so for Thanksgiving this year, I decided to make a “traditional” dessert, but with slight modifications. it was pecan tartlets…the classic “pecan pie” but made in mini tart pans. it was an absolutely delectable dish. I loved that I found a recipe where it wasn’t overly sweet, but had just the right amount of sweetness.
and even better yet, November happens to be National Georgia Pecan Month and I was able to use 100% Georgia pecans that I found at a farmer’s market for these tartlets. 😉 so, here’s how I made them. tell me what you think! do you love pecans too?
southern pecan tartlets: recipe slightly modified from serious eats, “classic pecan pie“
makes six tartlets or 1 pie.
- pie dough: (use your favorite single crust recipe, or I like the crust recipes from the four and twenty blackbirds pie book)
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons brown butter, cooled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- approximately 3 cups toasted pecans (2 cups roughly chopped and 1 cup left whole-gauge this based on the size of your pecans, I had some leftover)
- toast the pecans: preheat oven to 350°F. take the chopped pecans and put on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet, and toast them for approximately 5-7 minutes until fragrant. watch closely, so you don’t burn them. remove them from oven and let them cool. adjust oven rack to lower middle position and change oven temperature to 375°F.
- brown the butter: melt butter in a medium sauce pan. stirring occasionally, watch it carefully – it will begin to foam and a you’ll smell a fragrant nutty flavor with brown bits forming on the bottom of pan (see photo above). this is exactly what you want, remove butter from heat and let it cool.
- roll out and chill dough: make your crust and then roll dough into a circle roughly 12-inches in diameter. using your mini tart pans as a guide, cut out crust circles that are slightly larger than the tart pan. (you want some overhang but not too much). trim the edges if it’s too much overhang. place the tart crust in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to avoid shrinkage.
- make filling: in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, corn syrups, brown sugar, brown butter (cooled), salt, and vanilla. whisk for approximately 30 seconds, until the mixture is homogenous (click here for whisking details…it’s a workout, but worth it 😉 ) and slightly frothy. remove tart crust from refrigerator.
- assemble tartlets: place chopped and toasted pecans in each chilled pie, covering the bottom – reserving the whole pecans. carefully pour the filling mixture (tart pans are more shallow then a pie pan) over each of the tart pans filled with pecans then gently place the whole pecans in concentric circles on the top, taking care not to press too hard, which will cause the nuts to sink into the filling.
- bake tartlets: bake tartlets for 35-45 minutes*, rotating half way through baking. when finished, the filling should by slightly jiggly, but mostly set and puffed slightly. allow the tartlets to cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours and up to overnight before serving.
*timing note: the original recipe calls for a total baking time of 1 hour for one classic pie, however my tartlets took only about 35 minutes – so please check your tartlets around that time to double-check. they may be done, or they may need more time. your nose will know. 😉