I’ve been thinking a lot about past Thanksgivings lately. In doing so I have thought about all the classic foods, most of which I never liked and doubt I ever will – turkey, stuffing, gravy, so many things from a can. I am so happy to have left those behind for things like tacos, steak, or king salmon (which I recently identified as my desert island food when asked).
But something stands out in my mind for my fondness of it: pie. Specifically Bakers Square pies since back in the day I didn’t bake pie like I do now. Whether we were at home or venturing to one family or another, my mom always picked up a couple pies from Bakers Square. I actually remember enjoying their pies far more often than just on Thanksgiving.
I definitely remember their pumpkin pie, and probably cherry, and though I did like their pies a lot, I will admit I didn’t like their crust. I wasn’t a crust eater at that time either.
I did a quick Google search and found there are only a few original locations of Bakers Square left, though quite a few Famous Dave’s sell their pies. I guess it’s nice they are still around, even if in a way different form. I knew the one we frequented had been closed for quite some time.
Now I make my own pies almost all the time. I love to bake and I do find they tend to be better than storebought, especially that pesky crust.
If your Thanksgiving needs an upgrade, try this pecan caramel tart with ganache. It’s everything you love about pecan pie plus way more with the gooey salted caramel and the creamy ganache topping. You have different textures – gooey, creamy, crunchy – and different tastes – sweet, salty, bitter – to make a dessert that is sure to be a hit even after all the other food.
Wherever you celebrate, whatever you eat, I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving!
Decadent dessert for any special occasion with salted caramel, crunchy pecans, and silky smooth ganache.
1 cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
¼ cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved
¼ cup coconut butter
¾ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ cups almond flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 tablespoons coconut flour
¼ cup carob or cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
6 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons olive oil
2–4 tablespoons ice water
¾ cup heavy cream
2/3 cup carob or cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 ½ cups toasted pecans, for assembly
Make the caramel. In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, syrup, and water. Place over medium heat and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the cream as well as the espresso powder and vanilla bean seeds and pod and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 until thickened and deep amber in color. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut butter and salt. Pour into a bowl and cool.
Make the crust. In a large bowl, stir together almond, tapioca, and coconut flours, and carob or cocoa powder. Stir in the coconut sugar, followed by the oils. Work in the ice water just until the dough comes together. Press into a deep dish pie pan and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
When ready to bake the crust, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/ 350 degrees F convection. Bake the crust 15-20 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Cool completely.
Make the ganache when ready to assemble the pie. In a small saucepan bring the cream, espresso, syrup, and vanilla to a simmer of medium heat. Once simmering, but not boiling, remove it from the heat, and whisk in the carob powder until fully combined and glossy. This could take a couple minutes.
Assemble the tart. Stir the pecans into the caramel and pour into the baked and cooled crust. Pour the ganache over top, smooth into an even layer, and refrigerate until set, 2 hours or overnight. Slice and serve! Tart may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Recipe inspired by Martha Stewart
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour