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Turtle Tart

We have been watching The Big Chill.

Not that it has anything to do with anything other than it's a fantastic movie. And, the kitchen is amazingly 80's chic. We want to live in a house with a huge kitchen when we get older.


Then we remembered. Kitchen. Fridge. Turtle Tart in the fridge!

Typically, we don't like making things that we can't eat IMMEDIATELY after it gets out of the oven. We're patient like that.

So, when we figured out mid-bake that this Turtle Tart needs to sit in the fridge for 8 hours to set, it was a huge bummer. 

I mean, we licked the bowls, obviously, but it's not the same thing. 

BTW, this movie has the most incredible soundtrack. 

Where were we? Yes, so approximately 49 minutes into the movie, we paused, jumped (er, perhaps a better action verb is catapulted) off the couch and into the kitchen in order to cut and eat some Turtle Tart as quickly as humanly possible.

People, we'd waited 8 hours!!

And, we kid you not, this dessert is the most delicious, decadent and divine thing you have ever eaten and is totally, totally worth waiting for 8 hours.

Especially if you have some Big Chill to pass the time.

Turtle Tart
Serves 12 to 14
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Print Recipe

For the Crust:
9 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
pinch of salt

For the Layers:
4 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
6 ounces milk chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toast pecans until fragrant and deep golden colored. Set aside to cool.

In a food processor, blend graham crackers and sugar until they are in fine crumbs. Add the softened butter and process until it resembles wet sand. Lovely image, huh?

Press the mixture firmly into the bottoms and sides of a tart pan with a removable bottom. We used a 9-inch square pan, but a 9-inch round tart pan is fine as well. Bake the crust in the oven until golden and firm, about 7-10 minutes. Cool completely.

Put the bittersweet chocolate pieces into a glass bowl. Slowly microwave the chocolate, stirring in 15 second increments until smooth. Just a note, whenever a recipe calls for a double-boiler to melt chocolate, we always use the microwave. Just go slowly and stir. The residual heat from the chocolate melts any clumps you might see so be careful and learn what it looks like when the chocolate is melted. It can easily go from perfect to burnt.  Anyhoo...once melted, spread the bittersweet chocolate over the bottom of the crust. Arrange 1 1/2 cups of the pecan pieces in a single layer over the chocolate. Allow to cool completely.

Mix together 3/4 cups of the whipping cream, vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Mix 1/4 water and 1 cup of sugar in a heavy saucepan with high sides. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is mostly dissolved.  Then, increase the heat to medium-high and, without stirring, boil the sugar until the syrup is a medium-dark amber color. This takes almost exactly 6 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Quickly stir in the 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter and the cream mixture into the sugar syrup (now caramel). Be careful, the syrup will boil up violently. Stir vigorously back on a low-heat until the caramel is smooth. This will take about 1 minute.

Pour the caramel over the pecan layer of the tart. Chill the tart, until set, about 45 minutes.

Place the milk chocolate (you could also use dark chocolate instead if you fancied) and the cream in a glass bowl. Using the microwave method, melt the chocolate until smooth. Pour the milk chocolate over the cooled caramel layer and then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of pecans. 

Chill at least 8 hours and up to 1 day before serving. Delish!

PS- You could easily replace the graham cracker crust with the sweet tart dough from our Fruit n' Nut bars, if you happened to double the dough recipe like we did.


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Reader Comments (22)

Whoa these look delicious, just like turtles, only much better. I would have a hard time waiting for 8 hours too!

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracy M.

I LOVE turtle treats.

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet

Wow.. this looks decadent and delicious and totally something that I need to go buy ingredients for IMMEDIATELY.

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEvan @swEEts

I generally have a very hard time waiting for desserts, but this really does look worth it.

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren at KeepItSweet

8 hours is pure torture when you've got these in the fridge waiting for you!! OMG they look amazing!! i'll take the whole pan, please :)

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea the kitchen Witch

This looks so luscious. It must be heaven to take a bite out of this and have all that caramel oozing out of it.

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

This looks amazingly decadent - Perfect for the chill and rain that has swept the Northeast this week!

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiz @ LBBakes

::reaching for a cold glass of milk::

This sounds amazing!

looks very decadent! I could use some ice cream with it too, yum!

October 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Never heard of this tart! Love the name - "Turtle Tart"!

October 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEllie (Almost Bourdain)

This is such an amazing blog, i love everything about it. The pictures, the stories, and of course the bakings!

October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLina

2 layers of chocolate!!! WOW! This looks absolutely delicious. Totally bookmarked!

Oh my goodness, that looks so amazing!
Love love your blog! Hopefully when I try to make this I'll refrain myself from eating it long enough for it to cool :)

October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Anthropist

oh my ....that ooey gooey lovely turtle tart....sigh...I can hear it calling to me!!! I would never have had the patience to wait that long to taste that culinary wonder......I can hear my wife now....YOU ate all of it!!!! lol......this is why I bake so rarely...
thanks for sharing that wonderful creation with us!

October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChef Dennis

Oooh, yum!!! These bars look awesome. I love the gooeyness. These would be seriously dangerous in my house!

October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie@Cozydelicious

This looks delicious...and so worth the wait! Cute story :) I love the random jumps our minds take sometimes...

October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBaking Serendipity

These totally remind me of a turtle ice cream pie I made for my BFF who adores everything'd love it! A lot of steps but worth it.

Wow., this looks incredible.

October 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Johnston

Oh my, this tart looks absolutely to die for!

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

this looks absolutely divine!

October 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthe blissful baker

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