I confess, I never really liked pecan pie. Something about the gooey, gelatinous interior contrasting with the tooth-shattering pecan crust, was just unpalatable to me. I finally gave in to pecan pie love at a barbecue joint in southern Texas, and was smitten. Rich with pecans with a slightly softer crust, it was perfect topped with some bourbon laced whipped cream (and shared with a certain someone whom I’d eventually marry!). Then, after discovering pecan pie nirvana, and trying to replicate it myself at home, I wasn’t too comfortable with the inevitable use of corn syrup in most recipes.
I’ve made a variation of this recipe every year, once a year, for my chocolate-loving husband on Thanksgiving. Each year has been a little different as I’ve worked on making it mine, and it’s only been this year (last week, actually!) that I finally hit my stride with a recipe I wanted to keep, turning it from a too-rich pie into an elegantly thin tart, perfecting the baking technique, and real-foodifying it just a little bit through using more natural sugars and nixing the corn syrup.
Don’t expect health food, however. It is a chocolate pecan tart, after all. An indulgence.
Just a sliver of it will suffice. Once a year or so. Rich, deep chocolate with the crunch of sweet pecans. Perfect.
Chocolate Pecan Tart
makes one 9″ tart
- Half a recipe (to make one, single-crust pie) of pastry dough
- 1-1/2 cups Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup muscovado sugar (brown sugar)
- 1/4 cup rapadura (or white sugar)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon unbleached, all-purpose flour or 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
- 1 Tablespoon cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roll out dough and insert into tart pan, pressing gently along the edges and sides to create a firm fit. Using a rolling pin, roll along the top of the tart pan to cut the pie crust along the edge and remove.
In the prepared tart pan, sprinkle chocolate chips to fill the bottom of the tart pan in a roughly single layer.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs together until well-beaten, then stir in melted butter. Stir in the sugars, flour, cream, vanilla and pecans. Pour pecan mixture on top of the chocolate chips.
Place tart pan on a parchment-paper covered baking sheet before inserting into oven to bake.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 45-55 minutes longer.
Allow to cool before removing tart from pan (if you have a removable bottom-style of tart pan, which I do) and cutting. Enjoy a small sliver plain, or with a dollop of whipped cream on top!
A note: If you are after strictly a solely pecan pie or tart recipe, simply omit the chocolate in this recipe and bake as noted. This will make a thinnish pie, so I’d suggest multiplying the recipe by 1.5. Good luck!
Looking for more holiday sweets recipes? Check out my passed-down family favorites, including pfefferniuss, gingerbread, gingersnaps, chocolate coconut balls and buckeyes . . . some, I admit, use healthier ingredients than others, but they are a once-a-year treat, after all! What are your family favorites?