Josh's Chocolate Bourbon Truffle-Turtle Tart
Here's an over-the-top chocolate bourbon tart to kick off our weekend extravaganza of pies! We don't see many chocolate pies - not nearly enough. Josh has an incredibly decadent-looking tart here. What do you think - do chocolate, bourbon, and pie sound good to you?
Where is this recipe from? This is my recreation of a chocolate truffle tart occasionally sold at Fox & Obel gourtmet market/cafe in Chicago. I added the bourbon to the ganache and swapped in a shortbread style crust for the typical pate brisee they use.
Why is this the BEST pie recipe you've got? This is a labor intensive recipe, but the end result is completely worth it. Incredibly rich dark chocolate ganache, buttery and creamy caramel, delicious but simple shortbread -- enough said!
Chocolate Bourbon Truffle-Turtle Tart
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl (or food processor), mix flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter or pulse with food processor until mixture has a pebbly texture. Add egg yolk and mix/process until dough forms a ball. If the dough seems very sticky or difficult to work, place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Butter a 10" tart pan and dust lightly with flour. Place though dough in the center of the tart pan and slowly use your fingers to press it out to the edges and up the sides, being sure to keep the sides fairly thick (between 1/8 and 1/4 inch). Use the bottom of a pint glass or similar object to give the crust close to a 90 degree angle between the bottom and the sides. Poke holes in the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden brown - around 20 minutes. Allow the crust to cool, but do not remove it form the pan!
Spread the pecan halves evenly across the bottom of the baked tart shell and set aside.
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan with a candy thermometer inserted, combine heavy cream, light corn syrup, brown sugar, and butter. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat and stir GENTLY until dissolved. Try to avoid letting the mixture splash up the sides of the pan. Continue to cook while stirring frequently until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage (234 degrees F) and then remove from heat. Using a CLEAN wooden spoon, quickly stir in the vanilla.
Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes, then pour it over the pecan halves in the pre-baked tart shell until the nuts are mostly covered. (Depending on how thickness of your crust and the size of your pecans, you may have leftover caramel. I pour mine into a buttered pyrex, cool, and then roll into bite sized caramels.) Set the tart pan in the fridge to cool while you prepare the truffle layer.
Chop the chocolate into small pieces if using bar chocolate and set aside. (I use Valrhona 61% extra bitter in mine.) In a small sauce pan, bring the heavy cream up to just under a simmer over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chopped chocolate, and allow it to rest covered for 3-5 minutes. After resting, remove the lid and stir gently until the mixture is fully blended. Don't panic if it looks like the chocolate and cream aren't mixing at first -- it may take a minute or two. Once the mixture is fully combined and glossy, stir in the bourbon (I use a good rye whiskey in mine) and mix thoroughly. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly until it feels just slightly warm to the touch but still pours freely.
Pour the chocolate over the caramel filling until it reaches the the top of your crust. (As with the caramel, you may have extra. This can be refrigerated and used to make truffles later, or you can thin it with a little bit more cream and use it as chocolate fondue.) Let the tart cool on the counter until the chocolate is set up enough to move, then transfer the tart to the fridge.
The tart is best if allowed to come back to room temperature before service, but it's easiest to cut while it's still fairly cold. If you'd like, you can add a dollop of bourbon-spiked whipped cream and a pecan or two before service.
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(Images: Josh Poje)