Today’s office Cooking Club theme is pies. And, while I considered making a shepherd’s pie, I thought I’d turn to the ol’ standby for a good recipe.
Truth be told, I don’t know that I’ve ever actually made a pie. I’m usually not the biggest pie person (save my father’s apple pie on Thanksgiving). I’ve heard of the dread people have of making the pie crust (and considered cheating and buying one) but the Tartine crust and this recipe looked pretty straightforward.
The original recipe was for a chocolate hazelnut tart, but one of the variations was for this version so I decided I’d go with it. I think I’d like to go back and make the original version, too. (To make the original, just substitute an equal amount of brandy and roasted hazelnuts for the coffee and walnuts, respectively, and add the zest from half an orange when whisking the eggs).
Honestly, I really liked the tart. The presentation would definitely be improved if I had a formal tart pan (or even made it in small tartlet pans). But that’s for another time – I will enjoy this tart now, thank you!
1/2 cup (1 stick, 115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
Pinch of salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups (250g) flour
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar and salt and mix on medium speed until smooth. Mix in egg and mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the flour all at once and mix on low speed until just incorporated.
On a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a disk 1/2 in thick. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours or overnight. Remove the dough from the fridge and, on a lightly floured surface, roll it out to 1/8 in thickness. Be sure to keep your work surface well floured and move quickly to ensure the dough does not get warm. Place the pastry shell carefully in the pan and then place in the refrigerator until it is firm, about 15-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Dock (make small holes) in the bottom of the shell with a fork, making tiny holes two inches apart. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the shell is golden brown. Set aside, awaiting the filling.
6 oz (170g) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (Actually, difficult to find! I used Ghirardelli baking chips)
1/2 cup (1 stick, 115 g) unsalted butter
1/4 cup strong coffee
2/3 cup (135 g) sugar, divided
3 large eggs
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted walnuts
Preheat over to 325° F
Put chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, coffee and 1/3 cup (70g) of the sugar. Place over medium-low heat and stir until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved. Pour butter mixture over the chocolate and stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate melts.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, combine the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, eggs and salt on medium speed until the mixture is a very pale yellow, light and flows off the whist in a thick ribbon when paddle is lifted out of the bow, 3-4 minutes.
Pour one-third of the egg mixture into the melted chocolate and whisk to lighten the mixture. Fold in the remaining egg mixture with a rubber spatula. Pour the filling into the pastry shell and smooth the surface with a spatular (mine ended up pretty smooth so I didn’t need to do this). Arrange the walnuts evenly on top.
Bake the tart until the surface of the filling loses some of its shine but hasn’t puffed up like a soufflé, 7-9 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Tart will keep, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to five days.