I made these to satisfy a craving and to help a family member in need of satisfying hers. I know, it is difficult but I feel I should sacrifice my thighs to help family and friends….! When Sophie came to visit this past month, we tried to make her sample as many local delicacies as possible. We could not get okra and hot sauce to pass her lips but she acquired a taste for tortilla chips, chow-chow, Moose Tracks ice cream, and pecan pies…Yummmm! Of course, as godmother extraordinaire I promised her I would hunt for a recipe in French, using ingredients easily available for her and I would make a batch for the blog so she could get an idea of things to come. While my tree is not quite ready to give me the pecans I needed to come up with a substitute.
I was happy to provide her with a recipe and teach her how to make them but we were faced with a couple of problems. It would be difficult for her to find pecans and corn syrup in France to duplicate the recipe. I admit that I rarely use corn syrup when I make mine and I usually substitute maple syrup or honey without a problem. I don’t really have anything against corn syrup, I just don’t understand the concept of an odorless and tasteless syrup when I can use more flavorful ones. Don’t raise your arms up in the air people and scream "food snob", it is just my opinion, my palate, my tastebuds! The extra boost of flavor after that first bite is really something! As far as the pecans, I told her not to worry if she could not find them easily back home and that walnuts made a great substitute. Since I made them a couple of days ago, I have tried them again with pine nuts, pistachios, cashews and I am happy to report that each nut bring an new dimension to the tartelettes (or tassies as they are often called).
Since I found this recipe on a French blog, La Petite Cuisine, written by the lovelie Elodie, I will provide the measurements in grams but feel free to convert using this site. Like her, I usually use a shortbread crust for nut pies. They are already quite rich so why not continue with the idea and make them even richer?!
Walnut Honey Tartelettes, adapted from La Petite Cuisine.
Makes 4 4-inch tartelettes, and 8-10 mini tassies.
For the tart shells: (not provided by Elodie, but this is my go-to recipe)
1 stick plus 1 Tb. butter, cut in small pieces
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
In a food processor, pulse all the dry ingredients. Add the butter and pulse again. Add the egg yolk and pulse until the mixture comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate while you prepare the filling. Roll between sheets of plastic wrap and cut out circles larger than your tart shells, fit the dough into the molds and cut out the excess. Set them on a sheet pan and bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Because the dough has a tendency to puff up, I take the shells out halfway through the baking process and pat the bottoms flat with the back of a spoon.
For the filling:
150g chopped walnuts
75g butter, melted
100g light brown sugar
In large bowl, whish the eggs with the brown sugar an the honey. Add the melted butter.Divide the walnuts among the tart shells. Slowly pour the filling over the nuts, trying not to move them around too much. Bake at 350 for about 20 mits or until deep golden brown.
I know I liked them a lot…I ate a obscene number of the mini ones but in an attempt to be completely fair for Sophie, I had B. and the neighbors try some and they all approved of the honey/walnuts combo. So go ahead dear and have fun!