Any-Nut Tart 8.000

Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post

Nov 17, 2017

It is beautiful, but baking columnist for Food 52 Erin Jeanne McDowell calls this her "scrap tart," because she used leftovers from several bags of different nuts for the filling. Using phyllo makes for an easy, shatteringly crisp crust.

Be careful not to overbake, or the filling will become rubbery and tough.

Make Ahead: The tart can be made up to 1 day in advance and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Leftovers will keep for up to 3 days more, but the phyllo crust will become less crisp.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes one 10-inch tart

  • For the crust
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough (about 14 by 18 inches), defrosted
  • 3 tablespoons (37 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams; 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • For the filling
  • 5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (213 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (191 grams) honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups (255 grams) whole or coarsely chopped nuts, such as cashews, peanuts, pistachios, pecans or pine nuts; or a combo


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, preferably with a baking stone on the bottom rack. Lightly grease a 10-inch tart pan (preferably with a removable bottom) and place it on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

For the crust: Unfold the phyllo sheets and cover them with damp paper towels.

Whisk together the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place one sheet of phyllo on your work surface (keep the remaining sheets covered) and brush it all over with the melted butter. Evenly sprinkle on a heaping teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar. Place another sheet of phyllo on top, arranging it slightly askew so that the corners of the 2 sheets do not match up, and brush with butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Repeat with the remaining phyllo, butter and cinnamon sugar. The finished “crust” should look like a sunflower, with multiple corners poking out from the mismatched sheets of phyllo.

Carefully transfer the phyllo to the tart pan. Press the layered phyllo sheets into the bottom of the pan and up the sides to completely cover it; work around the edges with your fingers, scrunching the layered phyllo together to create a ruffled effect.

For the filling: Whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, honey, salt and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking until each one is fully incorporated before adding the next.

Place the nuts in the crust, spreading them out with your hands to settle them in evenly. Slowly pour the custard over the nuts.

Bake the tart (on the stone or bottom rack; on its baking sheet) for about 35 minutes, or until the filling is set at the edges and barely jiggly at the center; the nuts should be golden and the crust should be evenly browned. If the crust seems like it is browning too quickly, cover with a loose tent of aluminum foil. Cool completely before serving or storing.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Fearless Baker" by Erin Jeanne McDowell (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017).

Tested by Kara Elder.

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