Satin Chocolate Tart with Kumquat Compote

by Chef Deb Traylor. (originally published on February 14, 2016.) 

Happy Valentine’s Day! To celebrate we’ve created a tart using two things we love this time of year: rich, dark chocolate and tangy-sweet little kumquats. The ingredients are simple, but the results are luscious. Imagine flaky crust around smooth-as-satin chocolate filling and a bright drizzle of puckery orange joy. Yep, just like that. But enough daydreaming, let’s make it! 

Satin Chocolate Tart with Kumquat Compote

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (We like Chocolove 52% dark chocolate chips)
  • 1 Tbsp. coffee liqueur or 1 Tbsp. very strong coffee or espresso (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature 
  • 1 blind-baked 9- to 10-inch tart shell, (see recipe below)
  • Kumquat Compote (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Simmer heavy cream and sugar in a pot over medium-low heat until it bubbles slightly around the edges and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; add chocolate chips and wait 3 minutes until chocolate softens. When chocolate is 75% melted, whisk until fully melted and smooth. Add coffee liqueur and salt and whisk until well incorporated. Beat eggs in a small bowl until blended and add to the chocolate mixture, whisking until completely blended. Pour the filling into a blind baked and cooled tart shell and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the filling is set and the surface is glossy. If you see any bubbles or cracks forming on the surface, take the tart out right away – that means it is beginning to overbake.  Cool. Serve by itself or with a few small/large drizzles of Kumquat Compote. Yield: One 9 to 10-inch tart

Note: you may have a little pastry and tart filling left over if you use the smaller tart pan.  Make a little snack for the cook by lining one or two Mason jar lids with pastry, then blind bake and add filling. Bake at 325 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.

Slightly Sweet Flaky Pie/Tart Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, chilled (or 1/4 cup butter additional butter if not using shortening)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, chilled
  • 1/2 cup +1 Tbsp. ice cold water
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice or vinegar 

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add chilled shortening and butter and toss to completely coat with flour. Using your hands or a fork, quickly smashthe pieces of butter/shortening between your thumb and fingers to flatten each piece to the size of a dime.  Gently stir the flour and butter to make sure you flattened most of the pieces. 

Combine ice cold water and lemon juice (or vinegar), and drizzle 1/2 of the lemon water over cold flour mixture and stir until the dough just starts to come together or turns “shaggy”.  We prefer to use our hands but a fork works nicely too.  Begin adding a few more tablespoons of water at a time, stirring between each addition. Once most of the water has been used (but you have a tablespoon or two remaining) use your hands to gather the shaggy strands into a ball and knead the dough two or three times. If you have dry bits remaining in the bowl, add a little additional water.  (Your dough may appear wet or dry depending the climate in your area, so you will need to go slowly and adjust accordingly.)  Gather the dough in a ball, dust your counter with a tiny amount of flour, and quickly pat dough into a small flat disk. Cut dough in half and then stack one piece on top of the other, flour side down. Use the heel of your hand and press the dough down and divide once more. Cover each piece with plastic wrap. Place one disk in the refrigerator, and put the other one in the freezer for another day. (Remember to label and date the dough for next time: Slightly Sweet Flaky Dough) Chill the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight. This dough can be made a day or two in advance. Yield: Two 9 to 10-inch single pie crusts, or 10-inch tart crusts (Use one and freeze the other!)

Blind Baking Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a 12-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Carefully roll the dough up onto the pin and lay it inside a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough into the pan so it fits tightly; press the edges into the sides of the pan. It is important to press the dough into every nook and cranny of the ring, especially the scalloped edges. Shave off the excess hanging dough by rolling your rolling pin over the edges. Put the tart in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to relax.

Place the tart pan on a sturdy cookie sheet so it will be easy to move in and out of the oven. Line the tart shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and add pie weights or dried beans to keep the sides of the tart from buckling. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and weights.

Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the crust with a beaten egg white (the egg white seals the crust, helping keep it crisp under the filling). Return to the oven and continue to bake for another 8 minutes until the tart is golden in color, but not brown as the tart will be cooked again with the filling. Set aside to cool and lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

Kumquat Compote

  • 1 lb. kumquats
  • 1-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (use 1 cup for tart compote, and 1 1/2 cups for sweeter/less bitter compote)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • juice of 2 oranges
  • Rinse kumquats under cold water, then cut into quarters or slice into rings. Remove as many seeds as you can (many will float to the top after compote cools). 

In a non-reactive pan, combine kumquats, sugar, lemon juice and orange juice and simmer over medium low heat until sugar has completely dissolved, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Once cool, cover the pan and refrigerate overnight. Yield 3 – 3 1/2 cups

The next day, remove any seeds that have floated to the top, and return pan to medium heat. Simmer again for 2 minutes. Pour mixture in a one-quart jar, or two pint jars. Cool and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. 


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