Praline Tart with Praline Ice Cream
Pralines de St.-Genix are a specialty in Lyons, puffed pink sugar shells enveloping the small hazelnuts from the region. They are available—and stunningly expensive due to shipping costs—on the web at www.msk-ingredients.com/products.php?pid=28. Other pralines, made of almonds or pecans in candied sugar, are not the same and cannot be used in this recipe. Chef Lacombe notes that brushing the beaten egg over the hot tart shell serves to seal it, and this tart may be kept for two days in the refrigerator. The filling itself may be saved in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, and reheated gently to be used in another dessert, perhaps in mini-tarts or perhaps as a sauce over ice cream. Make the ice cream a day ahead.
- Flour - 1 1/2 cup
- Pinch of salt
- Unsalted Butter - 1⁄2 cup (4 ounces)
- Sugar - 1⁄4 cup
- Egg - 1, lightly beaten
- egg - 1
- Pralines de St.-Genix - 4 cups
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 4 cups
- Pralines de St.-Genix - 4, slightly crushed
- Mint sprig
- Praline Ice Cream (below)
- Praline Ice Cream
- Pralines de St.-Genix - 1⁄2 cup
- Egg Yolks - 8
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Simple Syrup - 2 tablespoons
- Half-and-half - 1⁄2 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 2 cups
To make the pâté à sucre crust: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Combine the flour and salt. Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg; do not over mix. Add the flour in one addition and blend just until the dough gathers and forms a ball. Remove the dough from the mixer and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 20 minutes, until firm and easier to handle. Roll out on a lightly floured work surface until about an inch larger than the tart pan and 1/4 inch thick. Use as little extra flour as possible as you work. Roll up around the rolling pin, then unroll over a straight-sided tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press into place in the pan, being careful not to stretch the pastry. Cut off any excess at the top. Lightly prick the dough, then line with parchment paper (let the paper stick out over the top; don’t try to fit a disc of paper in the bottom of the tart) and fill nearly to the top of the crust with lentils, dried beans, or pie weights to keep the dough flat as it cooks. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until it is golden brown and dry. Remove from the oven. In a small bowl, lightly beat the second egg. Remove the lentils or pie weights—lift the corners of the parchment—and brush the entire inside, bottom and sides, of the still-hot crust with the egg to seal. Set aside to cool.
To prepare the filling: Crush the pralines, then process to a powder in a food processor. Bring the cream just to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the praline powder. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture darkens and thickens to the consistency of very heavy syrup. Remove from heat and stir gently until cooled to room temperature. Pour into the prepared crust. Do not fill completely to the top; the filling is very sweet. Refrigerate until chilled and set.
To serve: Remove the tart from refrigerator and take out of the tart pan. Garnish the center with a few crushed pralines and a mint sprig. Slice into individual wedges. The filling will be slightly soft. Serve with a quenelle of praline ice cream.
Praline Ice Cream
Crush the pralines, then process to a powder in a food processor. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until light in color. Stir in the simple syrup. Combine the half-and-half and cream and stir into the egg mixture. Put in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the spoon and a line drawn down the back of the spoon remains visible. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Stir in the praline powder. Freeze in an ice cream maker. Pack into a plastic container, seal with a lid, and store in the freezer until ready to use.