This recipe for Pecan Turtle Tart is recommended to save for Thanksgiving, and comes with high praise from its creator Desserts Required: "When I think of the word turtle, I think slow. When I serve my Pecan Turtle Tart, it is eaten so quickly that a turtle would barely have time to escape before the serving was gone."
Note: Toast all of the pecans (crust, filling, decorative topping) at once. Do not forget to take out the pecans being used for the decorative topping before putting the pecans into the cooked dough.
The dough may also be rolled out on a lightly floured board.
More pecans may be used to decorate the top of the tart, if desired. Increase the chocolate chips accordingly.
One way to slide the Pecan Turtle Tart off the bottom of the tart pan is to serve it with the bottom still attached.
Place the flour, pecans, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the consistency of a powder. Cut the butter into 8 pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 20 seconds.
Add the ice water and vanilla extract and pulse until the dough forms a ball. Remove the dough and shape into a disc. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Roll the dough out between sheets of waxed paper. (You will need 2 sheets for the bottom and 1 for the top.) After each roll, rotate the dough and lift the top piece of waxed paper so that it no longer sticks to the dough. Continue rolling out to a diameter of 13 inches.
Spray an 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom with cooking spray. Transfer the dough to the pan and fold the extra dough under the sides to reinforce them. Prick the bottom with a fork and freeze the tart crust for 10 minutes.
Place of piece of aluminum foil in the tart pan and add pie weights. Place onto a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil or baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pan around if hot spots occur. Remove the weights (by lifting the foil carefully out) and bake for 8 more minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Once cooled, place the toasted pecan halves over the crust.
Place the butter, cream, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Boil the mixture until it reaches 225 degrees as measured on a candy thermometer, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Pour the caramel evenly over the toasted pecans. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes.
Place the butter, cream, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Turn off the stove and add the chocolate chips, covering the chips with the cream mixture. Let sit for 4 minutes and then stir until smooth.
Pour the chocolate over the cooled caramel layer.
Melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave. Dip 1/2 of each pecan piece into the chocolate and place on top of the tart. (Think of a clock where the 12 pieces represent each hour on the clock.)
Refrigerate the tart for several hours or overnight.
Remove the side of the tart pan by holding the tart, by the bottom, and pushing the bottom up. Use a long metal spatula and gently slide it between the bottom of the pan and crust, rotating the tart around as you go. Slide the tart onto a serving plate.
Before serving, allow the tart to sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.