10 Tips for Making Jason Smith's Maple Nut Tart Like a Pro

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Jason's Must-Know Tricks

Jason's sharing details about how to approach key steps in his go-to tart recipe, plus his advice for customizing the ingredients to your tastes.

Get the Recipe: Maple Nut Tart with a Chocolate Whiskey Mousse

Don't Forget to Grease the Pan

It's important to use plenty of baking spray in the pan, Jason says, to ensure that the crust will pop out easily later on.

To Yolk or Not

To make a lighter version of this tart, opt for egg whites only — no yolks — when prepping the sweet vanilla-spiked filling. "It's not as rich-tasting, but it still works the same," Jason explains.

Vanilla Varieties

Jason likes to use vanilla bean paste to flavor his filling, but if you don't have that on hand, go for traditional vanilla extract — or even vanilla powder, if it's available.

No Meat? No Problem

If bacon (or meat in general) isn't your thing, it's fine to leave it out.

Peanuts for the Picking

While Jason is keen on hazelnuts and pecans, he notes that you can skip them and replace with another variety, like walnuts, almonds or peanuts, in both the crust and the filling.

Nuts Are Optional

Prefer to skip the nuts altogether? That's OK too. But you'll need to add a similarly binding ingredient, Jason explains. He likes coconut for that.

You Know It's Done When …

It can be tricky to know when the tart shell is finished baking, so Jason advises you check the color of the crumbs. "The edges of the crust will be twice as dark as they were when you put it in the oven," he says. And as for the gooey center, he notes, "The filling will be a little bubbly-looking on top, and the nuts will have risen to the top."

No Meringue in Sight

Since there's no egg whites in the mousse, there's no need to toy with fickle meringue. Instead, a base of cream cheese provides the structure you need for his creamy finished product.

Spiked Selection

Being from Kentucky, Jason likes bourbon in this tart. But if you prefer brandy, Kahlua or rum, he says that it's A-OK to use any of those instead. Not an alcohol fan? You can skip the liquor altogether too.

Many vs. One

Instead of serving individual-portioned tarts in mini pans, you could make the same recipe in a single (larger) pan. But, Jason notes, you'll need to bake it a bit longer.