Sweeten up your Thanksgiving dinner with this delicious dessert from Gail Simmons’ new cookbook.

By Saba Ghaffari, Photo by Johnny Miller; photo courtesy of Grand Central Life & Style.

Gail Simmons is a renowned culinary expert, food writer and judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, and she can now add cookbook author to her impressive list of achievements.

Simmons’ new book, Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating, was inspired by her years of traveling and is a culmination of the discoveries, lessons and tips she’s learned from her life on the road. From soups and salads to delicious brunch plates and desserts that are sure to impress, Simmons’ recipes are perfect for any occasion.

Austin Woman got a look at one of Simmons’ most decadent recipes, her toasted-hazelnut tarte au sucre.

Toasted-Hazelnut Tarte au Sucre
Serves 8
Hazelnut Crust
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
As many as 4 tablespoons ice water
1 cup maple sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup heavy cream, chilled, plus 1/2 cup for serving

Special equipment: 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom

For the crust: Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until they’re lightly browned and the skins start to blister.
Rub the toasted hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel to remove then skins, then let them cool completely.
Transfer the cooled nuts to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts resemble a coarse meal.
In a large bowl, whisk together the hazelnuts, flour and salt.
Using your fingertips, blend in the butter until incorporated, leaving some roughly pea-sized lumps.
Working with 1 tablespoon at a time, stir in 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water, just until the dough holds together.
Place the dough in the center of the 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Using your fingers and a flat-bottomed measuring cup, spread and push the dough to evenly cover the bottom and sides of the pan.
Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork.
Freeze it until it’s firm, at least 30 minutes or overnight wrapped tightly in plastic.
For the filling: In a medium bowl, stir together the maple sugar, brown sugar, egg, flour, butter and 1/3 cup cream until well combined.
To assemble: Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees and place the rack in the middle.
Remove the tart shell from the freezer and bake it until the dough is just starting to brown, about 20 minutes.
Pour the filling into the hot crust and continue baking until the crust is golden and the edges of the filling are just set, 35 to 38 minutes more. The center will be fairly jiggly.
Cool the tart in the pan on a rack for one hour. The filling will continue to set as it cools.
Remove the sides of the pan.
At the table, just before serving, pour the remaining 1/2 cup of chilled cream over the top of the tart, then cut it into wedges.

The tart, without the cream poured over the top, can be kept, covered and refrigerated, for as long as one day. Bring it to room temperature, then pour on the cream just before serving.


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