Caramel pecan tart with cream cheese pastry
- March 2013
- 150g unsalted butter
- 155g soft light brown sugar
- 150g golden syrup
- 500ml double cream
- 200g shelled pecan halves
- 130g brioche crumbs and fresh white breadcrumbs, mixed
For the pastry
- 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 75g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 75g cream cheese
- 1 medium free-range egg, separated
- To make the pastry, sift the flour into a food processor with a pinch of salt. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Dollop in the cream cheese, add the egg yolk and pulse again until it starts to come together. Bring the dough together with your hands and knead briefly on a dusted work surface until you have a smooth pastry. Shape into a disk, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6 and put in a baking sheet to heat up. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin and use to line a 23cm fluted shallow tart tin. Chill for 15 minutes.
- Prick the base all over with a fork, then line with baking paper and add baking beans or rice. Blind-bake (see our how-to video below) on the preheated sheet for 12-15 minutes, then remove the paper and baking beans/rice and return to the oven for a further 6-8 minutes until golden and cooked through. Brush with egg white and pop back in the oven for a minute to seal the tart case and keep the pastry crisp.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter, sugar, syrup and cream in a pan over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bubble for 10-12 minutes, running a fork through occasionally if it needs evening out, until thick.
- Lightly toast the pecan halves in a dry pan over a low heat, then roughly chop one third, leaving the rest whole. Once the caramel is thick and glossy, stir in the crumbs and chopped pecans. Pour into the tart case, then decorate with the pecan halves. Leave in the fridge for 2 hours or so before removing from the tin and serving
To turn this into sweet canapés, line mini canapé or petit-four tins (available from kitchen shops and online bakeware shops) with rounds of the pastry and dollop in a spoonful of the filling. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden.
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