Salty, sweet and nutty come together in perfect harmony in this pecan tart. And if looks said it all, this is one gorgeous tart that will no doubt impress even the finickiest guest.
Yield: 8 – 10 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
small pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk, lightly whisked to break yolk
2 tablespoons melted butter, to grease tart pan
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly whisked to break yolks
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
To prepare the crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, add flour, sugar and salt. Pulse 3 – 5 times until incorporated. Add cold butter and pulse until butter resembles the size of peas. Add egg yolk, and combine until when squeezed with your hand, dough stays intact. NOTE: it may appear to be really crumbly but simply stop the machine, grab a small handful with your fingers and squeeze. If it holds its shape after releasing, it is ready.
3. Alternatively, this can be done by hand in a large bowl using the “cut-in” technique where a bench-scraper “cuts-in” the cold butter until mixture resembles cornmeal. Once butter resembles the size of peas, use a fork to incorporate the egg yolk until mixture comes together. Note: If butter begins to melt, place the entire bowl with flour and all in refrigerator until cold.
To prebake crust:
4. Place an 8x13-inch rectangular tart pan with removable bottom on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a pastry brush dipped in melted butter, lightly grease the bottom and sides of the tart pan.
5. Transfer dough to the tart pan and using clean dry hands, press down and up the sides to form a crust.
6. Place in preheated 350ºF oven until crust is lightly golden in color, approximately 17 – 20 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before adding the filling.
To prepare the filling:
8. In a large mixing bowl, or alternatively in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add melted butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla. Using a whisk, mix until evenly combined and smooth. Add eggs and whisk until just combined being careful to not over mix the eggs.
9. Pour filling into prebaked tart shell and arrange pecan halves as desired on top to cover.
10. Place in preheated 350ºF oven and allow to bake until golden brown in color and the filling is set, approximately 30 – 34 minutes. Note: The filling may be bubbling and appear unset toward the end of its baking time. To check if the tart has set, lightly shake the pan to see if the filling jiggles excessively or not.
11. Remove from oven and allow to fully cool on a wire rack before removing the tart and slicing. NOTE: be careful how you cut the tart as the bottom will scratch if you use excessive force with a metal object.
12. Best served with fresh whipping cream or vanilla ice cream.
Kitchen Note: If you are looking for a way to bring this to the next level, consider adding a splash of bourbon to the whipping cream in place of vanilla extract. Another idea, is adding melted chocolate directly on top of the crust after blind baking and before adding the filling.