A Woman’s Love of Baking
My mother recently bought an out-of-print cookbook and inside found two handwritten recipes, which she was kind enough to send to me. When I opened the envelope, I saw the recipes that reminded me of how my grandmother wrote down her recipes.
The handwriting was meticulous and the recipes were written with precision and an eye for detail. I found myself wondering who this writer was and am hoping she is not searching for her recipes that are now in my possession.
It was a toss up as to which recipe I would blog about first and the Espresso Pecan Tart won; and I mean this recipe is a winner in every way possible.
I have made many pecan tarts throughout the years, but have never tried one with espresso/Kahlua in it. After trying this I don’t know why it has taken me so long to discover this wonderful combination.
The toasted pecans complement the coffee flavor and when the tart came out of the oven, all I wanted to do was inhale deeply. The aroma in the kitchen was heavenly. It was like walking into a bake shop that serves freshly roasted coffee.
The crust was also a bit different from the one I usually use for my pecan tarts. This crust was less sweet, which turned out to be the perfect match for the sweetness of the filling. I also found it interesting that, even though the filling is most certainly the consistency of a pecan tart, the addition of espresso helped ‘cut’ the sweetness.
As a general rule, I do not serve whipped cream with most of my desserts. I tend to prefer the taste of the pie/cake/tart on its own. In the case of this Espresso Pecan Tart, I made an exception because, quite frankly, this whipped cream was too good to pass up. The Kahlua in the cream rounded out all of the Tart’s components.
More than likely, I will never know the lady behind the beautifully handwritten recipes. I will, however, always be thankful to her for her love of baking. This was a very sweet way to start my new year.
|Espresso Pecan Tart|| || |
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
- 2 large egg yolks
- 5 tablespoons ice water
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- ⅔ cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons Kahlua liquor
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups pecan halves, toasted
- Kahlua whipped cream:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons Kahlua liquor
- For the crust:
- Place flour, sugar and salt in food processor fitted with metal blade. Pulse until combined. Add butter and pulse on/off until mixture resembles coarse meal. Blend egg yolks and water together. Pour into feed tube of food processor while machine is running. Pulse on/off just until mixture stays together.
- Form into disc and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 425°. Set aside 11” tart pan with removable bottom.
- Roll out pastry between sheets of wax paper until the circle measures 14”. Spray tart pan with nonstick cooking spray and transfer crust to pan. Fold additional crust into tart shell to reinforce edge. Smooth seams. Prick bottom with fork. Freeze for 15 minutes.
- Place aluminum foil into shell and fill with beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove beans and bake for 8-10 more minutes.
- For the filling:
- Lower oven temperature to 350°.
- Dissolve espresso in hot water. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, Kahlua and vanilla. Stir in pecans.
- Transfer filling into tart shell. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate for several hours.
- Place tart on a paper towel to secure and push tart up so side of pan slides down. May either serve tart on bottom of pan or transfer tart off of pan bottom. To do this, use a long straight edge metal spatula to run between tart and pan. Gently slide tart onto serving plate.
- For the Kahlua whipped cream:
- Combine whipping cream, confectioners sugar and Kahlua in large mixing bowl. Beat until stiff peaks form.
- Dollop whipped cream over each slice of Espresso Pecan Tart.