whoa… I’m really cutting it close this year. Finally I have a thanksgiving recipe for you. I hope you aren’t finished cooking yet because I do believe this tart is worth making some space in the oven for.

It’s tradition with a kick.

Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan Tart with a brown butter crust is just what your holiday table needs.

I’ve never been a big fan of pecan pie. I find the sugary custard overly sweet. It’s the kind of too-sweet that gets me in the back of my throat causing me to make a wretching face that other diners find quite unattractive. So when I was asked to bring a pecan pie to the holiday festivites I was less than enthused. Following my tendency to not follow recipes I began to experiment on how I could make this popular classic one that I would enjoy as well.


The answer was obvious and one that I usually use to solve many problems I encounter…. add chocolate! Dark chocolate to be exact. So rich and intense that when introduced to the sugar-laden pie filling a harmonious marriage is created. Suddenly the pie is not only palatelabe but beautifully balanced.

Then add to that a nutty brown butter crust and the refreshing zing of zest and you have yourself a pecan pie-ish type dessert that rises above tradition and scoffs at it’s predesessors. Well, maybe not scoffs. I think this dessert is too sweet to be that mean, but not too sweet to induce the gag reflex.



Tart Dough
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter (browned)
pinch salt
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

Combine sugar, butter, salt, vanilla. Then add in flour.

Pecan Filling

2 cups pecan halves (7 ounces), toasted and cooled

3 large eggs

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon orange zest

3/4 cup dark corn syrup

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (Valrhona, 70%)

Par-bake the tart shell. 375 degrees 10-15 minutes until color is just starting to appear. While it is still warm add the chocolate to the shell. The residual heat will melt the chocolate. Add the pecans.

Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl, then whisk in corn syrup and pour over pecans.

Carefully pour the filling into the shell.

Bake pie until filling is puffed and crust is golden, 25 to 35 minutes.  Cool pie on a rack to warm or room temperature. Serve with maple whipped cream (1 cup cream, 3 Tbl. maple syrup) and pomegranate seeds.