Sunday, September 18, 2011
chocolate pecan tarts
Fall is here. It swooped in and put a chill in the air that makes me want to head for the oven and bake a pie. I love pecan pie and chocolate. Together they bring comfort. There are multiple palate pleasing textures; buttery crust, a caramelized top that forms from bubbling in the oven and a creamy middle. These rustic little tarts are perfect for a cool fall day.
For those of you in the Seattle area, you can taste one of these sweet treats at SAVOUR in Ballard this week. These tarts are the perfect finish to a long day or a nice break in the middle of a busy one. Grab a cup of tea and a tart and enjoy. Stop in and check out everything SAVOUR has to offer.
For the tarts (adapted from cbsop.com)
Makes 8 4 - 5 inch tarts. I used these tart pans.
* 1 recipe Pate Brisee.
* 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
* 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
* 3 large eggs
* 1 cup sugar
* 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
* 3 T bourbon vanilla
* 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
* 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
Preheat oven to 350°F.
You can use whatever pie crust recipe you like. I like the Pate Brisse. Make the pie dough first and refrigerate for a half an hour. After the dough is chilled, pinch off dough rounds a little bigger than a golf ball. Roll out the individual pie crusts and gently fit them into the tart pans. I used the edge of the tart pan to cut the overhang of crust off. You can also use pre-made tart shells.
I then par-baked the crusts for about 20 - 25 minutes to get a little bit of a crisper crust. I've made these without par-baking and the crust was a little more doughy. It's all to your preference. To par-bake the crusts you'll need to put foil or parchment into the shells and fill with pie beads, dried beans or rice. Whatever you have on hand. This will keep the crust from puffing up and sliding down the sides of your tart pans.
Once the dough is pressed into the tart pans or while you are par-baking them, make the filling.
Melt butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and let cool.
Beat the eggs in a large measuring cup or mixing until frothy and blend in sugar. Stir in syrup, bourbon vanilla, salt and melted butter. Mix until well blended.
Pour the filling into your prepared pie shells. Leave a quarter of an inch of dough showing. The filling puffs up and you don't want it to overflow. (though it's okay if it does)
Gently lay the pecan halves around the outer edge of the tart working your way in. This is how my grandma made her pecan pies and I do the same. You can also put the halves in the bottom of the pie shell and pour the filling on top. I love the pretty look of the pie once it's cooked with the pecans laid on top.
Bake the tarts for 30 - 35 minutes. Test doneness by inserting a thin knife or toothpick in the center of each pie. If blade comes out clean, the pie is done.
Transfer to cooling racks and allow to cool. Once you can safely touch them, pop them out of the tart pans and cool completely before serving.
Posted by Jana at 1:14 PM