I've made this tart twice now and it is absolutely wonderful. It has a crunchy crust, a sweet/salty filling oozing with the flavor of butter and honey, and is topped with the unique taste of pine nuts. It's an easy tart to make also.
This recipe comes from Gina DePalma, from her great book Dolce Italiano. Gina is the pastry chef at Mario Batali's restaurant Babbo. Thank you Gina for such a delicious recipe.
If you have a special mild honey, such as acacia or orange blossom, this recipe is even more special.
Honey and Pine Nut Tart
Makes one 10" tart for 8 servings
Sweet Tart Crust (see below)
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cup pine nuts
On a floured surface, roll the tart dough into an 11" circle 1/8" thick. Transfer the dough to a 10" tart pan with fluted sides and a removable bottom. It's easiest to transfer by rolling the dough around the pin and then unrolling it into the pan. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan, then trim it so it is flush with the top of the pan. Chill the tart shell while you make the filling.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and position an oven rack in the center of oven.
To make the custard: Place the honey, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and stir to combine them. Add the butter, place the saucepan over med-high heat, and bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl; allow it to cool for 20 minutes. Whisk in heavy cream, followed by the egg and egg yolk.
Place the tart shell on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Distribute the pine nuts evenly over the bottom of the tart shell and pour the custard into the shell until it reaches the top of the crust. Bake for 30-55 minutes, or until both the crust and the filling have turned light golden brown and the custard is set but still jiggly. (Mine took the full 55 minutes.) Allow the tart to cool completely on a rack before carefully removing the sides of the pan.
Serve the tart while still slightly warm, or cool it and serve at room temperature. Leftovers will keep, wriapped in plastic, for a few days in the refrigerator.
Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.
Sweet Tart Crust
Makes one 10" tart shell
2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon or 1 small orange
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4" cubes
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
A few drops ice water, if necessary
Place the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and citrus zest in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to combine the dry ingredients. Add all fo the cold, cubed butter to the bowl and pulse to process the mixture until it is sandy and there are no visible lumps of butter.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and heavy cream. Add the wet ingredients to the food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times, or until the dough comes together. If necessary, add some ice water, a few drops at a time, to make the dough come together.
Remove the dough from the food processor and work it with your hands to even out any dry and wet spots. Form the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill until firm, 1 to 2 hours, before rolling it out. You can freeze the dough, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.