Chocolate and Maple Nut Tart

The idea for this tart began with me wanting something just a little bit different from one of my favorite desserts: pecan pie. I’ll spare you the loose set of ideas that led to this final product and just get to the food–rather than a topping of exclusively pecans, through complete indecisiveness sheer brilliance, I used a mix of pecans, hazelnuts, and almonds. Then, in place of the usual corn syrup-based custard, I instead made a maple syrup and chocolate based custard.

Chocolate and Maple Nut Tart

Taste and texture-wise, the pecan pie heritage of this tart is very clear. All the tweaks add to what is still very much a pecan pie flavor foundation, and I loved it. You pick up the flavor of almond and hazelnut with deeper, dark sweet notes of chocolate and maple which I found was a great foil to the touch of cinnamon you get from the graham cracker crust. You still get that gooey custard filling with a nice, crunchy top, and something about this tart feels more “wintery” than a pecan pie (which to me, feels “autumny,” go figure). Plus, making this is just as easy a pecan pie–mix stuff in a bowl, dump it with the nuts in a crust, and bake!

  • 1 Graham cracker crust
  • 3/4 cup maple
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts

Graham cracker crust

Prepare your graham cracker crust and bake it blind.

Whisk the filling components together

In a bowl, whisk the brown sugar and maple syrup together until fairly homogenous. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking between each addition. Incorporate the cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Melt the butter and chocolate (I just use the microwave–30 seconds, stir, repeat with 15 seconds more as needed until melted down), whisking this into the mix.

Add the nuts to the crust and then pour in the filling

If the nuts need to be shelled, have the papery coating removed, or be crushed to a size of your liking, do that now. Add these to your pie crust and then pour the filling you prepared earlier over the pie. Most of the nuts will naturally rise to the surface, but if they don’t, a gentle stir should do the trick. This way, the top surface of the nuts will be glazed with the sweet filling (rather than just sitting dryly on top of it).

Chocolate and Maple Nut Tart

Put the pie in a 425°F oven and promptly cover the exposed crust (loosely!) with some tin foil to prevent it from scorching. After 15 minutes, drop the oven temperature to 350°F for 15-20 minutes more (or until the pie is set. Jiggling the pan shouldn’t jiggle the center of the pie).

Remove from the oven and give it an hour to cool down. I tend to prefer a slice after the pie has cooled down a good bit rather than fresh out of the oven. Enjoy!

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8 Responses to “Chocolate and Maple Nut Tart”

  1. Alexa Says:

    Lovely pie Mike… can’t go wrong with so many wonderful ingredients!

  2. Kevin Says:

    I often enjoy using maple syrup rather than corn syrup in pies like this. I have to try adding chocolate next time!

  3. Sophie Says:

    Waw!! You always seems to amaze me with your lovely recipes!!

    This tarte looks absolutely fabulous, Mike!

    MMMMMMM,….so festive & georgous too!

  4. Jeff Says:

    Dang baker! Hey brother looks awesome and miss you floating around!!! Quit working!!!! Hope everything is going great.

    Awesome job but one suggestion that chocolate and maple needs…..bacon.

  5. Jeannie Says:

    I love to visit your blog just to drool over your pics!

  6. Lynn Says:

    Yes, you are brilliant. This looks mouthwateringly amazing!

  7. The Duo Dishes Says:

    Great way to cut the sugar that’s usually in a pecan pie. Sounds great!

  8. Mark Garso Says:

    What an interesting twist. Now to find time to try it….Mark Garso

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