I obsessed about this tart for weeks before I finally had an excuse to make it. Caramel, pecans, chocolate all in a sweet tart shell? Why wouldn’t I obsess about that?
This wasn’t quite how I had expected it turn out. It was, dare I say it, a bit too caramely. It was kind of overwhelming. Still delicious, for sure, but possibly a little too much of a good thing. If you are big caramel fan, you’re sure to love this though. My children, for example, ate two pieces and then asked for more. They’re sugar freaks.
The bite of the pecans mix great with the gooey caramel and the chocolate drizzled on top just brings it all together. Just be sure to start with a small piece. Otherwise you might fall right into a sugar coma.
Caramel Turtle Tart
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg yolk
For the filling:
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 cup pecans coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ounce semisweet chocolate finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
For the dough:
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and salt with the paddle attachment. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl when the mixture becomes light and pale. Continue mixing for another 30 seconds. Add the flour and beat on low speed for 30 seconds. The mixture should look like wet sand. Add the egg yolk and continue to mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until the dough comes together.
- Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (The dough can also be stored in the fridge for 5 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks.)
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let soften to room temperature for 30 minutes. Use a rolling pin to bang and flatten the dough into a disk about 1/2 inch thick. Flour the work surface and sprinkle the dough disk with a little flour. Roll the dough into a circle about 10-11 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick. Make sure the work surface is well floured so the dough doesn't stick.
- Roll the dough circle around the rolling pin and then unfurl it on top of the 10 inch tart pan. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the tart pan. Trim the edge of the dough to be even with the tart pan. If the dough tears or has holes, just use your fingers to press it all back together. Use any scraps to patch or fill in the dough as needed.
- Refrigerate the pastry shell for at least 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax so it doesn't shrink in the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a sheet of foil or parchment paper on top of the tart shell and fill that with pie weights, beans, or rice to keep the dough from poofing up in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the foil and pie weights. Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of the dough in a few places. Bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown.
- Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
For the filling:
- Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup in a small, heavy bottomed sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Do not stir.
- Cook, without disturbing, until mixture turns golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and carefully pour in 3/4 cups heavy cream. The mixture will sputter and steam. Slowly stir together until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and pecans.
- Scrape mixture into the tart shell. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Microwave the chocolate, 1 tablespoon cream, and vegetable oil in a small, microwaveable bowl for 2 minutes at medium power. Stir until smooth. Drizzle chocolate over the chilled tart. Chill again until ready to serve.
adapted from All You, 2005