every year for thanksgiving, i used to order an amazing sweet potato pecan pie from balthazar’s bakery in soho. my parents, who tend to be rather fussy asian dessert eaters with the usual “everything is too sweet or too rich” mantra, actually love the sweet potato pecan pie that i bring over. my dad is nuts about nuts, and the tart is covered in pecans, and my mom adores sweet potato everything, so that too may have something to do with it.
it occurred to me that i could just as easily whip up a version for this year’s thanksgiving get together, and that i should really start testing turkey day tart recipes right about now. i came across a pumpkin pie recipe on martha’s website that involved chocolate and that became my launching pad for the sweet potato chocolate pecan tart experiment below.
Sweet Potato Chocolate Tart with Candied Pecans
(Makes two 9.5 inch tarts, and six 3 inch tarts — yes, you’ll have a lot to share with your friends or you can open up a tart factory)
Ingredients for the tart shell and filling
|Pâte Sucrée||600g or 2/3 of a pâte sucrée recipe|
|Sweet Potato or Yam||~15 to 20 oz, 1 to 2 medium / large yams|
|Evaporated Milk||12 oz can|
|Light Brown Sugar||½ cup|
|Eggs||3 large ones|
|Salt||1 ½ tsp|
|Ground Cloves||1 tsp|
|Dark Chocolate||6 oz (I used couverture but about ½ a bag of dark chocolate chips will work as well)|
Ingredients for the candied pecans
|Pecan Halves||2 cups|
|Brown Sugar||¼ cup|
- Blind bake pastry dough for 20 minutes at 350ºF. Let cool afterwards and set aside.
- Steam the sweet potato until completely soft and easily mash-able (~45-60 minutes depending on the size of your root).
- Peel off the skin of the sweet potato with your hands and place it in the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Add in all remaining filling ingredients with the exception of the dark chocolate.
- Using the whisk attachment, whip together these ingredients at medium speed until well combined. The mixture should become light and fluffy.
- Melt the dark chocolate over a water bath or using the microwave (to do so, put the chocolate in a bowl, microwave it for 1 minute. take it out, stir it around, do a little jig and microwave it for another minute).
- Pour about 1/3 of the batter into a separate bowl and stir the melted chocolate into the batter.
- Divide the chocolate batter amongst the tart shells. It should fill about 1/3 of the tart shell. Smooth the chocolate batter using an off-set spatula.
- Pour the remaining sweet potato batter on top of the chocolate filling. Smooth the sweet potato batter using an off-set spatula.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter, brown sugar and water. When the ingredients are well combined and simmering, add in the pecan halves.
- Allow the pecans to simmer in the pan, until the liquid is mostly evaporated.
- Arrange the pecans on top of the sweet potato filling.
- Bake at 350ºF for ~40 minutes, or until the filling has set.