Chocolate-Pecan Tarts

by Karin Calloway

Almost no dessert is as easy to prepare as pecan pie, especially with the help of prepared pie crusts. Despite its ease, pecan pie is definitely a decadent treat, and the decadence can be taken over the top if you add good chocolate to the recipe.

Having a couple of tart pans with removable bottoms allows you to prepare beautiful desserts in a flash, and my recipe for Chocolate-Pecan Tarts makes two luscious confections, or enough dessert for 12 to 16.

Since chocolate plays a starring role here, be sure and use high-quality chocolate. Scharffen Berger or Valrhona are two of my favorite gourmet-store brands and Lindt and Ghiradelli chocolate are among the best found in the supermarket candy aisle.

For added richness, I like to toast the pecans. The microwave is my nut-toaster of choice, and I simply spread the pecans on a plate and microwave for one minute, stir and continue to microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the pecans are lightly toasted and fragrant.

  • 1 package prepared pie crust dough
  • 3.5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups toasted pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9.5-inch tart pans with removable bottoms with the pie crust dough, trimming each even with the top of the tart pan. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan on a Viking gas range or rangetop on the simmer setting or in a water bath over simmering water. Stir occasionally, until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

Combine the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk together until smooth. Whisk in the chocolate-butter mixture and fold in the pecans. Divide the mixture between the two prepared tart shells, place on baking sheets and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Makes 2 tarts, about 12 to 16 servings.

Chocolate-Pecan Tarts

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