Walnut tart …and a marché aux plantes(plant market) at Curemonte.

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I decided to make a walnut tart, even though it is actually an autumn dish which we make when our walnuts are harvested after summer. But here, we eat it throughout the year, because we love it. Tout simple. That’s it.

Coming home from the marché aux plantes in Curemonte last week, with my confiture de noix and my chutneys and oils and vinegars and dandelion syrup under my arm, I thought it would be appropriate to make a walnut tart to accompany this reportage on the plant day at Curemonte. I’ve never made a walnut tart myself and it is only recently that I started eating it. I never thought it could be something special, until that one day that I took a slice at a friend’s house. It was delicious and it still is. It tastes like autumn. It is a rather heavy tart (which makes sense for fall and winter comfort), so I make it in a small tart tin, to have small slices…a good idea in any case for all tarts and cakes and goodies!

Our walnut trees are always late off the mark. They start off late in spring with these nice “flowers”, which are then rapidly followed by the leaves. With 4 huge trees, we always have a large supply of walnuts, perfect for Noël.

..tarte aux noix (walnut tart)..

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La recette:

*Pastry base: Recipe here.   Bake the pastry shell blind( without filling, but filled with dry baking beans to weigh down the pastry). Bake at 200 ° C for about 10 minutes. Remove the beans.

*Walnut filling:

  1. Crush 200 g walnuts, but not completely into powder. Keep some whole for decoration.
  2. Whisk 2 eggs and 70 g brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add 1 tsp vanilla essence, 50 ml TBSP strong black coffee, 2 TBSP flour and 150 créme fraîche ( or thick cream). Mix gently together.
  4. Pour into the baked pastry shell and bake for 20-25 minutes. Test with skewer and the tart is done when the skewer is removed clean when piercing the tart.
  5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 1 TBSP of walnut liqueur.
  6. Leave to cool, decorate with dusted icing sugar and some whole walnuts and serve with some créme fraîche or whipped cream.

Serves 6 people

Une pincée de sel:

  • The brown sugar and coffee gives a nice dark colour to the filling; but the coffee can be omitted if desired.
  • For a winter tart, try adding some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, or cacao instead of coffee.
  • Pecan nuts can be used instead.
  • Keep the portions small as it is a rich and heavy tart.
  • Make extra pasty for the base and keep in the freezer for another tart.

…defrosting the pastry for the base..

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...spring walnut branches..

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Marché aux plantes à Curemonte

Curemonte is a quaint little village, 10 minutes drive from us. This past week saw the annual marché aux plantes (plant market) at Curemonte, an occasion I look forward to every year. Not only do they have plants, but also food, artwork  and some bric a brac..a vide grenier. Everything sold and presented, is local. The bread is made locally, the beer is from the local brasserie, the plants and vegetables are local, the bees and honey, the walnut delicacies and walnut tarts are made locally , the wine is local and the vide grenier and brocante are from les Curemontais themselves.

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I love the country side, whether it is a French one or an American one or and English one. I prefer the ambiance and laid back ambiance of les campagnards, country folk..of which I am one of course. Strolling the small streets, peeking around each corner, stroking the dilapidated doors and windows, enjoying the laisser faire gardens( gardens just seem to happen by themselves, relaxed..). the world just comes to a standstill in the countryside where chatting to your neighbour is still a pleasure, almost an obligation and something that can even happen on the road, simply expecting traffic behind to wait..everybody waits. Beauty is all around you, simple, nothing is ostentatious. Glamor has no place in the countryside. Nature isn’t glamorous. It is simple. Honest. sometimes hard and challenging. Always beautiful. I thus hope I pass a bit of the beauty of Curemonte and its marché aux plantes on to you by these images.

curemonte collage 4 5120x4096..and plenty of food for hungry visitors; 8 euros for a plateau repas, which consisted of a glass of rosé wine, rillettes with bread for a starter, steak frites and cheese to finish..so simple, but so delicious in the atmosphere of camaraderie with people joining in at the long tables..

curemonte collage 2 5120x3544…a plate or a table, a bowl or a tea towel..just browse..

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..I found my bonheur(happiness)..

bol 1 4419x3076..and a lot of strolling

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..fascination comes in the form of dilapidated doors and shutters, railings, gates-my fettish..

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..à l’année prochaine..salut!(until next year, cheerio!)

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I hope you enjoyed this day with me in the French country side! I of course loved every minute of it and I relived it all by sharing it here with you.

until very soon( à trés bientôt!)

Ronelle

Ron

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8 responses

  1. Lovely clicks, bowls, market and place. Your walnut tart must taste divine!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    13/05/2013 at 18:17

  2. Chanceuse! Les p’tits bols sont cutes comme tout♥
    J’adore les marchés..les centres d’achat modernes me rendent mal à l’aise..
    Avec ma fille..c’est tolérable:)x
    Je commence à fouiner les pépinières locales et modestes..oui.. du cerfeuil.. cirtron-géranium..basilic..livèche..bourrache,thym..origan etc ..
    Des petites pensées..des capucines..
    Lest enfants m’ont offert un amandier rose..j’adore..et un bégonia tubéreux..
    On gèle hier et aujourd’hui.. je continuerai mes achats etc.. quand il fera plus chaud.

    Ahh aussi de belles asperges des champs ..c’est la saison maintenant au Québec.
    Your tart looks amazing as well as the lovely walnut branches Ronelle..

    13/05/2013 at 20:22

  3. Hi Ron,
    I will be making these this weekend, I have a ton of walnuts ready to go! Thank you, I love any tart, sweet or savory! xo

    14/05/2013 at 01:04

  4. I love walnuts! We have a black walnut tree on our property but I cannot beat the squirrels to the nuts :(. Beautiful tarts and what a beautiful place to visit the markets and only 10 minutes away! I love that village.

    14/05/2013 at 02:40

  5. What a pretty village! I would love to visit it and go to the brocante.
    I must try your walnut tart soon even though, sadly, my hubby and I are trying very hard to cut out all foods with flour, in fact, all carbohydrates! Thanks for your excellent photographs.

    14/05/2013 at 03:36

  6. Who would not love to spend time in this beautiful place? We have 2 gigantic English walnut trees and 1 black walnut tree. The English seem to produce more every other year. Is it the same with yours? The tart looks delicious.

    14/05/2013 at 14:31

  7. Hi Ronelle! I sent you a private email using your contact me address. Hope it didn’t get lost in cyberspace :)

    16/05/2013 at 00:02

  8. I loved taking the stroll with you. The walnut branches look somewhat like the chestnut tree branches here. The tart begs to be made… but I’ll wait for fall. It comes around soon enough. Nature isn’t glamorous. It isn’t romantic. But it is astounding.

    20/05/2013 at 02:04

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