La Crostata di Noci: Walnut Tart with Marsala and Parmesan Gelato
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La Crostata di Noci: Walnut Tart with Marsala and Parmesan Gelato
Chef Jashmine Corpuz of Drago Centro – Los Angeles, CA
Adapted by
January 2010
Yield: 12 Servings


Parmesan Gelato:
1 pint milk
1 pint cream
8 egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
1 cup grated parmesan
Pinch salt

Sweet Tart Dough:
1 pound butter, cut into small chunks
8 ounces sugar
3 egg yolks
1½ pounds all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Walnut Filling:
2 cups roughly chopped walnuts
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Marsala Reduction:
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1½ cups Marsala wine

Assemble and Serve:
Apples, lightly sautéed in the Marsala reduction
Pears, lightly sautéed in the Marsala reduction
Market grapes, concord or Muscat grape halves
Black mission figs, fresh or brûléed
Dried fruit, raisins or cranberries


For the Gelato:
Heat the milk and cream together in a medium sauce pan. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until very well blended. Once the milk and cream mixture reaches a low simmer, pour half of it into the yolk and sugar mixture, whisking briskly to prevent cooking the eggs. Add the yolk and sugar mixture back into the pot with the rest of the milk and cream. Cook on medium heat until mixture thickens slightly. Add the parmesan and salt and whisk together until all the cheese is melted. Strain this mixture through a fine mesh sieve and cool in a bowl set over ice. Once cool, spin in an ice cream machine for about 12 minutes, or until the gelato is frozen but still pliable in texture. Freeze for at least 2 hours.

For the Sweet Tart Dough:
Beat the butter in a mixer with a paddle attachment. Slowly sprinkle in the sugar and incorporate. Add the egg yolks. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and salt. Add this to the mixer slowly. Mix until a soft dough forms. Shape dough into disks and wrap with plastic wrap. Set aside to rest.

For the Walnut Filling and Tart:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. When the oven is hot, toast the walnuts for 5 minutes and let cool. Meanwhile, mix the sugar and corn syrup in a separate bowl. Add the eggs, salt, and vanilla and whisk together until mixture is a pale yellow color. Add the walnuts and fold together.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the rested tart dough to about 1/8-inch thick. (Tart dough can be shaped to fit a large tart pan or into twelve small tart rings). Poke small holes at the bottom of the tart with a fork to prevent air bubbles. Bake the tart for about 10 minutes until slightly golden in color. Remove the tart from the oven and add the walnut filling. Bake the tart at 350°F for another 8 to10 minutes until the filling is set. Remove tart from the oven and cool slightly.

For the Marsala Reduction:
Put the sugar in a medium sized pot with just enough water to make the consistency similar to wet sand. Cook the sugar to a light amber color. Add the vinegar and let this mixture boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the Marsala and reduce the mixture, over medium heat, for about 10 minutes or until it visibly thickens. Set aside.

To Assemble and Serve:
If desired, sautée several pear or apple slices in the Marsala reduction for a few minutes, until tender. Plate a slice of the tart with a scoop of gelato. Garnish with sautéed pears or apples or Muscat grapes, figs, and dried fruit.