Irish whiskey is a popular ingredient in desserts, where its distinctive taste complements a wide range of flavors. The combination of whiskey and chocolate is especially delicious, and when caramel and nuts are added (you can substitute walnuts, if you wish), this tart simply screams “Easter.” Reminiscent of a Southern pecan pie, it’s delicious topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
- For the crust
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 ounces vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- For the caramel sauce
- 2 ounces unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- For the filling
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
- 4 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons Irish whiskey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
- Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
- Make crust. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and shortening; pulse 10 to 12 times, or until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of water; process for 15 to 20 seconds, or until dough comes together. (Add remaining water, if necessary; pulse again).
- Form dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove dough from refrigerator 10 minutes before rolling.
- Butter a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Dust a work surface with flour. Roll out dough to a 12-inch round; transfer to prepared pan. Fold in excess dough; press to form thick sides. Freeze for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Prick bottom and sides of crust with a fork. Line crust with foil. Fill with pie weights or dry beans; cover with a pie shield (see Note). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove weights, foil and shield; bake 12 to 15 minutes longer, or until crust is browned all over. Let cool on a wire rack. Maintain the oven temperature.
- Make caramel sauce. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter and sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until mixture thickens. Continue cooking until mixture is golden. Remove from heat; stir in cream. Pour caramel mixture into tart crust, spread evenly over bottom. Freeze for 15 minutes, or until set.
- Make filling. Sprinkle half of the nuts and all chocolate pieces over caramel. In a large bowl, beat corn syrup, brown sugars, butter, eggs, whiskey, vanilla and salt with an electric mixer on medium for 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth. Pour over chocolate and nuts; sprinkle remaining nuts over top.
- Bake for about 50 minutes, or until filling is nearly set. Remove from oven; let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Release side of pan. Cut into slices; serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
- Note: A pie crust shield is a heavy-duty nonstick coated metal ring that sits on top of a tart or pie and keeps the edges of the crust from burning before the middle is done. It’s especially helpful when prebaking piecrust shells for tarts and can also be used when baking quiches and double-crust pies to prevent over-baking.
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