My little Palauan fourth graders were sitting at my feet, listening to me read Peter and Fudge's story in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. It was the point where Peter learns that his (rather annoying) little brother Fudge not only killed Peter's turtle, but he ate it.
"Ew!" I said in overly exaggerated disgust. "He ATE a turtle!"
I looked down at these nine-year-olds expecting to see horror on their faces. Nothing. And then one little voice popped up...
"Teacher, of course he did. Turtle is food."
Turtle is food? Huh. Clearly this was something that my culture never shared with me.
Don't worry, I don't have a turtle recipe to share with you. Well, I do, but it isn't green, shelled turtle. I think I would have the PETA people here in a heartbeat if I did. No, I have a Turtle-Candy Tart. No reptile, lots of sweetness. That's turtle I can enjoy.
This is another one of those, "Let me make your house my photo studio" posts from Alabama. But this recipe I actually had a part in making. My friend Blaine made the chocolate-graham cracker crust, I made the caramel center, and Lisa made the ganache topping. We make a great team, don't we?
I never realized how incredibly easy ganache is! You seriously just boil heavy cream and pout it over bittersweet chocolate and stir. And with how delicious this tart is, well, I will be making that ganache again -- and soon!
(Next time however, I will cut the tart into small squares as it is too rich to eat one whole piece in one sitting.)
Recipe from Country Living, September 2012
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 14 chocolate graham cracker, crushed
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- sea salt
- 1 cup light-brown sugar
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 6 ounces pecan halves, toasted (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a small pot over medium-low heat, melt 1 stick butter. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add graham crackers, granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and combine. Press mixture into the bottom and along the sides of an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the caramel: In a medium pot fitted with a candy thermometer, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar, condensed milk, corn syrup, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and stir to combine. Allow caramel to come to a boil; maintain gentle boil, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 240 degrees F, about 10 minutes. Stir in pecans and vanilla. Pour caramel into tart crust and spread evenly. Set aside to cool, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the ganache: Place chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small pot, bring 1 cup heavy cream to a boil and pour over chocolate. Let sit for 30 seconds, then stir until melted. Pour over caramel and spread ganache into a smooth, even layer with a spatula. Refrigerate tart until set, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl and using an electric mixer, beat remaining heavy cream until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Once tart is set, remove outer ring of pan. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with dollops of whipped cream.