Tomato and artichoke tart with walnut custard

Tomato artichoke walnut tart

Here at The Ordinary’s institute of culinary studies, we have an entire division devoted to the study of nut custards. It is completely staffed by squirrels, who are frantically busy this time of year. They are, in fact, so occupied with eating and burying the test subjects that they have not had an opportunity to report their findings. So many questions still remain. Viz: If a sweet baked almond custard is called frangipane, does that same word apply to a savory almond custard? How about a sweet hazelnut, pecan or walnut custard? How about a savory pecan, hazelnut or walnut custard? I know that I’ve discussed these issues before, and I’m in danger of becoming some sort of nut-custard fanatic, wandering the streets of town mumbling about nuts, but I need answers, dammit! It’s keeping me up nights! Not really, but I would like a better way to describe it. I’ve been experimenting lately with various types of nut custard in savory tart applications. For instance, we had a greens and pecan tart the other week. Some time back we had small chard and almond tarts. This being autumn, I decided to try one with walnuts. I made a sort of smoky, spicy, sharp sofrito of tomatoes and artichokes, and I added lemon zest to the walnut custard, to add a little brightness to the sweet earthiness of the nuts. A walnut custard is nice, soft underneath, slightly crispy on top. We need to come up with a new name for these new nut concoctions! We’ve created a committee, and we’d like report their findings, and to tell you the general consensus about the deliciousness of this tart, but the squirrels have taken all of their pieces to the tops of the trees, and won’t come back down to file their reports.

Here are the Squirrel Nut Zippers channelling Cab Calloway in The Ghost of Stephen Foster.

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