistency of sand. Combine the flour and process in pulses until it is well blended. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times until the butter is incorporated. Add the egg and pulse a few more times to blend it in. The dough will appear dry and loose but when you pinch it, it will stick together in a clump.
- Spray an 11 inch tart pan and place the tart pan on a cookie sheet. Dump the crust mixture into the tart pan and spread it out. It will look like it is too much dough but once it is pressed down it will be a perfect fit. Using the back of a measuring cup, push the crumbs down into the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and cover it with plastic wrap then place in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place some parchment paper over the dough and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Place the tart (still on the cookie sheet) in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, remove the parchment paper and weights then return it to the oven and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
- Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and slide it in the oven (the oven should still be set at 350°) Toast the pine nuts for 5 to 6 minutes until they just start to turn light brown. Watch them closely as they will burn quite quickly if you leave them in just a little too long. Once browned, remove from the oven and set aside for later.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes. It will get foamy then start to turn a golden brown color and smell nutty. Remove from the heat, stir in the chopped rosemary and set aside for later (the hot butter will foam up again when you stir in the rosemary).
- In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, honey, molasses, salt vanilla and eggs. Whisk on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the brown butter then the pine nuts.
- Pour the filling into the cooled tart pan, cover the edges of the crust with tin foil to prevent over-browning and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. The filling will be a light golden brown and the center will be slightly jiggly but will firm up when it cools. If you have an instant read thermometer the center of the filling should be at 185°F. If you don't have an instant read thermometer, a knife inserted in the center should come out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a baking rack.
- In a small saucepan, bring ½ cup of cream to a gentle simmer then remove it from the heat and stir in the rosemary sprigs. Cover the pan and let it sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes to infuse the rosemary into the cream.
- Remove the rosemary sprigs and add the rosemary infused cream to the remaining 1 cup of cream in a medium mixing bowl. Set in the fridge until the cream is cold (you can speed the process up by placing it in the freezer and stirring it every 5 minutes)
- Add the vanilla extract and confectioners sugar to the cream and whip on medium high speed until soft peaks form.
- Whisk the egg white until foamy then dip the sprigs of rosemary into the egg white to coat it. Sprinkle the sugar over the rosemary and set it on a towel to dry. Once it is dry, garnish the tart with it and serve with the rosemary cream.
**A tart pan has a removable bottom that pushes up if you hold it on the bottom. To prevent loosing the tart to the kitchen floor, place the pan on a cookie sheet. This will make handling the tart easier and the cookie sheet will catch any spills if the tart bubbles over.
**You can rinse off the the rosemary sprigs that you use for the cream and recycle them for the garnish.
**Bakers sugar is an ultra-fine granulated sugar, you can substitute with regular granulated sugar if you like.
**Hot cream will not whip so make certain to give the cream a good chill after you infuse it with the rosemary.