RECIPE #110, DAY #133
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Very Versatile Cream Cheese Dough” and “Chocolate Pecan Tart” from Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, by Nathalie Dupree*
TIMING: 2 hours, which can be broken into 1 hour and 1 hour
DIFFICULTY: Somewhere between easy and difficult, as all homemade pies are
TOOLS: A pie plate and a food processor
COOK TYPE: Oven. Baking
HEALTH: Once again, it’s dessert. Then again, it’s a nut dessert.
EXPERIENCE: If I were to name this recipe with no consideration for the people reading it, I would name it “Dark Pecan Tart.” It does not taste like chocolate. And it has this sort of molasses-y flavor, which I actually worked to remove (and so you may not experience it).
All in all, though, if you like pecans, you will probably enjoy this tart. Even if you don’t love it. (It is a little bit mediocre, but it looks pretty and comes together relatively easy for pie.)
NOTES: For a more chocolatey taste, as I suggest below, serve covered with chocolate curls.
- In a food processor, pulse together 1 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter with 1/2 teaspoon salt until butter is in pea-sized pieces. Then pulse in 8 ounces cold cream cheese.
- With floured hands, form the dough into a disk and smooth the edges. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Roll out your dough on a piece of wax paper with another piece of wax paper over top. It does not need to be perfect.
- Place the flattened dough into a tart pan and press to fit. Crimp crust and trim. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Cover the bottom of the dough with pie weights or dried beans kept specifically for this purpose. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water. Remove crust from oven, remove pie weights and brush with egg wash. Return to the oven at 300F for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool and set oven to 350F.
- In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, stir 1/3 cup corn syrup and 1/4 cup granulated sugar until sugar dissolves. Let it cook until it comes to a boil, then remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup unsalted butter, 1/4 cup chocolate chips, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk 2 eggs until frothy. In a slow stream, whisk in the sugar mixture.
- Add in 1 cup barely chopped pecans, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Pour pecan mixture into the tart shell. Bake for 30 minutes, until set through. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Serve with lots of chocolate curls and strong coffee.
*Recipe changed from the original.