Orange Cashew Tart

This was our New Year’s Eve dessert – kind of a lighter, more complex take on a pecan pie. Adapted from a recipe by AP Food editor J.M. Hirsch to be gluten-free.

1 1/4 cups gluten-free graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

2/3 cup honey
7 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons heavy cream
2 eggs
Zest of 1/2 orange (about 1 tablespoon)
1 1/2 cup lightly toasted cashew nuts

Heat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch tart or spring form pan with cooking spray. Prepare the crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a food processor and pulsing until the butter is worked into the graham cracker crumbs and the mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer to the prepared pan.

Use the bottom of a glass to press the crumb mixture into the pan and spread and even layer across the bottom and up the about an inch. Set aside.

Spread the cashews in a even layer on a baking pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350°F until fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove from oven and let cool.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the honey, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool for five minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, and orange zest.  Whisk in the warm honey mixture. Stir in the cashews and then transfer the mixture to the tart pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the filling has set and turned golden brown. Let cool before serving.

The Verdict: ★★★★½
Incredible – very rich and sweet. It went great with the champagne. My only issue is that it may have been a little too sweet. Maybe next time I back off the honey a touch and add just a tiny amount of rosemary.

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