walnut tarts

walnut tarts

i have never understood pecan pie but i realize that it is a popular dessert with many people. for me, the rich and sugary filling is too much to handle. i can stomach about one maybe two bites before i am done with it.

when i saw this recipe on smitten kitchen - i was intrigued. i like walnuts (i eat them raw all the time) and this sounded less sweet and rich than a typical pecan pie. it needed to be tried.

i have made a couple different pecan pies over the years - mainly because members of my family enjoy it. they turned out well and everyone seemed to enjoy them. but after i made these walnut tarts, i knew i would never have to make another pecan pie again.

my godmother is a fan of pecan pie. for christmas last year, i made gifts for everyone. i knew these tarts would be a hit with her and i was right!

the shortbread crust is a perfect buttery container for the filling. the filling is not overly sweet - i would venture to say that it is more spicy than it is sweet. the original recipe called for aniseed which i am not a fan of - so i substituted cinnamon and a bit of apple pie spice. the result was wonderful - the cinnamon, orange zest and apple pie spice give these tarts a spicy warmth unmatched by pecan pie. the best part is the filling bubbles up in the oven and overflows to cover the pastry in a gooey caramel. 

i believe that pecan pie and non-pecan pie fans will agree - these walnut tarts rock!


  • walnut tarts
  • adapted from bon appetit, may 1999 via smitten kitchen
  • 1 recipe Sweet Tart Shell (recipe below), unbaked
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • zest of an orange
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1 3/4 cups walnuts chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Read the whole recipe on picky cook