Pecan filling is indescribably rich and a regular slice of pie can be overwhelming. When my daughter, Alex, asked how I wanted our pecan pie done, I suggested that she make pecan tarts instead. A tart is not as deep as a pie and that translates to less less filling with almost the same amount of crust. Less cloying but just as satisfying.What are the characteristics of a good pecan tart? Crisp top, flaky crust and soft filling. It’s all those lovely contrasts that make it so wonderful.
For the crust
For the pecan filling
- 250 grams pecans
- 2 medium eggs
- ½ cup corn syrup not dark
- ¼ cup light brown sugar loosely packed
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon rum
- ⅛ cup butter melted and cooled
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Make the crust
- In a bowl, stir together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter and shortening.
- Cut the butter and shortening into the flour (I do this by rubbing with my fingers) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add ice cold water, little by little, mixing as you go until the dough can be gathered into a ball. The dough should NOT be sticky.
- Roll the dough into a thick disc.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and keep in the fridge.
Make the filling
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Prepare two six-inch tart pans with removable bottom.
- Divide the pecans into two portions. Roughly chop one portion.
- Make the filling. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, corn syrup, light brown sugar, vanilla extract, rum, butter, salt and cinnamon.
Assemble the pecan tarts
- Take the crust dough out of the fridge and divide into two portions.
- Roll each portion between two large pieces of baking (wax) paper, starting at the center and rolling outward in all directions. Keep rolling until the dough is less than a quarter of an inch thick.
- Take one of the rolled crusts and lay on a tart pan. Tuck in the sides then press around the edges to remove the excess. Do the same with the second rolled crust and tart pan.
- Spread the chopped pecans on the crust.
- Pour the filling over the pecans. DO NOT fill to the brim.
- Take the whole pecans and arrange on top of the filling.
- Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Cool the pecan tarts before removing from the pans.
- Serve the pecan tarts warm, at room temperature or chilled.
If you’re not serving the pecan tarts immediately, cool completely, wrap in cling film and keep in the freezer. Thaw slowly on the counter before serving. Excess pie crust dough may also be wrapped in cling film and kept in the fridge for use on other baking projects. Curious about the history of pecan pie? Click here. Alex’s old-fashioned pecan tarts is based on a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
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