Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Maple Walnut Tarts

If Autumn had a flavor, this might be it. Which is funny when you think about it since maple syrup is actually harvested in March or April. Perhaps it's the lovely imagery of the Maple leaves turning red and orange that makes one crave the flavor of maple. Or perhaps it's the baking aspect that speaks of the season. Particularly since this tart is very reminiscent of pecan pie which goes hand in hand with the fall holidays. Regardless of the why, I have definitely found the how, in regards to enjoying this delicious fall flavor: individual maple tarts. And just to make them more festive I baked them in fall shaped muffin tins--in the shapes of pumpkins and leaves, of course.

What you need:

Pastry for 12 tarts

1/4 cup soft butter
2/3 packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Cut your pastry dough into 12 3 1/4 inch rounds and press into tart pans or muffin tin.

Filling: Cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in maple syrup. Fold in walnuts and spoon into tart shells.

Bake at 375 F for 15 - 18 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is set. Allow to cool in pan for a few minutes. Remove to rack for further cooling.

One bite of these little cuties and I thought I had gone to heaven. I served them warm with vanilla ice cream. The perfect little fall dessert.

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