Maple Hazelnut Tarts

Maple makes the heart grow fonder, and we are simply in love with these delicious Maple Hazelnut Tarts. Soft pastry with a sweet maple-hazelnut filling, these tarts are absolutely perfect for a spring treat to share at just about any party. Share the love, and pass the maple syrup, with Crystal margarine today!
Prep Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time: 18 to 20 minutes
Yield: 12 tarts


For the pastry:

  • 94 g / 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 63 g / 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 8 g / 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 4 g / 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 g / 1/4 tsp salt
  • 113 g / 1/2 cup Crystal margarine, small chunks and frozen
  • 30 to 45 ml / 2 to 3 tbsp ice water

For the filling:

  • 7 g / 1/4 cup Crystal margarine, room temperature
  • 145 g / 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 120 ml / 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 g / 2 tsp orange zest, finely grated
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 g / 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 35 g / 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped


For the pastry:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, icing sugar, ground cinnamon and salt until thoroughly combined.
  2. With a pastry blender, or with cold hands, rub the Crystal margarine into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs (with a few small pea-sized lumps).
  3. Drizzle in the ice cold water, a tablespoon at a time, into the flour mixture – use a fork to quickly bring the dough together. On a lightly-floured surface, knead the dough a few times, just enough to bring the dough together. Form into a flat disc, wrap well in plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator to rest and chill; at least 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 400℉ (205℃). Position the oven rack on the lower 1/3 of the oven. Lightly grease a muffin tin with some softened Crystal margarine, set aside.
  5. Roll chilled dough out on a lightly-floured work surface to between 1/8 inch (3 millimetre) and 1/4 inch (6 millimetre) thickness.
  6. With a 3 1/2 inch (9 centimetre) round cutter (or one that is slightly larger than the wells in the tin), cut out 12 rounds. If necessary, scraps can be rerolled after resting in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  7. Gently press the rounds into each well of the muffin tin. Place into the freezer to chill; at least 30 minutes.

For the filling:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the Crystal margarine and dark brown sugar until smooth and lightened in colour; about 3 minutes.
  2. Add in the pure maple syrup and cream until fully combined into the Crystal margarine.
  3. On low speed, add in the orange juice, vanilla extract, orange zest and the slightly beaten eggs until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the surface of the filling and mix for about half a minute.
  5. Evenly divide the roughly chopped hazelnuts into the bottom of each frozen tart shell.
    Fill each tart shell about 3/4 of the way full with the maple syrup filling.
  6. Place the muffin tin into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes at 400℉ (205℃). Reduce temperature to 350℉ (175℃) and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Remove tarts from the oven. Allow to cool in the tin; 10 minutes. Carefully remove tarts from the muffin tin and place onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Chef’s Notes

  • Omit hazelnuts for a pure maple syrup tart. Alternatively, substitute pecans, walnuts, or even dark chocolate chips for the hazelnuts.
  • Chilling the flours for the pastry dough will ensure that the Crystal margarine doesn’t melt and blend completely into the flour.
  • To save time, the pastry dough can be made up to 3 days in advance. Allow dough to come slightly to room temperature (about 5 minutes) before rolling.
  • If desired, baking the tarts at the lesser time will yield tarts with a runnier filling.