Passover Pecan Caramel Tart
Updated: Jul 18
March 29 2020
This is not a typical year for Passover...this may be the first Passover that I have not sat with friends and family around the table, reading from the Hagaddah, and telling the story of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt and freedom from oppression. It is a beautiful story of grit, perseverance and determination. And even though we won't all be together (maybe we'll HouseParty the whole Seder!!), we still observe the tradition of not eating leavened foods during this time, to remind us of how the Jews fled, with no time for the bread to rise. So, what to do about desserts? It's the age-old question and one I hope I'm addressing in the blog. I've included a recipe for Chocolate, Pistachio & Apricot Bark, for Hazelnut & Coffee Meringues, for Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake, and for the piéce de resistance, this recipe for Passover Pecan Caramel Tart!
This tart has a lot of steps, but they aren't challenging. You just need the time. And please note, that you must start this tart the day prior to serving it. It needs to sit overnight in the fridge.
The tart crust tastes just like a graham cracker crust, but without the leavening. The filling includes pecans and caramel, and the entire tart is topped with a rich ganache.
You can decorate the top as I have, or simply add some berries to the top. Either way, this will definitely satisfy any sweet tooth!
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(Note: Tart must be started the day prior to serving)
Makes 8-10 servings Active Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cooling Time: Up to 24 hours
“Graham Cracker” Crust:
1 cup matzo cake meal
1 cup potato starch
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
10 tbsp unsalted Pareve Passover margarine or butter (see Chef's Note), cold
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp unsalted Pareve Passover margarine or butter, melted
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp unsalted Pareve Passover margarine or butter, melted
Ganache Glaze Topping:
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated
1/2 cup heavy cream
Decorating Liquid (Optional):
2 ounces white chocolate, grated
1 tsp mild vegetable oil
For the “Graham Cracker” Crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the matzo cake meal, potato starch, 3/4 cup brown sugar and cinnamon in a processor bowl with the metal blade. Pulse until ingredients are blended. Add the cold margarine and process just until it has been incorporated in to the dry ingredients. Turn out onto the parchment paper.
Press the mixture together to form pea-sized lumps, Place the baking sheets on the middle and lower racks in the oven. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned, switching the position of the two sheets after 6 minutes. Let cool.
Place the lumps in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and pulse to blend. Add the melted margarine and pulse until the dough starts to clump together.
For the Tart:
Increase the heat to 400°F. Grease a 9-inch tart pan. Pack the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the nuts over the crust. Set on a cookie sheet.
For the Filling:
Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved. Once the liquid begins to boil, do not stir. Heat until the sugar turn a medium amber color, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat, tip the pan away from you, and add the cream and margarine. The caramel will lump up. Return to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the caramel lump dissolves and the filling is smooth.
Pour the filling over the pecans. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 40 minutes. Place on a cooling rack, remove the foil, and let cool. Refrigerate overnight. Excess butter will be absorbed into the tart by the morning.
For the Ganache Topping:
Place the chocolate in a small bowl. bring the cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Stir to moisten all of the chocolate. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir the ganache until melted and mostly smooth. Strain the ganache through a fine mesh strainer into another bowl.
If using the decorating liquid, get it prepped by combining the chocolate and oil in a microwave-safe container. Heat for 30-60 seconds or until the chocolate is shiny. Stir and continue to heat in 10 second bursts until the chocolate is smooth. Pour into a pastry bag with a very small plain tip attached.
Once this is done, pour the ganache on top of the tart and spread to meet the crust. For a herringbone pattern, use the decorating liquid and pipe parallel lines, 1/4 inch apart, vertically across the tart. Turn the tart so that the stripes are now horizontal. Starting from the top right or left of the cake, 1/4 inch from the edge, and using a very fine knife tip or skewer, draw a vertical line through the piped lined of chocolate. For the next line, start at the bottom, 1/4 inch from the line that you use drew, and draw the knife tip upwards to the top of the tart.
Continue alternating passes until 1/4 inch from the edge. The entire tart should now be covered with a design similar to mine in the photos. Refrigerate the tart so that the ganache firms up.
If you are not using the decorating liquid, spread the ganache over the tart and refrigerate.
Chef’s Note: Remove the tart from the fridge one hour prior to serving.
Ganache can be made one week ahead, if refrigerated. To use, it must be liquefied again. To do this, place it in the microwave and heat on medium power until melted.
I have included butter as an option in the event that you want to serve it throughout the year, or with a vegetarian Passover meal.