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Oregon Filbert and Honey Tart

(recipe, Ellen Jackson & Chefs Collaborative)


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Introduction

Recipe from Piper Davis, Grand Central Baking Company, Portland, Oregon A few cups of freshly milled whole-wheat flour from a neighbor inspired Piper Davis to experiment with the crust for this decadent tart. It turns out that whole-wheat pastry flour makes a buttery and flaky crust if you follow a few important steps: Begin with very cold ingredients, add enough liquid to hold the dough together (more than you would with white flour), and refrigerate the dough overnight before rolling it out. This relaxes the gluten and allows the dough to fully absorb the moisture of the other ingredients, making it easier to roll and more tender. In order to savor its individual rich flavors, serve slices of this tart adorned simply, with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

Ingredients

    Dough
    1. 1 large egg
    2. 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
    3. 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
    4. ¼ cup granulated sugar
    5. 1 tsp. kosher salt
    6. ½ tsp. baking powder
    7. ¾ cup (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced into ½-inch cubes
    Filling
    1. 2 cups hazelnuts
    2. ¾ cup honey
    3. ¼ cup brown sugar
    4. ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
    5. ½ cup heavy cream
    6. 2 large eggs
    7. 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    8. Freshly whipped cream, for serving (optional)

    Steps

    1. Make the dough: Break the egg into a small bowl and set it aside. Combine the all-purpose and whole-wheat pastry flours, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl with high sides or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter cubes and toss with the dry ingredients. Put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for at least 10 minutes.
    2. Pour ¼ cup of water over ice. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or by rubbing the flour and butter together with your fingers. When the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, add the ice water and egg, mixing just until the dough begins to come together. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and use the heels and sides of your palms to gather and press the dough into a 1½-inch-tall disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
    3. Make the filling: Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Toast the hazelnuts on a baking sheet for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are a rich dark brown and their skins are beginning to fall off. Allow them to cool slightly and then use a clean, dry dishtowel to rub the nuts together to remove the remaining skins. Set the nuts aside.
    4. Melt the honey, brown sugar, and butter together in a saucepan with high sides over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a hard boil, remove from the heat, and slowly and carefully whisk in the cream. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla when the caramel is just barely warm.
    5. Make the tart: Lightly flour a work surface. Roll the dough into a 14- to 15-inch circle, about ¼ inch thick. Fold it in half and carefully lay the tart dough in a 10-inch tart pan with a false bottom and fluted edges. Press the dough into the corners and up the sides of the pan, then trim the edges with a rolling pin. Refrigerate for 15 minutes and heat the oven to 350 degrees.
    6. Line the chilled tart shell with parchment paper and fill it with dried beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, reduce the heat to 325 degrees, and cover the bottom of the crust with the toasted hazelnuts. Pour the custard over the top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the custard has just set. Cool completely before serving; top with whipped cream if you like.