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Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Salted Caramelized Pistachios

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Serves twelve to fourteen.

This buttery shortbread tart crust is filled with rich, dark chocolate and garnished with salty-sweet caramelized nuts and sea salt.

For the Tart Shell:
  • 4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. table salt
  • 4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
For the Filling:
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • Pinch table salt
  • 7 oz. semisweet chocolate (up to 64% cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Make the tart shell: In a medium bowl, combine the butter, sugar, zest, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and mix just until well blended. If the dough seems too soft to work with, let it sit for a few minutes to firm up. Press the dough into a 9-1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Start with the sides, making them about 1/4 inch thick, and then press the remaining dough evenly over the bottom, pressing well into the corners. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or chill until ready to bake (you can make the crust up to 3 days ahead).

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Put the pan on a cookie sheet and bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, checking after about 15 minutes to see if the dough has puffed. Press the dough down with the back of a fork and prick a few times if necessary.

Meanwhile, make the filling: In a small saucepan bring the half-and-half, sugar, and salt to a simmer. Off the heat, add the chocolate and stir with a whisk until completely melted and smooth. Cover to keep warm.

Just before the crust is ready, whisk the egg thoroughly into the chocolate mixture. When the crust is done, lower the oven temperature to 300°F. Pour the filling into the hot crust. Return the tart (still on the baking sheet) to the oven and bake until the filling is set around the edges but still jiggles a little in the center when you nudge the pan, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Serve at room temperature or slightly cool. Garnish each slice with crushed Salted Caramelized Pistachios and a light sprinkling of fleur de sel.

The tart is best on the day it's made but may be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. Once the tart is completely chilled, cover it, but make sure no plastic wrap touches the surface by first putting the tart pan in a larger cake pan. Or cover the tart with an overturned plate.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 260; Fat (g): 15; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): 8; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): 31; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 95; Cholesterol (mg): 40; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Looks good!

Delish! My mom made this for me for my bday, after I saw this recipe. I'm a chocolate+caramel+salt fan so it was right up my alley, but nonetheless, it's a well-constructed recipe with worthwhile results.

I didn't like this very much, I thought it tasted like hot fudge sauce in a tart shell. Too dense, didn't like the texture.

Very good and much enjoyed by all. It's probably just me but I had trouble covering a 9.5 inch tart pan with the amount of dough in this recipe, so I had to make about 1/2 more. I made it ahead and froze it, just popped it into the oven. I was concerned to see the sides fall about 1/4 inch, but it turned out the shrinkage did not matter. The taste of the crust was very good, with the citrus taste contrasting nicely with the chocolate. Somewhat snappy, however, as my first cut with a serving spatula sent a crack going off in another direction, so I used a sharp knife instead. I found that the filling set much faster than I expected, so keep an eye on it. The chocolate I used was Trader Joe's Swiss dark (71%), very rich. (Note: the salt and candied pistachios are a must)

Excellent, impressive and easy. The pistachios are great with all the chocolate. I lined the plate with fresh raspberries. My guests loved the shortbread crust. I made two of these in two days, with a full house of guests.

An impressive finish to an elegant dinner that's easier to make than you might think. Rich and sophisticated. I agree with the reviewer who said not to omit the pistachios and Fleur De Sol garnishes-both truly add a lot to the finished product.

My two small children helped with the pistachios, luckily I bought more than needed because they ate a ton of them. I had to keep my husband from eating the pistachios before and after caramelizing them. Overall the recipe was easy and not as time consuming as I thought it would be. The orange zest was a great compliment to the chocolate. I will make this again!

Delicious crust; delicious filling. Easy to make! Goes quickly. I forgot to buy pistachios, but it's excellent alone, and I may make the brittle with other nuts. Thanks!

simple to make and absolutely delicious!

This dessert was really wonderful. It will be in my repertoire for special occasions for a long time to come. It is a very elegant dessert and incredibly easy. The salt and caramelized pistachios are the perfect finishing touches - do not omit them.

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