Chocolate Pecan Tart
Chocolate Pecan Tart
4 hours 15 minutes total time
50 minutes active time
For years I made this Pecan Tart at Thanksgiving but when it came time to write a chocolate cookbook, I decided to add a bit of chocolate and have never gone back. Of course, you can eliminate the chocolate if you wish. It’s totally delicious either way. I sometimes re-warm the tart just before serving but it’s wonderful at room temperature.
Cooking note: This dessert works beautifully as part of a dessert table because it’s easy to cut into small pieces.
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
About 3 tablespoons ice water 3 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cup heavy cream, warmed
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 2/3 ups lightly toasted pecan halves
Sweetened whipped cream (optional)
For the crust
Put the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times to combine. Add the butter and continue pulsing until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Drizzle in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each drizzle. Stop once the dough begins to come together. Transfer the dough to a board and use the heel of you hand or a pastry scraper to press it together. Pat into a disk approximately 6 inches in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough to a 13- to 14-inch circle, flouring the dough and board as necessary to keep it from sticking. Roll up the dough around the rolling pin and unroll into a fluted 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently lift the dough into the corners. Using a paring knife cut excess dough from the rim of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 ̊F. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork, line with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill to the top of the pan with pie weights or dry rice. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the bottom of the crust and bake for an additional minute, just to melt the chocolate. Remove from the oven and spread the chocolate with a small offset spatula. Cool on a rack as you prepare the filling.
For the filling
Preheat the oven to 400 ̊F. In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water and stir over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, swirling the pan as the caramel colors evenly. If sugar crystals form on the sides of the pan, brush with a wet pastry brush. When the caramel is a medium to dark amber (you can test the color by drizzling a bit on a white plate), remove from the heat. Slowly and carefully as it will bubble up, add the cream. Return the caramel to medium-low heat and cook for 3 minutes to thicken slightly. Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vanilla, egg, and yolk. Slowly whisk into the caramel. Stir in the melted butter, followed by the nuts. Pour the filling into the tart shell. Fill just to the top of the shell. If the crust has shrunk you may not use all the filling. Bake the tart for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375 ̊F and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the filling is set. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Lift the bottom of the tart slightly to loosen the edges but leave in the pan until completely cool.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- About 3 tablespoons ice water
- 3 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped Ingredients//Filling
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup heavy cream, warmed
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 2/3 ups lightly toasted pecan halves Ingredients//Garnish
- Sweetened whipped cream (optional)