Smoked Pecan and Butterscotch Tart

  • Steps
  • Ingredients


  • Preheat under bench oven to 160°C
  • Preheat turbo fan oven to 185°C
  • Set blast freezer to -40°C

Short Crust Pastry

  • Cut butter into 2.5cm cubes and place in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add flour and salt and mix on low speed until it starts to resemble the consistency of almond meal and no lumps of butter remain.
  • With the stand mixer still on low speed, slowly pour the cold water into the flour mixture and mix until all ingredients are combined, ensuring not to over work the dough.
  • Tip dough on to the bench and bring together by hand. Weigh 350g and shape into a round disk, approximately 2cm thick, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes. Wrap remaining dough and store in the fridge.

Milk Caramel

  • In a medium sized saucepan combine milk, sugar, butter and salt over medium to high heat, whisking to ensure the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the saucepan. Cook until it starts to turn a medium – dark caramel, approximately 155°C, whisking as it caramelises.
  • Pour cream into a small saucepan and warm to simmering point.
  • Remove saucepan containing the caramelised milk from the heat and cautiously pour in the warmed cream, whisking to emulsify. Blend with a stick blender until glossy and smooth.
  • Pass through a fine strainer into a 31cm x 17cm baking tray. Set aside on the bench to cool.

Pecan Puree

  • Sprinkle the pecan halves on a large baking tray and place in the under-bench oven for approximately 15 minutes or until well roasted.
  • Once roasted, place the pecans into the jug of a thermomix and blitz on speed 5 for 5 minutes, scraping the sides if needed, until they are a smooth runny puree.
  • Transfer Pecan Puree to a small stainless-steel bowl and set aside.

Brown Butter

  • Cut butter into ¼ and place in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil butter until it reaches 145°C and is golden brown and smells nutty. Whisk occasionally as the butter is boiling to brown evenly.
  • Remove from heat and pass through a fine sieve into a small saucepan. Set saucepan aside and discard milk solids in sieve.

Short Crust Pastry (continued)

  • Take the 350g disk of pastry from the fridge and place between 2 pieces of baking paper on the marble slab. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry until it is 2mm in thickness and at least 31cm in diameter all the way around. Ensure that there are no cracks or creases on the edges of the pastry.
  • Remove the top layer of baking paper and discard the paper. Use the rolling pin to roll up the pastry, leaving the bottom piece of baking paper on the marble slab and gently lay the pastry into the quiche tin.
  • Gently bend the pastry into the corners then using the flats of your fingers, gently press the pastry into the corners and gently press into the sides.
  • Using a sharp knife, trim any excess pastry hanging over the edge of the tray, and set aside.
  • Take a piece of aluminium foil and lightly spray one side with cooking spray. Place the sprayed side down, inside the pastry lined tin and press gently into the corners of the pastry.
  • Fill the foil lined shell with rice to fill to the top of the tin.
  • Place pastry lined tin into the turbo oven and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until pastry is cooked.

Maple Glaze

  • In a medium saucepan, bring the water and 75g of the brown sugar to a boil, whisking to combine.
  • Mix the remaining 25g of brown sugar with the pectin and the smoke powder. Add to the boiling sugar liquid.
  • Bring sugar liquid to the boil and cook on high heat for 20 seconds whilst whisking.
  • Add the citric acid and maple syrup, then return to the boil for a second time.
  • Using a stick blender, blend for 20 seconds to make a smooth and shiny glaze.
  • Pass through a fine strainer into a large measuring jug. Pour 150 grams into a small saucepan. Set aside at room temperature.

Short Crust Pastry (continued)

  • Take the reserved pastry from the fridge and weigh 100g. Place into a thermomix jug with egg and water.
  • Blend on speed 5 for 2 minutes or until a smooth and creamy liquid is formed.
  • Once the tart is baked, remove from the oven and take out the blind baking rice. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then brush the inside of the tart shell with the pastry and egg mixture then place back into the turbo oven for approximately 7 minutes or until lightly golden in colour.
  • Place tart shell in the blast freezer to cool quickly for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the temperature of the turbo oven down to 165°C

To Assemble the Tart

  • Remove the Tart Shell from the blast freezer and carefully remove it from the outer tin and then the base of the tin.
  • Using a fine microplane, gently file down any uneven edges at the top of the pastry ensuring the tart is an even height the whole way around.
  • Place the Tart Shell back on the base of the tin and place on the scale.
  • Pour 250g of Milk Caramel inside the tart shell and evenly spread it across the bottom of the pastry using a small offset spatula.
  • Place the Tart Shell in the blast freezer for approximately 5 – 10 minutes to set the Milk Caramel.

Pecan Batter 

  • Weigh ingredients for Pecan Batter and set aside. (Caramel Filled Tart Shell needs to be in the blast freezer before this method is started. Plan your accompaniment if you have free time.)
  • Combine blanched almond meal, natural almond meal, flour, salt, and baking powder together in a medium stainless-steel bowl and mix to combine.
  • Place saucepan of Brown Butter on medium heat and warm to 70°C.
  • Place sugars and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, slowly whisk on low until incorporated, ensuring not to introduce any air.
  • Combine the warmed Brown Butter with the Pecan Puree in a jug.
  • With the stand mixer still on low, pour butter-pecan mixture into the sugar-egg mixture in a steady stream to emulsify.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine.

To Assemble the Tart (continued)

  • Remove the Tart Shell from the blast freezer and place on the scale.
  • Pour 650g of the warm Pecan Batter on top of the Milk Caramel Filled Tart Shell, place in the blast freezer to chill for 5 minutes to firm up the Pecan Batter.
  • Count 41 - 45 pecan halves that are uniform in size, shape and are not broken.
  • Place pecan halves in 3 concentric circles on the tart, placing pecans approximately 3mm apart as they move around the circle. Starting with the outside circle, place 22 pecan halves for the outside circle, 14 pecan halves for the middle circle and 5 pecan halves for the inside circle.
  • Place filled and garnished Tart Shell in the turbo oven set at 165°C and cook for approximately 45 – 50 minutes. There should be a firmness to the top of the tart once cooked.

Smoked Pecan and Butterscotch Tart

  • Remove baked Tart from oven, remove base of tin from the bottom of the tart and place on serving plate.
  • Use a pastry brush to brush a thin, yet sufficient layer of warmed glaze across the top of the tart.

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