Friday, December 26, 2014

Rose's Alpha Bakers: Frozen Pecan Tart

It's week five of my bake-through adventure with Rose's Alpha Bakers. Up this week is the Frozen Pecan Tart - which I served for dessert after Christmas lunch - from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Baking Bible. The tart was a huge hit and was met with a chorus of ohhs and ahhs and a round of "you made this? It's delicious! Seconds, please."

my lovely Frozen Pecan Tart

a close up...

...and now a slice for dessert on Christmas

I let the tart warm for about 30 minutes before serving because it seemed rock solid when I took it out of freezer and I was a little unsure how a frozen tart/pie would taste (was it really not frozen through? It felt pretty solid!). But - never doubt Rose! - the filling was smooth and silky, almost like caramel. Even after 30 minutes, the tart was quite chilled - which was different than what I'm used to with pecan pie (warmed with vanilla ice cream, please) - but it was very, very good.

The tart would have been delicious with ice cream or whipped cream, but was equally good on its own. It was sweet, but not syrupy sweet like a lot of pecan pies. And - again, unlike most pecan pies I've made - the recipe made exactly the right amount of filling! With most pecan pies I've made in the past, you end up with either too much or too little filling. This recipe was perfect.

I added some leaf cutouts on surface of the tart (using these small leaf cookie cutters I bought at Amazon.com) and - other than wishing I had baked them slightly before adding to the tart so they would be a bit more brown - I really liked the decorative addition.

Here are my step-by-step photos.

mise en place for the crust

The crust was a pâte sucrée, so it's made with more sugar than a regular pie crust and has an egg yolk added to strengthen it. Pâte sucrée is a great crust for tarts because it's very sturdy and easy to roll out. I love making pies and tarts!

the heavy cream is added to the egg yolk

butter and sugar are creamed together

the flour is added to the butter-sugar mixture

then in go the creamy-eggs and everything is pulsed
until the dough is in pea-sized clumps

hello, gorgeous dough!

At this point, the recipe directions got very complicated about how to roll out the dough and lift it into the pan. It involved a pizza wheel, a 12" flan ring, and inverting the dough over the back of an 8" cake pan.

Hmmm...I normally just roll the dough larger than the tart pan and the gently work the dough onto the bottom, corners and up the sides. As much as I know that Rose never steers me wrong, I'm going to just to this my way. The main thing to remember is to not stretch the dough as you place it in the pan, otherwise it will pull back and shrink when it bakes.

measuring the dough

ta da - fits perfectly!

the dough is worked into the pan's fluted edges,
leaving no overhang

the tart shell is filled with rice and blind baked

while the tart shell is baking I made these leaf cutouts to go on top

...and now my gorgeous crust is done!

mise en place for the pecan filling

the filling is strained, giving it a silky smooth texture when baked

the pecans are laid out randomly or in a pattern, if you prefer

then the filling is poured over, gently

the leaves are laid down, edges covered and we're ready for the final bake

gorgeous!


Bye for now...

13 comments:

  1. Alice--LOVE the leaves!! Your pastry looks so good!! Mine wasn't nearly as pretty, but it was so good, no one complained!! I will be baking this one many more times. Don't you just love the golden syrup? I hope you have a terrific new year! --Michele

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  2. Wow that is really gorgeous with the leaf decorations.

    I think the issue for Rose is providing enough detail for success without becoming so detailed and prescriptive that it becomes confusing. My eyes get all blurry when they come across those kind of instructions. The same as when it's suggested that I weigh biscuit fillings.

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  3. what a lovely frozen pecan tart pie you made I love those little leaves you cut out to I did something like that too and have a happy new years and hope to see you on my post blog stop by sometimes.

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  4. Thanks ladies! I really enjoyed making this tart. Going off to check your blogs :)

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  5. Alice, I love your leaf cutouts idea! Your tart looks gorgeous! Glad you liked it, we love it as well. Do you mind if I ask which cutter you use?

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    1. Hi Jenn, I've just added the link to the cookie cutters to the blog post. Here's the direct link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004S1CG/.

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    2. Hi Alice, thank you for your lovely comments on my blog. So the first tart shell got eaten as snacks. It didn't even make it to the next day, :))).

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    3. Haha - sounds perfect. I'll bet it was so crispy with a touch of sweetness. Yum!

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  6. Wow, your crust looks perfect! Love the leaves.

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  7. Oooh, I LOVE your leaf decoration, and I think it adds character to leave them less brown than the tart crust. Great job! When you get a chance, I'd love if you would stop by and see my post.

    Patricia @ ButterYum
    http://www.butteryum.org/roses-alpha-bakers/2014/12/21/tbb-frozen-pecan-tart

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    Replies
    1. Thanks!! I'm off to check out your tart :)

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  8. gorgeous tart! i love the leaves; it really makes your tart special. great step-by-step photos, too.

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  9. Your decor and the deep color leads me to want to savor it, along with the adorable leaves!

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