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Friday, November 29, 2013

Chocolate Pecan Tart

So...after my muffin recipe success, I'm feeling about 55% confident and 45% terrified to try doing something totally off recipe again.  Yet, despite my fears and insecurities, I'm being ridiculously brazen about my new-found semi-confidence by trying to make a tart sans recipe.  Making a tart means I cannot sample it first to see how it went...and since this will be for my Aunt Ginny's Thanksgiving dinner...many will suffer if it should not turn out well.  But I went for it anyway, people, and it came out awe...wait for it...some.  It was an extremely nerve racking 45 minutes, waiting and watching, praying the filling wouldn't continue to rise right over the crust and overflow.  So although I feel like a little extra feeling might have been nice, I fear that any more would have ended up all over my oven anyway.  So I decidedly wouldn't change a single thing.  I would make this next year, exactly as I did today.  It was gobbled up by everyone (I'm standing by that unintentional pun, dorky or not.)

This dessert was inspired by the following things:
1) The Danish Pastry House in Somerville, MA - We don't live down the street from here anymore, but when we did, they made the best pecan pie I'd ever taste...and it had chocolate in it!  No pecan pie I've ever taste since has been able to live up to it.
2) My tart pans:  I love these things.  My ma-in-law got them for me last Christmas and I don't use them nearly enough.  They really are the best.  It's so much easier to make a tart look pretty than to make a pie look pretty.  The tart pan does all the work for you.  A pie plate is not much of a helper in that respect.
3) My new favorite pie crust:  I love this recipe and I wanted to see if I could adapt it to a sweet tart...mission accomplished.

So if you like chocolate and pecans and buttery, flaky pie crust, then I think you would enjoy this recipe.  I think it's got the perfect level of sweetness.  I hope you'll agree.

Side note: My blog has become a terrific way for me to keep track of my own recipes.  It's become something of an electronic catalog for myself - and also an on-line menu for my husband. (Could he be any more spoiled???)

Chocolate Pecan Tart

1 par-baked 9-inch tart crust (I used this recipe but replaced 1 Tbsp of the flour with 1 Tbsp of finely ground pecans and 1 Tbsp of sugar instead of just the 1/4 tsp usually used.)
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup 60% dark chocolate chips
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp bourbon
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread the pecans and chocolate chips over the tart crust.  (Feel free to make it look pretty...I just scattered everything.)  Combine the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth and pour over the nuts and chocolate.  Shake the pan so the liquid spreads out evenly.  Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the middle of the filling is set.  Let cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.  Enjoy!

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