A slice of this Pancetta Gruyere and Walnut Tart is bound to start your morning off right. Creamy and salty with the best of textures, you'll be onto your next slice before you know it.
Tart vs. Quiche
What is the difference between a tart and a quiche? Ultimately, they are very similar. We have the outer pastry layer that primarily consists of flour and butter which contains a filling of some kind.
One of the key differences is that tart dough tends to support itself completely as tarts are not generally left in their pans for serving. Tart dough is often enriched with eggs and butter, helping to create more flavor and support.
While Quiche is known for its flaky characteristics, tart dough is more similar to the texture and taste of a shortbread cookie. Quiche is always savory with a custard-based filling. Tarts can be sweet, savory, small, or large - they are incredibly versatile! There are so many different shapes that a tart can take on.
What is Pancetta?
Pancetta is commonly sold in thin slices all over Italy, but most often it is packaged and sold in cubes around the United States. When cooking pancetta, the finished product has a crispy texture and intense flavor.
There are a number of steps that Pork Belly has to go through in order to become the cured meat we know as Pancetta:
- First off, pork belly is seasoned and refrigerated until firm - usually, this is just over one week
- The seasoning is then rinsed off and the meat is seasoned again, this time with pepper
- Then, it is rolled into a cylinder, placed in a casing, and wrapped in twine to prevent the meat from loosening throughout the process
- Finally, it is hung in a dry place for up to three weeks before it is ready
There are a few pieces of equipment that are essential for this recipe. Here’s what I recommend you invest in:
- Tart Pan - While you can technically use a variety of pans in place of a tart pan, you won’t get the gorgeous fluted edges that I associate with the perfect tart. Feel free to opt for either a round or rectangular variety, or choose individual tart pans instead.
- Food Processor - These kitchen powerhouses are great at shredding, blending, dicing, chopping, mixing, grating, and countless other tasks (like cutting butter into flour for pie dough!). They’re also indispensable for making homemade nut flours like our walnut flour.
- Electric Mixer - I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: do your arms a favor and invest in an electric mixer. If at all possible, I suggest a stand mixer (or hybrid hand/stand mixer) so you can multitask.
- Pie Weights - You simply cannot blind bake a pastry shell without pie weights. They don’t have to be fancy, though! Dried beans or dried rice will do just fine. Note that dried beans/rice can be used repeatedly for pie weights, but should not be eaten after being used as such.
How to make Pancetta Gruyere & Walnut Tart
Here's how to get started making this delicious savory tart!
Mixing Walnut Tart Dough
Mixing Dough: Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add flour, nutmeg and walnuts mixing until just combined while making sure not to overwork the dough.
Chilling Dough: Wrap the dough in plastic and place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before forming the tart shell.
Forming Tart Shell
Rolling out the dough: Lightly flour your work surface, the top of your dough and a rolling pin. Then, use your rolling pin to roll out dough to a 12-inch circle depending on your tart pan (about ¼-inch thick).
Forming the Tart Shell: Once your dough is rolled to the desired thickness (I prefer ¼ inch), press gently into the bottom of your buttered tart pan and form to the sides. Poke the bottom of the tart LIBERALLY with a fork, and place in the freezer to chill for 20-30 minutes.
Use my step-by-step tart making guide to for more tips and tricks on making homemade tarts!
Par-Bake Tart: As the tart shell takes longer to bake than our pancetta filling, we will be par-baking the shell. This ultimately means that you will partially bake this tart dough lined with parchment paper and baking rice/beans acting as weights for 20 minutes.
Pancetta, Gruyere & Onion Filling
Prepping Pancetta and Onion: To make the filling, first heat olive oil over medium heat and add pancetta. Cook until pancetta is slightly browned yet not completely brown or crisped. Remove cooked pancetta and set it to the side. Add onion to the skillet and cook while stirring, allowing it to slowly become tender over the course of 15 minutes .
Mixing Ingredients: Meanwhile, whisk together your remaining ingredients - the egg yolk, creme fraiche, and gruyere. Then add pancetta and onion into the mixture.
Adding filling and baking: Pour mixture into the partially baked walnut crust then place back into the oven. Continue baking for another twenty minutes, or until the filling has set and the edges of the tart dough have browned.
Fill and bake this tart at a maximum of one day ahead and store in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap or within an air-tight container. Reheat in the oven before serving and enjoy!
Other tart recipes to try!
As always, I love seeing your creations and hearing from you! If you try this recipe, please share your creation with me on social media! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest - for more delicious recipes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
Pancetta Gruyere & Walnut Tart
- 8 inch Tart Pan
Walnut Tart Shell
- 1 Cup and 2 Tbsp (228 g) Brown Sugar
- ¼ Cup (56.75 g) Unsalted Butter
- 3 Large Eggs
- ¼ Cup (31.25 g) All Purpose Flour
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Nutmeg
- 3 ½ Cups (409.5 g) Ground Walnuts
Pancetta Gruyere Filling
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 4 oz (157.73 g) Pancetta, chopped
- ½ Red Onion, chopped
- 2 Large Eggs
- ½ Cup (115 g) Sour Cream
- ¾ Cup (99 g) Gruyere Cheese, shredded
Walnut Tart Shell
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes1 Cup and 2 tablespoon Brown Sugar, ¼ Cup Unsalted Butter
- Add eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated3 Large Eggs
- Add flour, nutmeg and walnuts and mix until just combined making sure not to overwork the dough¼ Cup All Purpose Flour, ½ teaspoon Nutmeg, 3 ½ Cups Ground Walnuts
- Wrap dough in plastic and place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes
- Lightly flour your work surface, top of the dough, and rolling pin. Then use your rolling pin to roll out dough to a 12-inch circle (about ¼-inch thick). Be sure to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below — add a small amount of flour when necessary and use a pastry scraper to prevent your dough from sticking too much.
- Once your dough is rolled to the desired thickness (I prefer ¼ inch), press gently into the bottom of your buttered tart pan. Poke the bottom of the tart LIBERALLY with a fork, and place in the freezer to chill for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit
- As this tart shell takes longer to bake than the pancetta filling, we will be par-baking the shell. This ultimately means that you will partially bake this tart dough lined with parchment paper and baking rice/beans acting as weights for 25 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights and continue as instructed below.
Pancetta Gruyere Filling
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan or skillet1 tablespoon Olive oil
- Once hot, add pancetta and cook until pancetta is slightly browned yet not completely brown or crisped. Remove cooked pancetta and set to the side4 oz Pancetta
- Add onion to the skillet and cook, stirring often, allowing it to slowly become tender over the course of 15 minutes½ Red Onion
- Meanwhile, whisk together your remaining ingredients - the eggs, sour cream and gruyere before finally mixing in the cooked onion and pancetta.2 Large Eggs, ½ Cup Sour Cream, ¾ Cup Gruyere Cheese
- Pour mixture into the partially baked walnut crust, and continue baking for another twenty minutes, or until the filling has set and the edges of the tart dough have browned before removing from the oven and allowing to cool before serving.
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