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Caramel Turtle Tart

Caramel Turtle Tart
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Yield: 10 to 12 servings

This easy caramel turtle tart, inspired by "turtle" candies, combines caramel, pecans, and chocolate for a rich filling. Unwrapping the caramels takes a few minutes, but the rest of the tart can be assembled in very little time, and the crust can be made ahead of time and frozen for up to 2 weeks. The tart can be chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before serving.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine Basic Shortbread Dough with oats and ground pecans. Gather dough into a ball and press evenly into a 9-1/2-inch tart pan with removable bottom. The crust should be about 1/8 inch thick on the bottom and slightly thicker on the sides. Bake crust 12 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. Warm ganache over low heat or in microwave, until loose and liquid. Spread 3/4 cup ganache over bottom of tart. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt caramel with cream over medium-low heat, paying careful attention so that it does not burn. Stir in the pecans. Remove chilled tart from refrigerator and pour caramel mixture over the entire chocolate layer. The caramel should spread slowly and evenly over the ganache. If necessary, even out the caramel very gently with a spatula. Return tart to refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Pour remaining 1/4 cup ganache into a pastry bag (or a sandwich bag with a small cut at one corner). Squeeze out ganache in parallel stripes over the caramel layer. Run knife through chocolate in perpendicular or diagonal lines to create decorative pattern. Serve at room temperature.

Updated Thursday, December 5th, 2002

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