Monday, October 21, 2013

A Fall Baking Favorite: Chocolate Pecan Tart

Fall is here. The days have grown shorter, the leaves on the trees have turned from bright green shades to a withered brown (that's as much Fall color you're going to get in California) and I now have to don a hoodie to head to my morning workout at the gym. Although I hate the shorter days, I must admit, Fall is one of my favorite seasons. One of the biggest reasons is that it allows me return to making the comfort food I had abandoned at the start of the new year in favor of  lighter fare. I love cooking comfort foods such as hearty stews and soups, slowly braised meats and best of all deeply satisfying desserts. Nothing says Fall more than a good homemade pie or dessert. In the next few installments I'll be sharing some of my favorites. So let's get that pastry dough rolling!

Chocolate Pecan Tart

Crust Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 large egg yolks

1 cup (8 ounces) light corn syrup
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (coarsely chopped)
1 1/2 cups pecan halves 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecan pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet and toast the nuts for 10 minutes or until you smell a faint nutty aroma. Give the nuts a stir or two during toasting. Remove from the oven and allow the pecan pieces to cool. When the nuts have cooled completely, coarsely chop them; set aside.

For crust:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl to blend. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk yolks in small bowl to blend; add to flour mixture. Stir until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball; press over bottom and up sides of 11-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. With a fork, poke holes all over dough and put the tart pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove tart pan from freezer and line tart shell with  parchment paper and fill with pie weights or uncooked dried beans or rice. Bake crust until set, about 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment and cool while preparing filling. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F

For filling:

Blend corn syrup, sugar, and butter in medium bowl. Whisk in eggs, vanilla, and salt. Stir in chopped chocolate and pecans. Pour filling into prepared crust. Bake tart until filling is set and golden brown on top, about 40 minutes. Place tart on rack. Cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover loosely with foil; let stand at room temperature.)


1 comment:

  1. Pecan pie is my husbands favorite so I will be adding this thanksgiving!