Bourbon Pecan (PEE-can) Ice Cream Tart

Bourbon Pecan (PEE-can) Ice Cream Tart

When you’re a pastry chef in a restaurant that specializes in nose-to-tail cooking, you learn to get creative.

Pastry chef Jessica Scott has her hands full at Boston’s Craigie On Main, where executive chef Tony Maws is mad about nose-to-tail cooking. It’s a contrast in styles: her art is delicate, his is anything but. Yet, Scott manages to create a perfect exclamation point for every meal. It’s no wonder that Boston magazine recently named her the city’s best pastry chef.

One of Scott’s recent challenges was to create a dessert that would complement Craigie’s annual whole-hog dinner. For inspiration, she turned to her Aunt DD, who would create a special dessert every year for the family’s Thanksgiving dinner.

“Many of my favorite food memories stem from Thanksgiving dinners with my relatives from Memphis, where food is everything. My Aunt DD always brings her famous pecan pie (pronounced PEE-can) to steal the show, and we’d serve it with vanilla ice cream or a healthy dose of freshly whipped cream.

For the whole-hog dinner I had the challenge of dreaming up the ultimate pork-centric dessert, and I thought about how Aunt DD’s pecan pie would be the ultimate dessert . . . with a Craigie spin. And, there’s no better way to complement the toasty pecans, caramel and bourbon than with salty smoky bacon. I added a bittersweet chocolate crust to round out the dish, and the rest is history.”

Bourbon Pecan Tart

From Jessica Scott, Craigie on Main, Boston

Chocolate Tart Dough:
1 lb. butter
226 g sugar
3 g salt
635 g all-purpose flour
90 g Valrhona cocoa powder

Cream butter and sugar together. Gradually add dried ingredients until dough comes together. Break into small pieces and bake off at 325° F for 8-10 minutes until baked through. Allow to cool.

Bacon Crust:
420 g chocolate tart dough (baked off)
100 g candied pecans
100 g rendered bacon fat, cooled

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until mixture comes together. Roll mixture between two sheets of parchment paper until it is large enough to fit your ring mold (we generally scale 330 grams of dough to fit a 14” mold). Press ring mold into dough and bake on a sheet tray at 300 F° for 10 min. Allow to cool, then put in freezer.

Candied Pecans:
400 g pecan pieces
50 g butter
50 g bourbon
3 g salt
100 g Isomalt (can substitute sugar)
100 g sugar

Melt butter over medium heat. Add pecan pieces, sautéing until coated. Deglaze with bourbon; season with salt. Set aside off heat. Cover sugar and Isomalt (if using) with water in a small saucepan. Cook on high to a medium caramel and add pecans, stirring just until coated. Remove from heat and spread out on a sheet tray. Allow to cool, then chop coarsely. Reserve some for Bacon Crust and some for Bourbon Pecan Ice Cream.

Smoked Salt Chocolate Sauce:
1 lb. dark muscovado sugar
50 g butter
100 g coconut milk
30 g coconut powder (can omit)
65 g dark rum
310 g Valrhona 70%
500 g cream
4 g smoked Mexican black salt

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Simmer on low until chocolate is melted, whisking to combine.

Pecan Streusel:
150 g all-purpose flour
35 g turbinado sugar
35 g demerara sugar
20 g granulated sugar
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch salt
75 g pecans, chopped
75 g butter, room temperature

Combine all ingredients except the butter in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Use your fingers to incorporate the butter into the dried ingredients until mixture is crumbly in texture. Spread into a thin layer on a sheet tray and bake at 325° F for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

Bourbon Pecan Ice Cream:
980 g heavy cream
860 g milk
600 g brown sugar
60 g bourbon
60 g vanilla extract
150 g egg yolks
2 g salt

Whisk together brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla and salt in a bowl to break up clumps. Whisk in milk, cream and egg yolks. Cook mixture on low heat until slightly thickened and mixture reaches 180°F. Immediately strain over an ice bath. Cool completely, then process in an ice cream maker.
 
To assemble: While ice cream is still soft, fold in 1⁄3 cup pecans per quart of ice cream. Immediately spread ice cream in tart ring using an offset spatula. Allow to harden in freezer for at least 3-4 hours or overnight until firm to the touch. Quickly spread a thin layer of Smoked Salt Chocolate Sauce evenly on top of the tart. Allow to set. Serve with more sauce and Pecan Streusel crumbs.