Chocolate pecan caramel tart (adapted from recipe in L.A Times)
1 ¼ cups butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
Place the butter in a food processor and process for a few seconds, until creamy. Add the sugar and process until mixture is light and fluffy, about 20 seconds, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add vanilla. Combine flour and salt, then add to the food processor. Process until the dough comes together around the sides of the bowl; scrape the sides of the bowl and process for a few seconds more.
Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press around the bottom edge of the tart and make sure the dough is not too thick.
Trim any excess dough at the top of the tart pan with a knife. Lightly press the dough around the inside of the rim with your thumb so that it extends about 1/8th -inch above the pan. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork. Chill the dough in the freezer at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375° F. Line pie shell with greased foil and fill with baking beans. Bake the frozen shell until fully baked an golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack. ( In the AGA, bake on wire shelf on floor of the Roasting Oven for 10-15 minutes.)
¾ cup water
1 ¼ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon lemon juice
¾ cup heavy cream
5 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
Combine the water, sugar and lemon juice in a high-sided small saucepan. Over medium high heat, cook until the mixture is amber about 20 minutes, using a pastry brush to “wash” down the sides of the pot as the caramel cooks.
Remove from heat and slowly add the cream while whisking, taking care as the mixture may bubble up. Add the butter a few pieces at a time while whisking rapidly. Cool to room temperature before using.
1 cup heavy cream
9 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Place the chocolate in a bowl. Put cream in a sauce pan and heat to simmer. Pour over the chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted.
Spread 1 cup chopped pecans over baked crust. Spoon the cooled caramel over the top. Bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes. Remove and cool. When cool pour over the Ganache and Refrigerate for at least an hour.