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French Walnut Tart

10 Servings

2¼ hours 20 minutes active, plus cooling

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This simple tart comes from the Perigord region of France, an area known for its walnuts. A cookie-like pastry shell is filled with the rich, subtly bitter nuts and buttery caramel. Our version tones down what is often cloying sweetness with a small measure of crème fraîche and a dose of cider vinegar (you won’t detect it in the finished dessert). Whole-wheat flour in the crust plays up the earthiness of the walnuts. To toast the nuts, spread them in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 325°F until fragrant and just starting to brown, about 8 minutes, stirring just once or twice; do not overtoast them or they will taste bitter. The dough-lined tart pan can be prepared in advance; after the dough has firmed up, wrap tightly in plastic and freeze for up to two weeks. The tart is superb lightly sprinkled with flaky sea salt and accompanied by crème fraîche or unsweetened whipped cream.




Don’t overcook the caramel. Aim for an amber hue; if it gets much darker than that, the finished tart will taste bitter.

2¼ hours

20 minutes active, plus cooling

For the tart shell:

  • 87

    grams (⅔ cup) all-purpose flour


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Claudia W.
January 1, 2023
a nice change from pecan pie
i like the crust, and the filling is interesting. i used greek yogurt instead of creme fraiche and it was really good.
Mara K.
December 31, 2022
Imagine the best pecan pie ever except without pecans
I love pecans, but I love walnuts even more. This is like eating the most elegant pecan pie you could imagine. Do not substitute ingredients. Do not substitute equipment. The additions of creme fraiche and apple cider make it next-level amazing. It is critical that you eat this with a dollop of creme fraiche as well. Amazing.
Matt K.
November 22, 2022
Problem with filling running over
I've made this recipe a few times before and really enjoy it, but the most recent time the filling puffed and ran over the sides of my crust and pan. I don't think I did. Anything differently, does anyone know why this may have happened?
Richard A.
January 1, 2023
Made this today, and could have been outstanding but for the taste of the cider vinegar in the finished product. Followed recipe exactly as written. Perhaps 1T too much? Used apple cider vinegar. What went wrong?
March 7, 2024
breathtaking and delicious
I made five individual tartlets using the same recipe. It was incredibly time consuming but came out beautifully. It's true that the addition of creme fraiche and cider vinegar adds a different and beautiful flavor. It is not cloying at all. I think this is a good base recipe to use other nuts. I cannot wait to make it again.
Michele R.

Given the eggs yolks in the caramel, can anyone share if leftovers will need to be refrigerated? Realizing this is different than a pecan pie, I do typically refrigerate leftovers of that type of pie. Thanks!

Janelle C.

Hi Michele,

Our Recipe Developer, Julia Rackow says there is no need to refrigerate in this case. The change in temperature would alter the sugar crystallization in this dish so feel free to leave it out but covered.

The Milk Street Team

Allyson S.

Unfortunately, I do not have crème fraiche available to me right now. Would I be able to use another type of cream, or a combination thereof? I have access to Half n Half, Heavy Whipping Cream, Ricotta Cheese, Yogurt, Cottage Cheese.

Janelle C.

Hi Allyson,

This is a great question. Would you post it in our Q&A Forum for Milk Street Insiders and Digital subscribers? Insider members usually receive responses from a Milk Street Experts within 2 business days and I'm sure others would love to hear the answer to this one.

The Milk Street Team

Carl M.

Best experience thus far while cruising Milk Street. The walnuts proved to be the perfect combination with the sweet of the caramel and the sprinkled salt.

yvonne d.

This was incredible! Due to a walnut allergy in the house I used pecans instead to accommodate, but followed everything else to a tee. Highly recommend!

Nicola B.

Can't wait for try this out. Any thoughts on using a combination of walnuts and pistachios with some spices typically used in baklava?

Lynn C.

Hi Nicola -

We think this would work fine and sounds delicious (though not French :-) ). Good luck!

The Milk Street Team

Jo Ann K.

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