Happy Monday everyone! First order of business... it has come to my attention that the subscribe button I had up was dysfunctional. Repairs have been made so if you want to resubscribe, you should be able to get updates when new material is posted.
Today I want to share with you a dessert that I have been working on for a little while. For me the story of this Pecan Tart has been more of a story about caramel than anything else. I made it a couple of times back in college and somehow always managed to mess up the caramel - first burning it and then not cooking the sugar down enough so I ended up with a very granular caramel. Not the best. So I searched around and did some reading. The key to caramel, it seems, is to let it completely alone as the sugar melts and begins to bubble. The temptation is to swirl or stir the liquid, I know, but try to leave it completely be.
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups lightly toasted pecans
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick of butter, frozen
- 1 egg yolk
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
If your pecans are not yet toasted, toast in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes. Watch carefully as nuts tend to burn easily and at different rates.
To make the crust, finely grind 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of pecans in a food processor. Mix in salt, flour and sugar. Then slice in 1 stick of butter. The dough should begin to clump up into pebbles. Add the egg yolk and water, adjusting the water slightly depending on the consistency of your dough. Shape dough into a round disk and place in a plastic bag for refrigeration. Refrigerate for a half hour.
Meanwhile grease and 8 inch by 3 inch tart pan (I used a spring form cake pan which worked really well). When the dough is ready press into the pan, creating a crust about 1/8 of an inch thick.
Place in oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly golden. If you have pie waits use them to keep the crust from ballooning up.
While the crust is baking, it is time to make your caramel. In a deep thick pot (I used my le creuset) place sugar and water and mix until fulling incorporated. Place on the burner (use your biggest burning if you have an electric stove top - even heat is very important). On medium/high heat let the sugar cook. It will bubble for about ten minutes. Make sure heat is reaching the entire surface area by gently moving the pot over the heat source if certain areas are not continuing to bubble. After about ten minutes the edges will begin to turn amber. Here is where you should act fast removing the sugar from the heat and stirring in butter, cream and salt. When the caramel is fulling incorporated, add your remaining pecans and stir.
Spoon pecan caramel mixture into you crust and let cook before serving.
Recipe adapted for the Cowgirl Chef.