Did you know April is National Pecan Month? With this in mind, we have taken a look at a recipe for a gorgeous pecan chocolate tart, perfect for making at home or when staying in one of our North Wales holiday parks! Pastry ingredients135g/4¾oz cold unsalted butter, cut into roughly 1cm/½in cubes125g/4½oz plain flour2 tbsp cocoa powder2 tbsp icing sugar1 medium free-range egg1 tsp lemon juice Ingredients for the filling 235g/8¼oz chopped pecans235ml/8¼floz golden syrup160g/5¾oz granulated sugar80g/3oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces45g/1½oz unsalted butter3 free-range eggs1 tsp vanilla extract Method
- For the pastry, put the flour, icing sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl and mix together.
- Next, beat together the egg with the lemon juice and two tablespoons of very cold water in a measuring jug, and place to one side.
- Add in the butter to the flour mixture and coat the cubes in the mix. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Make a dip in the centre of the mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Slowly bring together the liquid and flour mixture, being careful not to overwork your pastry or it’ll become too dry. If the mixture is dry, add in a splash more cold water.
- When the dough just comes together in clumps, form into a ball. Next, knead it lightly on a surface lightly coated in flour and bring together to create a smooth dough (once again, be careful not to overdo it). You can test if you have kneaded your pastry enough by rolling out a small amount. If it cracks easily, it needs a bit more kneading to develop the gluten.
- Wrap the pastry in cling film and pop it into the fridge to chill for about half an hour. At this point, turn on your oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas Mark 5 and preheat a heavy, flat backing try.
- Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and use it to line a flat tin. 25cm/10in will leave you with the perfect pastry thickness.
- Leave any excess overhanging at this point, and prick the base of the pastry using a fork. Chill the pastry for a further ten minutes.
- Line the pastry case with parchment paper and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Next, place the tin onto the hot backing tray and bake blind for around 15 minutes, or until a pale golden-brown colour.
- Remove the beans or rice, and return to the oven for another 10-12 minutes until the base is cooked. Now, turn down the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
For the filling
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a pan of simmer water. Once melted, set to one side to cool down slightly.
- Next, combine the sugar and golden syrup and bring to the boil whilst constantly stirring the mixture. Set this to one side to cool.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and then stir in the chocolate mixture. Whisk in the sugar syrup mixture and combine thoroughly. Ensure both the chocolate and sugar syrup mixes are cooled, or they will scramble the eggs!
- Add in the vanilla extract and stir in the pecans.
- Now, pour the pecan filling into the pre-baked pastry and cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the mixture is set. Cool, and serve how you wish (double cream or vanilla ice cream are particularly good!)