Black Hound Chocolate Pecan Tart

Tart Shell

1.5 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tabl;espoons (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large egg
2 tablespoons iced water, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade, combine the flour and salt. Pulse on and off 3 to 4 times, until blended. Evenly distribute the butter cubesin a circle around the chopping blade. In a small cup, combine the egg, q tablespoon of the water and vanilla until bleneed. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the butter. Process for 15 to 20 secinds, until the mixture starts toopull away from the side of the container. ( If after 20 seconds, the mixture is still crumbly, add the remaining tablespoon of water 1 teaspoon at a time and process for 5 second intervals, until the mixture starts to pull away from the side of the container).

Scrape the dough out into a smooth surface and using the heel of your hand, smear half the dough at a time about 3 inches across the work surface until blended. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a 5 inch disk. Lightly sprinkle the disk with flour and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 1 hour until firm enough to roll.

Remove the chilled disk from the refrigerator. Moisten a work surface (so the plastic wrap will stick) and cover the work surface with Saran Wrap. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough, place the dough on the plastic work surface and roll the dough into a small round. Put the dough on some Saran Wrap and roll into a flat circle. Continue rolling until the circle measures approximately 14 inches in diameter and is about 1/8 inch thick.

You can then place the tart pan on top of the dough, flip the dough and the pan, and press the dough into the pan. The Saran Wrap can then be peeled away without tearing the dough. Trim off any excess dough. Refrigerate the lined tart pan while you prepare the pecan filling.

(I like to use a dark metal tart pan with removable bottom, I actually saw the kind I have in Star Trek TNG, as an "alien" plate).

Pecan Filling

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
4 cups pecan halves

Position one rack in the upper level and another rack in the bottom level of the oven and preheat to 350 F. ( if using a tart pan with a light, shiny finish, preheat to 375 F.

In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, honey and granulated sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and comes to a boil. reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. The longer you cook this mixture, the stiffer the caramel will become. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the cream and vanilla until blended. (warning, cream and ethanol in the vanilla will boil vigorously). Stir in the pecans until well coated with the mixture.

Put the chilled tart shell on a large baking sheet. Scrape the hot pecan filling into the tart shell and place the baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven. Bake the tart for 25 mnutes. Move the tart to the upper rack and bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until the filling is bubbling all over and the pastry is golden brown. Place the tart on a wire rack and cool completely.

Chocloate glaze

8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the cream and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate and let the mixture stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.

Pour the glaze over the cooled pecan tart. Using a small offset metal cake spatula, spread the glaze in an even layer over the filling. Refrigerate the tart for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the glaze is set.

Remvoe the tart from the pan by placing it on top of a can. Pull down the side of the tart pan to remove it. If necessary, use a thin bladed knife to loosen the side of the pan from any spots where it sticks to the tart shell.

Transfer the tart to a smooth work surface and slide a metal cake spatula under the tart to loosen it from the bottom of the pan. Slide two metal cake spatulas underneath the tart and transfer it to a serving plate. Garnish the tart with pecan halves.