Pecan Tarts

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Pecan Tarts

Course: Sweets
Sweets Sub-Category: PIes & Tarts
Pies are flaky wonders, but tarts produce a lovely, buttery, uniform vessel that carries a shallower, often richer filling. We owe this crust recipe to pastry maven Alice Medrich- it’s ridiculously simple, quite foolproof and doesn’t require a resting period before pressing into the pan. You can make this in tart pans between 8″and 10″ and may have extra dough or filling depending their size and depth.
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Ingredients

Alice Medrich’s Melted Butter Crust

  • 5 ounces Butter 140g, melted and cooled (if salted, omit salt from the recipe)
  • 3 Whole pecans optional, for a pecan crust
  • 1/4 cup Sugar 50g
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1-1/4 cups Flour 162g

Pecan Filling

  • 1/2 cup Sugar 100g
  • 2 ounces Butter 56g (1/2 a stick)
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar 110g
  • 1/4 cup Honey 85g
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream 240g
  • 2-3 cups Whole pecans
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup Flour 32g

Instructions

Alice Medrich’s Melted Butter Crust

  • Pulse the pecans in the food processor with your flour until very fine.
  • Mix together the sugar, salt and flour in a medium bowl. Pour the melted butter over the dry ingredients and using a fork, mix until just combined.
  • Press into an 8″-10″ tart pan and freeze for 15-20 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350F. Prick the bottom of the tin with a fork and bake until the crust is golden brown.

Pecan Filling

  • Toast the pecans for 5-6 minutes at 350F on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Set aside but keep the oven on.
  • Place the sugar, butter, brown sugar, honey and water in a medium to large pot and bring to a strong boil, continuing the boil for 3-5 minutes, or until noticeably thicker. Add the cream and cook down another 3 minutes or so, or until noticeable thicker again. Remove from heat and cool for about 10 minutes in a bowl. Once cooled, whisk in the eggs, yolk and flour.
  • Place the bake crust on a cookie sheet. Chop up half of your pecans and place them in crust. Pour the batter over the pecans, then arrange the remaining whole pecans in a pattern over the custard. You may have leftover batter depending on the depth of the tin your are using.
  • Place the cookie sheet with the tart into the oven and bake just until the center is set. Cool before cutting.

Notes

The secret to a perfect tart crust is how to treat the sides. You want your crust to be as thin as possible without the metal tin showing through, but not so thick that it tastes chewy and doughy when biting into a slice. Once you’ve pressed in the bottom, get some dough on the sides and make sure to press the corners where the bottom of the tin meets the sides to get rid of excess dough. Once the entire tin is covered, use your thumb or palm to clean up the top edges, sweeping from the inside of the tin to the outside.
The filling below is our sweet answer to the traditional, saccharin corn syrup-y pecan pie filling. It is rich, buttery and custardy but just strong enough to hold up your pecans. If you wish -and let’s be real, you will- add a few piece of chocolate to the just-baked crust before pouring in your filling.