Sunday, September 20, 2009

Magazine Monday # 50: Chocolate Walnut Tart

My dad's friend, who lives near Kelowna, has a walnut tree and some time ago I was gifted with a bag of walnuts from it. Yeah, I said "a while ago" because I let the nuts - still in their shells - sit around my kitchen for over a month. Why? Because I hate cracking nuts. Remember my hazelnuts from last year and the blister I got cracking them all? Well, I wasn't too excited about a repeat blister or sore hands. But, I didn't want to let the nuts go to waste, so I got out my cracker and set to work.

Man...About halfway through the bag - which yielded me 1 whole cup of nuts - I had a blister and a bruised-feeling palm. I'd also made a mess: the nuts were harder to crack than the hazelnuts and I guess letting them "mature" over the summer wasn't a good idea and the shells flew all over the place as I cracked them. My kitchen table & floor were both a disaster. But I had my one measly cup of nuts, enough for this Chocolate Walnut Tart recipe that came from the Feb. 2009 issue of Taste of Home, which came to me via my good friend Pierce earlier this summer. My nuts didn't need to be chopped; I had such a hard time prying them out of their shells that they were all in pieces - but my fingers were nice and soft from the oil and smelled really nice, so it wasn't all bad...

Chocolate Walnut Tart

Pastry for 9" single crust pie
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 eggs
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla

1. Press pastry into bottom & up sides of 9" fluted tart pan with removable bottom; trim off excess pastry. Sprinkle nuts & chocolate chips into crust.

2. In a bowl, combine the remaining filling ingredients & mix well. Pour into crust.

3. Bake at 350F for 25 - 30 minutes or until top is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers.

OK. This was a massive FAIL. FAIL, I tell you!

First off, I made this in a 9" square pan because I wanted to freeze most of the tart and cutting it into squares would be much simpler. A 9" square pan is 81" in total area; a 9" round tart pan is 63.6" in total area. I mean, this is basic math, here...Correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, my point is the square pan is bigger than the tart pan, so the filling was spread over a larger surface area.

But my tart didn't set! At all! I baked it for the allotted time, at the correct temperature, according to my oven thermometer. I then put it in for an additional 10 minutes - twice. Then, I put it in again, only to take it out shortly thereafter because the crust was getting too brown, as was the top. Upon cooling, the filling still didn't set. The sides were OK, if a bit gooey, but OK nonetheless, but the centre was a different story altogether. I refrigerated it for several hours, and still it didn't do its thing. It was a mess.HMPH!!! I was not happy and couldn't figure out where I'd gone wrong. The pan size shouldn't have made a difference. This is basically a pecan pie filling, and I've made tons of them before, and never had this problem. The only thing I can think of was that it was the recipe itself. Perhaps 2 eggs would have sufficed, instead of 3. I don't know.

I managed to salvage the squares around the edges and freeze them for our camping trip, and the middle I picked away at when I needed a sugar craving - but still, I found this to be a waste of valuable ingredients for me, not to mention the time I put into cracking all the nuts! Grrrr!

20 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That is to die for! What a scrumptiously gooey tart!

Cheers,

Rosa

monicajane said...

yeah, I'm with Rosa...it looks good regardless.

you know this brings me back to childhood...

my grandfather was a farmer and among many other things he had a walnut orchard.

we were routinely put to work shelling walnuts for all sort of occasions...HOURS OF SHELLING...

it's made me NEVER want to see a whole walnut again, even though in my adult life I've gone back to such basics in large part--big proponent of whole food and all that.

it felt like child abuse at the time... :-) (I'm exaggerating, of course)

Wandering Coyote said...

MJ: that sounds like HELL! I can only imagine the blisters you had to endure!

Pierce said...

Oh but it looks so good. Just get me a spoon!

I take it you are not the host of magazine Mondays.....but I really enjoy those posts.

Poor Monica Jane! That does sound like abuse...owee.

Wandering Coyote said...

Pierce: I was only temporarily hosting MM while our regular hostess, Ivonne of Creampuffs in Venice, was on holiday.

Bob said...

I would think all the eggs would have made it firm, that's weird. Heh, it does look good, although I understand getting pissed when recipe don't go how you want. You could always just spoon the middle part over some ice cream. :D

A Year on the Grill said...

ah well, sorry it didn't turn out to your liking. But it looks like a great thing to grab a spoon and nibble away during some deliciously trashy movie

Pierce said...

Ahhhh...well, you are a great host.

By the way, do you get Southern Living magazine up your way? Can't imagine you would but thought I'd ask.

Wandering Coyote said...

Pierce: I'll look for it, but it doesn't sound familiar. I don't spend a lot of time perusing the magazine stands, though, so we might get it and I just haven't seen it.

Shelly W said...

I HATE it when something I make doesn't turn out. Wasting food/ingredients ticks me off, too. It especially sucks after all your hard work! It does still look good, though !

creampuff said...

Oh! Sorry it didn't turn out quite how you liked it especially since so much effort went into cracking all those nuts!!!

Cinnamon Girl aka Reeni♥ said...

I'm sorry after all that work it didn't set up!!

Coleen's Recipes said...

Sorry you had such a hard time with the recipe. The "un-set" filling looks like it would have been great over ice cream.

Palidor said...

That looks amazing! Sort of like a butter tart but with chocolate chips and walnuts instead of raisins. About the tart not setting, I think it's the recipe's fault. When I bake a butter tart pie (9" round), it always takes close to an hour before the center sets.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Oh no! I am so sorry it didn't work out - after all your hard work!

Tia said...

wow, that's making my mouth water. i have a huge craving for walnuts right now thanks to you ! lol

Pierce said...

I'll send you a copy today of that mag. Can I still play Magazine Mondays with you? :D

Wandering Coyote said...

Pierce: Thanks! And if you want to still participate in Magazine Mondays, you can send your link to Ivonne over at Creampuffs in Venice.

http://creampuffsinvenice.ca

You WILL get traffic - trust me!

Helene said...

This is to die for! What a great goey walnut tart.

Pierce said...

You are too cool...

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