MAKES 1 (9-INCH) TART, SERVING 6 TO 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Chill Time: 2 hours
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom
wire cooling rack
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons toasted whole blanched almonds
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup Dark Chocolate Ganache at room temperature
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder, for sifting
For the pastry shell:
1. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into a small bowl. Add the egg yolk and stir to blend. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and stir to blend.
2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, mix together the confectioners’ sugar and almonds and process until the nuts are finely ground. Add the flour and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Add the egg yolk mixture and pulse just until the dough begins to hold together. Do not over process; the dough should not form a ball.
4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and very gently pat the dough into a disk, handling it as little as possible. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until well chilled.
5. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch round. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, rub some flour on the pin. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and gently press against the sides, allowing for 1/2-inch overhang. With a fork, prick the bottom of the dough all over and refrigerate the crust again for at least 1 hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
7. Set the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for about 5 minutes, until the pastry just begins to firm up. Remove from the oven and, with a sharp knife, carefully trim and discard the overhanging pastry to make a smooth, even edge. Return the pan to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes longer, until the pastry is nicely browned. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool the crust completely before filling.
8. Do not turn off the oven.
For the filling:
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and milk to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat, add the Dark Chocolate Ganache and stir until melted. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm and then whisk in the egg until thoroughly blended.
Pour the custard into the pastry shell and bake in the middle of the oven until the filling is almost set but still trembles in the center, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool. Sift the cocoa powder over the tart and serve warm or at room temperature.
Chef Secret: You can add another level of flavor by drizzling the tart with a little Red Raspberry Sauce -- which might seem like gilding the lily, but why not?
Dark Chocolate Ganache
Makes about 2 pounds of ganache
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Chilling Time: 3 to 4 hours
large, heavy saucepan (3 quarts or larger)
plastic sealable storage container
1 1/4 cups water
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate (at least 64 percent,), coarsely chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons chocolate extract (see Chef Secret)
1. In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the water, corn syrup, cocoa powder, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk until blended. Remove the pan from the heat.
2. Immediately add the chocolate and chocolate extract to the pan and whisk until smooth. Set aside for about 1 hour to cool completely, whisking every 15 minutes or so to keep the ganache emulsified.
3. When cool, transfer the ganache to a rigid plastic or glass container, cover, date, and refrigerate for up to three months.
Chef Secret: Chocolate extract is sold in most supermarkets and confectionery shops. I like to use Star Kay White’s Chocolate Extract, which will keep in the refrigerator for up to three months.
CREDIT: From CHOCLATIQUE by Ed Engoron with Mary Goodbody, Running Press, 2011