We have been wearing stretchy “Thanksgiving eating pants” at this time of year for almost 14 years now – it began when we were working for an American school in Seoul, South Korea where we enjoyed sharing Thanksgiving with American friends. So when we moved back to Ireland it was one custom we continued and it remains one of my favourite meals of the year. Part of the joy is the looking up recipes, trying new ideas and always going back to some family favourites – Succotash springs to mind, something I cooked on my very first Thanksgiving but now makes an annual appearance. I also love this meal and occasion as there are no presents involved, all that is required in the Irish Rogers version of Thanksgiving is to think of what we are thankful for in the past year and we usually find we have a lot to think about! I will get through the menu throughout this week: ………but I am going to start with the end! Dessert was so delicious – it didn’t look like much to be honest and if truth be known, I was a little disappointed with the look, tried (probably a little too hard) to pep it up with piped cream roses – this needs nothing. We ALL agreed it was amazing. Not one said “I’d prefer….” 100% agreement that this was possibly the best dessert ever, this rarely happens around our table. I hope you get an idea of just how good this is. Was. As of course there’s none left. Even after 14lbs of Turkey. I give you Dorrie Greenspan’s Caramel Tart from Baking Chez Moi. I am actually seriously considering baking it again tonight. INGREDIENTS
PASTRY 204g / 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 60g / 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 128g / 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice 1 large egg yolk FILLING 75g (for caramel) & 67g (for ‘custard’) – think this 2/3 cup granulated sugar in total 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 60g / 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces 300ml / 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, at room temperature 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 4 large egg yolks PASTRY
- MAKE THE PASTRY In a food processor, pulse the flour with the confectioners’ sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until it’s the size of peas. Add the egg yolk and pulse in 10-second increments until incorporated, about 4 long pulses. Transfer the pastry to a sheet of parchment paper, shape into a disk and cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Roll out the pastry to a 12-inch round.
- Invert the pastry into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom; fit the pastry into the pan and trim the overhang. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (I didn’t cool for long enough and one side started to ‘melt’ into the middle.
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 400°F. Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the pastry is set and lightly browned at the edge. Remove the parchment paper and weights and bake the pastry for 5 minutes more, until lightly browned on the bottom. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 165C / 325°F
- In a wide skillet / saucepan stir 1/3 cup / 75g of the granulated sugar with the lemon juice and ¼ cup of water over moderately high heat until the sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, until the mixture starts to color, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula (mine melted – this is HOT!) until a lightly golden caramel forms, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the butter, 1 piece at a time. Stir in the cream and salt, then let the caramel cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 67g / 1/3 cup of granulated sugar until smooth. Stir the caramel into the egg yolk mixture, then pour the custard evenly over the tart shell.
- Transfer the tart to a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the crust is browned and the filling is still slightly wobbly in the middle.
- Transfer the tart to a rack and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until set and thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours. Unmold the caramel tart and serve.