Pecan Tart With Mexican Hot Chocolate and Creme Fraiche Ice Cream

  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 8 hr (includes cooling, freezing and setting times)
  • Active: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

Pie Dough:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

1/2 tablespoon kosher salt 

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter 

Filling:

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups brown sugar 

3/4 cup light corn syrup 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

1/2 cup cream cheese 

1/2 teaspoon orange zest 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

3 large eggs 

2 cups pecan halves and pieces 

Hot Chocolate, recipe follows

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Creme Fraiche Ice Cream, recipe follows

Candied Orange Zest, recipe follows

Baby sweet potato leaves, for garnish

Hot Chocolate:

1/2 cup chopped chocolate (68 percent cacao)

2 cups heavy cream 

1/4 cup granulated sugar 

1/4 cup corn syrup 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 

Pinch ground cloves 

1 dried New Mexican chile, chopped 

Creme Fraiche Ice Cream:

14 large egg yolks plus 2 large whole eggs

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar 

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 

1 quart heavy cream 

2 cups creme fraiche 

2 cups milk 

Candied Orange Zest:

1 orange

1/2 cup raw cane sugar 

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 

Directions

Special equipment:
cheesecloth; pie weights; a candy thermometer; an ice cream machine
  1. For the pie dough: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and blend until it comes to a pea-size crumble. Dump that mixture out into a bowl and pour 5 tablespoons cold water in. Mix to bind it with your hands just until it comes together, then wrap and let rest for 15 minutes. (Be careful not to overmix your dough to form gluten.)
  3. Roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thick on a floured surface, then press into a 10-inch fluted tart pan, being careful to get all the edges pressed into the corners. Using a fork, poke holes in the dough so it doesn't bubble while baking. Gently lay cheesecloth over the top of the tart and pour in 1 cup of pie weights to blind bake the shell. Bake until blond (light golden brown), 18 to 20 minutes.
  4. For the filling: Melt the butter in a saucepan and whisk in the brown sugar, corn syrup and vanilla until smooth.
  5. Combine the cream cheese, orange zest, salt and eggs together in a stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment on high speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the mixer once, until smooth and not lumpy, about 3 minutes. On low speed add your hot sugar and butter mixture to your egg and cream cheese mixture. Fold the pecans into the mixture and fill the tart shell.
  6. Bake until set, 12 to 15 minutes.
  7. Place the Hot Chocolate on the bottom of a plate in a circular puddle. Dust the top of the tart with powdered sugar, then place over the hot chocolate. Quenelle the Creme Fraiche Ice Cream (form into football shapes) and place it on top of the tart. Garnish with the Candied Orange Zest and potato leaves.

Hot Chocolate:

  1. Place the chocolate in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine the cream, granulated sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, coriander, salt, allspice, cloves and chile in a saucepot and bring to 180 degrees F. Remove from the heat, strain all of the solids out of the cream mixture and pour over the chocolate.
  3. Let sit 1 minute, then whisk until it all comes together.

Creme Fraiche Ice Cream:

  1. Mix together the egg yolks, whole eggs, granulated sugar and salt in a bowl and whisk well.
  2. Combine the cream, crème fraiche and milk in a pot over medium heat and bring to 180 degrees F.
  3. Temper the hot cream into your egg mixture by adding a small amount of the hot cream to the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then whisking the egg mixture into the hot cream, whisking constantly. Let cool to room temperature, then strain.
  4. Pour the custard into the ice cream machine.
  5. Run the machine according to its instructions until thick and creamy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the machine and let it set up the rest of the way in the freezer, about 4 hours.

Candied Orange Zest:

  1. Peel zests from the orange with a peeler.
  2. Roll the zests up and cut them into chiffonade strips.
  3. Mix the raw sugar together with 1/2 cup granulated sugar on a tray and set aside.
  4. Stir together the remaining cup granulated sugar with 1/3 cup water in a pot and wipe the sides of the pot down with a wet hand. Bring this solution up to 242 degrees F.
  5. Throw the orange zests into the pot and swirl the pot a few times. Take off the heat.
  6. Strain through a sieve to retrieve the orange zests. Immediately throw the orange zests into the sugar mixture and toss quickly so that they separate and crystalize in the sugar.
  7. Transfer zests to parchment paper and let harden, about 1 hour. 

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