Starry Night Tort

Starry Night Tort

Happy New Year!  Here’s a recipe inspired from Bon Appetit, which we enjoyed after feasting on our traditional Hoppin’ John with a side of greens. My son Zan’s girlfriend, Lucy, brought dessert. This was not any old store-bought pie, mind you. This was a dessert from the heavens; a recipe for dreams.

Lucy says that, for the most part, she followed a recipe in the December 2011 issue of Bon Appetit . Bon Appetit named the tart “Sugarplum-Orange and Apricot Earl-Grey Jam Tarts.”

The apricot jam was omitted in the Bon Appetit recipe to utilize the plum jam Lucy had put up for the winter (her grandmother’s recipe). I would imagine any jam or combination of jams you enjoy could be substituted. We  rechristened it “Starry Night Tart” as the jam was the color of a January midnight sky.

Lucy also served the tart with sweetened whipped cream, which is not in the original recipe, but highly recommended. Lucy’s rendition of the recipe yielded 2 1/2 tarts. I asked how long it took to make the tarts, and my son rolled his eyes. As is the case with many Bon Appetit tart and cake recipes, they may be labor-intensive, but the results are sublime and well worth the effort.

Recipe: Starry Night Tort


  • 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts with skins
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for surface
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated nutmeg, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 7 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
  • 4 large egg yolks, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (or 1 bag) Earl Grey tea
  • 3 cups plum jam, divided
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • Whipped cream


  1. Place nuts and 1 1/2 cups flour in a food processor. Process until nuts are finely ground. Add remaining 3 cups flour, salt, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg; process to blend.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add 6 tablespoons cream and 3 egg yolks; beat to blend well, about 1 minute. Add half of flour mixture; beat just to blend. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until large, moist clumps form. Divide dough equally into thirds. Form 1 portion into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill while preparing tarts.
  3. With lightly floured hands, press the 2 remaining dough portions evenly onto bottom and up sides of the tart pans. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep chilled.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix tea and 1/4 cup boiling water in a small bowl; set aside to steep for 15 minutes. Stir 1 1/2 cups of plum jam and strained tea in a medium bowl to blend. Stir remaining plum jam and orange zest in another medium bowl to blend.
  5. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll reserved dough disk out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Using decorative cookie cutter, cut out shapes. Gather dough into a ball, roll out, and repeat until enough cutouts are made to arrange on tops of tarts. Freeze any remaining dough for future use.
  6. Spread plum jam and tea mixture in an even layer over crust in 1 tart pan. Spread plum jam-orange mixture in an even layer over crust in other pan. Place dough cutouts decoratively over jam. Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon cream and remaining egg yolk in a small bowl. Brush cutouts with cream mixture. Mix remaining 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg with raw sugar; sprinkle over tarts.
  7. Bake tarts, rotating pans halfway through and covering crust edges if browning too quickly, until top is golden brown and jam is bubbly, 45-50 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool (jam will set as tarts cool). DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature. Serve individual portions topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

Special equipment: Two tart pans with removable bottoms, either 11-inch-diameter or 11×8-inch rectangle; decorative cookie cutters in 2 sizes

Number of servings (yield): 2 1/2 tarts

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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