Whew–where do the months go? I can’t believe that I haven’t posted so much lately, but apparently being a mom plus restarting clinical rotations equals no time for blogging. I’ve most definitely covered my love for Thanksgiving many times, so I won’t go into that again. Our usual family tradition entails buying a pecan pie from a local bakery. Actually it’s usually two pecan pies as one gets demolished that night and it’s always nice to have additional pie available for
breakfast, I mean dessert. Oh don’t judge me…everyone eats pie for breakfast. This year, we were perusing the Thanksgiving issue of Bon Appétit and found a couple of recipes that looked so fantastic that we decided to change up our menu. I know–stranger things have happened.
We chose two items that I felt were a huge success. The first was really good cornbread stuffing and the other replaced our beloved pecan pie. Given that this is one of our favorite desserts, the expectations were pretty high. Let me just say that this tart was phenomenal. It was great that day and even better the day after. Somehow allowing everything to hang out together overnight pushed the tart from delicious to “I’m going to eat this entire pie in one sitting.” I wish I was joking.
A couple notes. The crust was supremely fussy. It didn’t quite stay together that well, but I made this tart again for a holiday party and bought a silicone pastry mat, which was very helpful when rolling out the crust. On the upside, the crust is delicious–almost like a cookie. That being said, if you have a tried and true crust recipe, it may be worth using it. Also, making it the day before is entirely possible and may even make it better. Highly recommend. Finally, the filling kind of spilled out of my tart pan–maybe it was because my crust was a little shoddy, but some parchment or a pan underneath is a good solution. Anyway, this is most definitely a delicious dessert that doesn’t need to be restricted to your Thanksgiving table. Just remember to save some for breakfast!
Chocolate Pecan Tart
from Bon Appétit
Pâte Sucrée disk (click for recipe)
All-purpose flour (for dusting)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans plus 1 1/2–2 cups pecan halves
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Roll out the Pate Sucree on a lightly floured surface. Transfer crust to the tart pan, pressing into the bottom and up the sides. Trim the crust so that it is flush with the pan. Put in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spread the pecans out on a cookie sheet and heat for 8-10 minutes until fragrant, stirring once or twice during the process.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Scrape in the vanilla bean seeds and add the bean as well. Let the butter melt, then foam and take off the heat once it’s browned. You’ll know it’s there when it smells nutty and fragrant. Be careful not to go too far or else the butter will burn. Remove the bean.
Whisk together the sugar, both corn syrups and salt in a large bowl. Add the brown butter and eggs, whisking to blend.
First spread the chopped pecans over the bottom of the tart shell. Then spread the chocolate over the chopped pecans. Finally arrange the pecan halves in concentric circles starting from the middle and spiraling out. Slowly pour the filling over the entire tart, making sure to spread it evenly.
Bake tart until the center is just set–approximately 45-50 minutes. I would recommend putting something underneath to catch the dribbles of the filling.
Transfer to a wire rack and allow it to cool for about 30 minutes.
The magazine says you can make it up to 8 hours ahead, but I think this is phenomenal the next day. I didn’t make the whipped cream that is supposed to go along with this, but it sounds pretty great too.