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Maple Walnut and Chocolate Tart

This walnut and chocolate tart is a pecan pie cousin. Naturally sweetened with maple syrup, the filling is dark with bittersweet chocolate and chunky with chopped walnuts, their slightly bitter skins balancing the chocolate richness. Sweet but not cloyingly sweet.

slice of tart with bite out and fork, with full tart in background

Click here to PIN Maple Walnut Chocolate Tart!

Unlike an ordinary pecan pie, this maple walnut chocolate tart contains no processed sugar or corn syrup–the sweetness comes from maple syrup.

Maple syrup runs thinner than corn syrup, so this recipe calls for a tablespoon of cornmeal, which insures the filling doesn’t come out runny. (Cornmeal is a typical thickener in chess pie, an American Southern pie that usually calls for corn syrup.) If you wish, you can substitute cornstarch for the cornmeal.

I used my oat pie pastry for the crust, bumping up the flavor and health quotient by replacing the white sugar with coconut sugar (Affiliate) and whole wheat pastry flour for all-purpose flour.

Make the pastry crust first and let it chill for an hour or so. Then roll the pastry into a circle and fit it into the pan. “Blind-bake” the crust before filling it with the maple walnut and chocolate filling.

Blind what? Blind-bake is a curious term that means to pre-bake an empty tart or pie shell with weights. The empty pie shell is baked for about 15 minutes before adding the filling.

How to “blind-bake” pie or tart crust:

  1. Roll the pastry into a circle:

    On a clean flat surface, sprinkling the surface with flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking, roll the dough into a (11-inch) circle, about 1/8-inch thick. If you use my oat pie pastry recipe, you will likely have leftover dough. (Sprinkle the scraps with sugar and bake for little snacks.)

  2. Put the pastry into the tart or pie tin:

    Fit the dough circle into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, pinching extra dough in as needed to build up the sides so they are sturdy. (It’s ok if the pastry tears a bit, just use your finges to repair it as needed.) Refrigerate until cold, or freeze 10 minutes to speed things up.

  3. Line the pastry with paper and add pie weights:

    Preheat oven to 375° F. Line the crust in the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. The paper should extend 2 to 3 inches above the pan. Fill the paper-lined pastry with pie weights or dried beans, making sure the paper and beans are tucked into the corners of the dough to make a sharp inside edge. The weights can be dried beans and/or rice kernels, or special purchased weights. See note below.

  4. Bake the weighted pie shell:

    Place the pastry shell filled with parchment and weight on a baking sheet. “Blind-bake” the crust for 15 minutes.

  5. Remove the paper and weights:

    After removing the blind-baked crust from the oven, let cool five minutes. Carefully remove the paper and pie weights.

More tips and tricks:

You can turn this maple walnut and chocolate tart into a pie–it just depends on how you form the crust. If you bake the pastry and filling in a pie pan, your tart becomes a pie. If you don’t have a fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, no problem–make it maple walnut chocolate pie!

When this tart is warm, the chocolate is soft and oozy, like a chocolate chip cookie warmed in the hot sun. I think it’s the best served at room temperature. You can bake the tart (or pie) ahead of time, cover and refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before serving. (I may have enjoyed a cold slice or two for breakfast.) 😄

*** NOTE: I keep a jar of used and re-used beans/rice in my pantry for blind-baking occasions. The beans get a bit stinky over time but last just about forever. When I worked in the bakery, we had a 5 gallon tub of used and reused beans with a label–stinky beans.

Gluten free? Use a nut crust—like this paleo pecan crust from Elanas’s Pantry.

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Nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. The calculations do not include the pie crust and the numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and any substitutions.


  • Hi Letty, Would the chocolate be like an 85% dark chocolate or a bittersweet bar? I’m going to definitely make this! Reply · 24 November, 2014

    • Letty

      Maura, I think the trader joes is more like a 65%. It doesn’t say on the label–I checked. Reply · 25 November, 2014


    Letty yesterday I was debating whether to make a chocolate walnut bourbon pie but was grossed out by the corn syrup.Were you reading my thoughts?? Kathryn Reply · 24 November, 2014

    • Letty

      Yes, reading your mind…. Reply · 25 November, 2014

  • This looks like pure chocolate heaven on a plate…and my best shot at separating my Southern husband from the pecan pie we have year after year. Happy Thanksgiving!! Reply · 25 November, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Kate. I bet you can sell him on the change. The chocolate was a late addition to mine. I had planned to just make it walnut without the corn syrup–and maybe some dried cranberries–but the chocolate snuck right in. Reply · 25 November, 2014

  • Susan Bond

    I just brought my false bottom tart pans up to the mountains, and now I know why! Can’t wait to make this for our chocolate loving friends.
    Susan Reply · 21 September, 2018

    • Ahh Susan, Thank you. Tarts in those pans are so attractive! Reply · 22 September, 2018

  • Ryan

    Phenomonal. Recommend starting with room temperature maple syrup.

    Also please update recipe; I believe you mean cornstarch and not cornmeal. Did this with cornstarch and it turned out perfectly. Surprisingly light/airy for a chocolate tart – everybody enjoyed it! Reply · 29 January, 2022

    • Thank you Ryan! I’m stoked that everyone enjoyed this tart. I think cornstarch is a great idea and I added that to the notes in the recipe. The recipe does include cornmeal as a thickener–it’s a nod to the American South chess pie. Reply · 31 January, 2022

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