An Elegant Version of Chocolate Pecan Pie
My inspiration for this tart was my desire for a chocolate pecan pie, with a more elegant profile. By making it into a tart, I think the proportions of crust to filling are improved. The brown sugar and coconut add another dimension and the whole is very sweet and almost candy-like. Make sure to use unsweetened coconut, often found in the bulk section of natural food stores, or the sweetness level will go over the top. A little slice goes a long way. Serve with unsweetened or lightly sweetened whipped cream.
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sifted Dutch-processed cocoa
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream, chilled
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1¼ cups light corn syrup or Lyle's Golden Syrup
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup miniature semisweet chocolate morsels
- 1½ cups toasted pecan halves
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, such as Ghiradelli or Callebaut
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut or large coconut flakes
- For the Crust: Coat a 10-inch loose-bottom fluted tart pan with nonstick spray. Line a baking sheet with parchment; set aside.
- Place flour, cocoa, sugar and salt in bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse on and off until it forms a coarse meal. Whisk together the egg yolks and cream, then drizzle through feed tube and pulse until dough is moistened and just holds together if squeezed. Press over bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Pierce all over with fork. Chill at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
- Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake crust for about 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to dry. Cool on rack while you prepare filling.
- For the Filling: Turn oven down to 325°F. Whisk together melted butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Whisk in eggs one at a time then stir in vanilla, salt, coconut, chocolate morsels and pecans. Scrape filling into crust.
- Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is puffed, firm along the edges but still soft in center. You might be able to see that the edges have begun to take on a little color. It will firm up tremendously upon cooling. Cool to room temperature on rack. Unmold tart and place on serving platter.
- For the Topping: Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave and spread it in a 1-inch border around the edges using a small offset spatula, then sprinkle shredded coconut or coconut flakes (as seen in image) on top of chocolate. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to set chocolate. Tart is ready to serve. Tart may be covered with foil and refrigerated up to 2 days. May be served at room temperature or chilled.
You can certainly use light corn syrup for this recipe, but Lyles Golden Syrupwill give this tart an extra layer of flavor – it will add an almost buttery, toffee-like nuance. Worth using if you can find it; plan ahead, you might have to mail-order.
Image: Dédé Wilson