Ben the Baker

Just a guy trying to get his kids to eat

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Rosemary Caramel Pine Nut Tart

Posted by osakaben41 on March 7, 2010

It’s March, what the hell am I doing baking with Rosemary?  

It’s over 50 degrees outside, the kids played on the monkey bars without their coats, and I’m looking at the sad state of our yard and all the work it’ll need before we can cook outside again.  Spring is coming to Boston and I’m cooking a Christmas dinner?  Anybody with a lick of sense is going citrus crazy right now, if they aren’t scrounging early spring berries that is.

It’s a poor excuse but, the heart wants what it wants.  There are weeks when buttering toast seems like too much trouble, but just as often as I find myself obsessing over garnishes for a cookie.  Yesterday we decided to host some friends for a late afternoon play-date/early dinner, so on short notice I flipped through my notes for something quick and easy.

Since discovering the ‘Notepad’ app on my I-touch, I’ve been obsessively cribbing ideas from wherever I can find them.  I guess this one came from a December issue of Bon Appetite, but the recipe was all Sassy Radish.   3 months too late but it’s not as if Pine Nuts are ever really out of season.

The crust calls for Almond flour, which seems to always be on hand these days, and the filling just a butter heavy caramel, with fresh rosemary branches steeped for 15 minutes, and some toasted pine nuts.  Everything we needed we had on hand already.  

Being genetically unable to leave well enough alone, I had to dress it up with a Lemon Sabayon.  Briefly this was to be a Limoncello Sabayon, but our friend is pregnant, so thought it best to stay non-alcoholic.  Flirted with adding some rosemary whipped cream, but backed off at the last minute.  Maybe it was being lazy, maybe it was a weak stab at simplicity, but it didn’t really need anything else.  

The caramel dominated the tart though, to the point where the nuts were just a crunchy afterthought, and the rosemary only apparent if you’re told to look for it.  That said, there were some nice layers to this, particularly with the sauce.  The kids of course wouldn’t eat it, asking for tiny handfuls of chocolate chips instead.  But they’re young, what do they know?

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