Nutella Tart with Toasted Hazelnut Crust
Welcome to recipe #2 in pie week!
This was the first recipe I tested and photographed for pie week. Can’t imagine why…
This nutella tart tastes exactly how it looks: lush. It’s a nutella ganache of sorts, cooked on the… I’m sorry, wait. Did you read that just now? NUTELLA GANACHE.
Ok so a nutella ganache (!!!) cooked on the stovetop in a matter of minutes and poured into a toasted hazelnut crust. It’s rich, but not quite as rich as you would guess. Who am I kidding, the ingredients are heavy cream and nutella. It’s exactly as rich as you would guess.
Before I get into more nutella tart details, I want to show you a new post over on my photography blog. Pretty much what October looked like around these parts. Slowing down at home, as well as getting out and making the most of this too-short time of year. Sweet blissful fall, you’ve been a gem!
Back to your regularly scheduled pie.
While this is essentially a foolproof recipe (I swear it’s easy), I have a bunch of step shots for you so you can understand exactly what you’re doing with both the crust and the filling. I’ll put all of the step shots below the recipe since there’s quite a few.
But here’s what you need to know right now:
- All of the filling’s flavor comes from nutella. I was tempted to put chopped up chocolate in the filling as well, but didn’t want anything– even plain chocolate– to take away from nutella’s own chocolate flavor.
- You’ll only need 5 ingredients for the nutella filling. And they’re all basic ingredients like cream, cornstarch, nutella, vanilla, and salt.
- The crust is wonderfully crunchy and a delightful complement to the smooth nutella filling it holds. Where are all my texture loving friends out there? This dessert is for us.
- Taking a few minutes to toast the chopped hazelnuts beforehand intensifies their flavor, which clearly pairs well with chocolate hazelnut spread!
- Make the crust in your food processor. Just wait until you smell everything coming together. Those toasted hazelnuts are unbelievably dreamy.
- You don’t need to bake the filling! Just spread it inside the pre-baked crust and refrigerate.
- Since this recipe sets up in the fridge, your oven is clear for other Thanksgiving recipes. We all really need this!
Also: make ahead recipe alert! Since this tart sets up in the refrigerator– and tastes best cold– you can essentially make it days in advance and let it hang out in the fridge until you need to serve it. You’ll love that!
Nutella Tart with Toasted Hazelnut Crust
Toasted Hazelnut Crust
- 1 cup (120g) chopped unsalted Diamond of California hazelnuts
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 3 Tablespoons (45ml) ice water
- 2 Tablespoons (14g) cornstarch
- 2 cups (480g) heavy cream
- 3/4 cup (225g) Nutella
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- I encourage you to check out the step-by-step photos below this recipe before beginning.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C). Spread chopped hazelnuts out onto a parchment paper or silicone baking mat lined baking sheet. Toast until slightly darkened, about 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool down for 5 minutes. Turn the oven up to 350°F (177°C)
- For the crust: Using a food processor, pulse 3/4 cup of the toasted hazelnuts, the flour, sugar, and salt together until it reaches the consistency of coarse meal. (Reserve 1/4 cup of the nuts for topping.) Add the cubes of cold butter and pulse until the mixture turns into pea-sized crumbs.
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, slowly stir in 3 Tablespoons of ice water. You only want to add enough water to bring the dough somewhat together. Using floured fingers or the bottom of a flat and lightly floured measuring cup, press the dough evenly into a 9-inch tart pan. You want it extremely tight in the pan. You'll need to use pie weights for the next step, so line the crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper and add pie weights.
- Bake (with pie weights) for 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack so it can slightly cool as you prepare the filling.
- For the filling: Whisk the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream together in a small bowl. (You want a little cream mixed with the cornstarch to avoid white cornstarch lumps in your filling.) Combine the cornstarch mixture, the rest of the heavy cream, nutella, and salt into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil. While constantly whisking, allow to boil for 3 minutes as it thickens. Remove from heat, whisk in the vanilla, then pour into the crust, swirling the top for a pretty pattern (if desired!).
- Chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or until set. Top with remaining hazelnuts.
Make ahead tip: This is the perfect recipe to make ahead of time, especially when you are entertaining. You can prepare the entire dessert, cover tightly, and keep in the refrigerator for 3 days before serving.
To make smaller, individual size tarts-- simply press crust into small tart pans. It will make about 8-10 depending on the size you're using. Pre-bake crust until golden brown on the edges and spread in the filling.
Adapted from Food Network
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The crust is made from hazelnuts, flour, a little sugar, salt, cold water, and cold butter. Remember the cardinal rule for making pie/tart crust from scratch? Cold is best. The chopped hazelnuts are toasted before you mix them with the other ingredients. And by “mixing” I’m referring to your food processor. You want to break down those hazelnuts into a crumb-like texture, pulsing them with a few of the other crust ingredients as well as the butter.
Transfer the crust dough to a large mixing bowl, then slowly mix in ice cold water. You’ll only need about 2-3 Tablespoons, no more. It will still be a little sandy, but that’s ok. It will come together when you press it into the pan. The next step is to pre-bake the crust. You’ll need a 9-inch tart pan. Here is the tart pan I own and love if you don’t have one yet! You can also make small individual tarts if you’d like. See my recipe note above. 🙂
To press the crust into the tart pan, use a floured flat-bottomed measuring cup. This is the best trick I learned! You can really pack the crust down and around the edges, especially if you keep your measuring cup floured.
Bake the crust for about 20 minutes. You’ll need pie weights (or dried beans!) for this step.The reason? The added weight on the dough ensures that the crust holds its shape, does not shrink down, and remains firmly planted in the pan.
As the crust cools, begin the nutella filling. This is the easiest part!
Combine all of the filling ingredients except for the vanilla extract. Whisk and bring to a boil. Stir in the vanilla.
There, you’re done.
Spread into the crust and put the refrigerator to work!
A few hours later, dig wayyyyy in.
Heaven, we’ve found you.
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