August 25, 2009

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart

Best served the day it is baked.

Makes: One 9 1⁄2- or 10-inch tart

Prepare in a 91⁄2- or 10-inch two-piece tart pan.

Pat-in-the-Pan Shortbread Dough, below
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring to a simmer in a small saucepan:
1 cup heavy cream
Remove from the heat and add:
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Whisk gently until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then whisk in:
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Pour the chocolate mixture into the tart shell. Bake until the center seems set but still quivers, like gelatin, when the pan is nudged, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with:
Whipped Cream
Store in refrigerator.

One 9 1⁄2- or 10-inch tart shell
When baked, this rich, sweet dough resembles a shortbread cookie. Use it for a cream pie, a lemon tart, a fresh fruit tart with pastry cream, or any other pie or tart with a creamy or buttery filling.
Whisk together in a bowl or process in a food processor for 10 seconds:
1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄3 cup sugar
(1 teaspoon grated lemon zest)
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, softened if working by hand
Mash with the back of a fork or process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add:
1 large egg yolk
Mix with a spatula or process just until the dough comes together in a ball. If the dough is too soft and sticky to work with, wrap it and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (up to 2 days). Grease or butter the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan or 9 1⁄2- or 10-inch two-piece tart pan or eight 3 1⁄2-inch tartlet pans. Dust the pans with flour, and tap out the excess. Pat the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Thoroughly prick the bottom and sides with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake until deep golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes.

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