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Pecan & Salted Caramel Tart

Updated: Oct 18, 2020

Here is my own twist on a traditional American Pecan Pie, and of course it's gluten free. This recipe was recently featured in Life & Style section of the Irish Times .

In this recipe, I use Xanthan Gum and a lot of people don't seem to know what it is, it is a thickener and stabilizer. In my opinion, xanthan gum is a pantry essential for all coeliacs.

It boosts gluten free flours ability to mimic gluten. Xanthan gum is available in Tesco & Supervalu in the Free From range, it comes in a small tube and the brand I buy is Dove's Farm.

This recipe may appear daunting because of the number of the steps but it is quite easy! All the processes are broken down to be as clear as possible.

Pecan & Salted Caramel Tart

Tin: 24cm Fluted Springform Tart Tin

Portions: 10

Gluten Free Chocolate Sable

210g Gluten Free Plain Flour, Dove’s

20g Cocoa Powder, unsweetened

70g Caster Sugar

9g Xanthan Gum, Dove’s Gluten Free

130g Cold Salted Butter, diced

1 Egg Yolk

1 tbsp Cold Water

  1. In a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum and caster sugar together.

  2. Add the cold diced butter, continuing to mix with the paddle attachment until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

  3. Mix the cold water with the egg yolk and add to the breadcrumb mix, mixing until comes together. If the dough isn't coming together, you can add a few more drops of water until dough forms.

  4. Once the dough comes together, roll the pastry out immediately between two sheets of baking parchment larger than the tin you will be using. Chill for 30 minutes.

  5. Preheat the fan oven to 170°C.

  6. Lightly butter the tin. Peel off one of the sheets of baking parchment and use the side with the paper to help work the pastry into all the edges.

  7. Remove the paper, trim the edges of the tart and put the baking parchment back on top for blind baking. (Use baking beans, rice or any dried pulses)

  8. Blind bake at 170°C for 15 minutes with the paper, remove the paper and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Salted Caramel

190g Caster Sugar

100g Cream

4g Sea Salt

160g Cold Salted Butter, diced

1. Put a pot on a low to medium heat. Make a dry caramel by adding a tablespoon of caster sugar at a time until turns golden amber. Do not stir the sugar, just tilt the pot if you need to move the sugar. It shouldn’t smoke, if it starts to smoke turn down the heat.

2. Once all the sugar is dissolved and amber, add half the cream and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the cream and the sea salt. Let boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

3. Let caramel sit off the heat for 2 minutes and then start to hand blend in the butter until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Pass through a sieve. Set aside at room temperature.

Crystallised Pecans

200g Whole Pecans

200g Caster Sugar

60g Water

4g Sea Salt

1. Toast pecans at 170°C fan for 10 minutes. Set up a sheet of greaseproof paper on a tray next to the stove.

2. At the same time, put caster sugar and water into a saucepan on a medium heat. Bring the sugar up to 135°C (It won’t have coloured at this point). Add the hot pecans to the hot sugar and stir until pecans are completely coated in the sugar.

3. Pour onto the greaseproof paper and start to separate the pecans from each other and make sure none of them are excessively coated in the sugar.

4. Once cool, chop half the pecans.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

220g Cream

1 tsp Honey

200g 70% Dark Chocolate

1. Bring cream and honey to the boil.

2. Pour onto chocolate. Use a handblender to combine. Pass through a sieve. Keep at room temperature.

Whipped Cream

200g Cream

50g Caster Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1. Whisk cream to soft peaks with the sugar and vanilla.

To assemble:

1. Put the salted caramel and spread evenly on to the base of the tart case. Spread the chopped pecans.

2. Pour the ganache on top of the caramel and spread out. Top with the remaining pecans and sea salt.

3. Keep at room temperature and cut with a hot knife.

4. Serve with the whipped cream.

Happy Baking!

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