Southern Pecan Tarts
This past Christmas family from Texas sent a big 5 pound bag of ‘Texas Size Pecans.’ Beautiful fresh pecans, they were solid and the halves were huge (Texas Size) and there were only a few broken pieces in the bottom of the bag where you would normally find more. A million recipes went through my head all at once. First thought was Pecan Pie or Tarts, than a maybe a variety of spiced pecans from sweet (maple) to a hot kick habanero blend or I could coat them in chocolate or…. muffins, bars, and breads each and all came flooding into mind all at once. I just could not keep up with all the recipes that popped into my head at first sight of this large bag of pecans. This past weekend I finally decided to make my tarts. I had not made Pecan Tarts in years. They were a hit. I am lucky to have three left to take a photo of. This recipe is easy and it has the flakiest pastry and the true richness of pecan pie can be had from first bite to last. There is no need for a topping on this tart ~ it holds its own…. (Thank you Carol and Steve!!)
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1-2 tablespoons ice cold water
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- Seeds from 4” vanilla bean
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Enough whole pecans to top each tart
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (I preheat when I am starting to roll out the pastry for the tarts)
Place flour, sugar and butter in food processor. Pulse until pastry is coarse crumbs, pea size is good. Add egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of ice cold water and pulse until dough comes together, you can add a little more water as needed until the dough comes together.
Pat the dough into disk shape and put into Ziploc bag and refrigerate for thirty minutes or so or until you need. Any leftover pastry can be kept, frozen for up to 1 month.
Divide pastry into forth’s. Roll out pastry to the thickness of ¼ inch. Line the tart pan (with removable bases) with the pastry. Once pastry is in place I take my rolling pen and roll over the top of the tart pan to cut off excess pastry. Continue to roll out pastry until you have lined 6 ~ 4” tart pans.
Line the pastry shells with parchment paper and fill with baking weights or you can use dried beans.
Bake 10 minutes. Remove pastry shells from oven. Remove the weights and paper and set aside.
Beat the eggs, add the brown sugar, light corn syrup and vanilla beans and beat together with wire whisk. Stir in butter and chopped pecans and combine thoroughly. I use a ladle to fill each tart; there is just enough mixture to fill 6~ 4” pastry shells. Arrange the pecan halves in a pattern on top.
Place all six tarts in a jelly roll pan and place in oven. Bake the tarts for 20~25 minutes, until the pastry is lightly browned and the middle of the tarts are set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before unmolding.