RECIPE TITLE "Caramel Cashew Tart " Author: Thanksgiving 101: Celebrate America's Favorite Holiday with America's Thanksgiving Expert
8 - 12 --moderate
Make Ahead: The tart can be prepared up to 1 day ahead.
Talk about a crowd-pleaser! There is something about the combination of caramel and cashews that everyone loves--it must remind us of a candy bar. I sent this tart off to a friend's office to get opinions, and it got such unanimous raves, I had to send a second tart to placate the disappointed people who missed the first one. A few tips: When making tbe caramel, be careful when adding the cream (it can bubble over if you're not alert), and allow time for the caramel to cool before adding the egg, or the filling will curdle. As good as this buffery tart is, it is candy-bar sweet, and should be served in thin slices.
Sweet Tart Dough (page 124)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
8 ounces unsalted roasted cashews (2 heaping cups)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sweetened Whipped Cream (page 137)
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and place a baking sheet on the rack. Preheat to 400¦F. Lightly butter a 9-inch round tart pan.
- Press the dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared tart pan. Using a fork, prick the dough a few times. Line the dough with aluminum foil and weight with pie weights, dried beans, or raw rice.
Place the pan on the hot baking sheet. Bake until the pastry seems set, about 10 minutes. Lift up and remove the foil and weights. Continue baking until the tart shell is lightly browned, about 8 more minutes. Cool the tart shell on a wire cake rack while you make the filling. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and keep the oven at 400¦F.
- In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until small bubbles appear around the edges. (Or, heat the cream in a microwave oven, being careful that it doesn't boil over.) Set the hot cream aside.
- In a tall medium saucepan over high heat, bring the sugar and 1/4 cup water to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. (Don't stir a boiling sugar syrup, or it will crystallize into a thick glop.) Boil the syrup until it turns deep amber, 3 to 5 minutes. While the syrup is boiling, occasionally swirl the pan by the handle to mix it, and wash down any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan by dipping a large pastry brush in cold water and rubbing the wet brush against the crystals.
- When the syrup is dark amber, reduce the heat to low. Being very careful, slowly stir in the hot cream. The mixture will bubbly dramatically but eventually subside. Simmer, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Pour into a medium bowl and place on another cake rack or a trivet. (The caramel will cool more quickly if air can circulate under the bowl.) Cool, stirring often, until tepid, about 1 hour.
- Using the side of a large knife, coarsely crush about 1 cup of the cashews and spread in the tart shell. Top with the remaining whole cashews. Whisk the melted butter, egg, and vanilla into the tepid caramel. Pour the caramel mixture over the cashews.
- Place the tart on a cool baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350¦F and continue baking until the filling is bubbling in the center, about 15 more minutes. Cool the tart completely on a wire cake rack. (The tart can be baked 1 day ahead. Cover the cooled tart with plastic wrap and store at room temperature.) Serve with the whipped cream.
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