Originally this recipe was made as a regular pecan pan. But I wanted to make something a bit more fancier so I tweeked the recipe just a little and made it into this gorgeous pecan tart! Even though there were a few cracks on the tart, it gave the tart a beautiful touch because of it. The combination of the crunchy and flacky crust, gooey filling, and crunchy topping, was just amazing! After serving this at my family Thanksgiving last year, everyone absolutely loved it! There was no left overs whatsoever 😀 Serve it with a dollop of ice cream and caramel sauce and you’re good to go! Happy Eating~ 🙂
Caramelized Pecan Tart
For the Filling
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
- 2 cups pecans (plus extras to line the top, if desired)
For the Crust
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons; 4 1/2 ounces) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg
- Pulse the flour, sugar and salt together in the bowl of a food processor. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. (You’re looking for some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas.) Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses–about 10 seconds each–until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change–heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing. Chill the dough, wrapped in plastic, for about 2 hours before rolling.
- To roll the dough: Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Roll out chilled dough on floured sheet of parchment paper to 12-inch round, lifting and turning dough occasionally to free from paper. (Alternately, you can roll this out between two pieces of plastic, though flour the dough a bit anyway.) Using paper as aid, turn dough into 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom; peel off paper. Seal any cracks in dough. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold overhang in, making double-thick sides. Pierce crust all over with fork.
- Alternately, you can press the dough in as soon as it is processed: Press it evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the tart shell. You want to press hard enough that the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that it loses its crumbly texture.
- Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
- To fully or partially bake the crust: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil (or use nonstick foil) and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. And here is the very best part: Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake the crust about 10 minutes longer to fully bake it, or until it is firm and golden brown, brown being the important word: a pale crust doesn’t have a lot of flavor. (To partially bake it, only an additional 5 minutes is needed.) Transfer the pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature, and proceed with the rest of your recipe.
- Do ahead: The dough can be wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months. While the fully baked crust can be packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months, the flavor will be fresher bake it directly from the freezer, already rolled out.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon; add eggs and whisk until smooth.
- Melt butter in a small saucean over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until the butter turns brown and fragrant. Slowly pour butter into the sugar mixture, and whisk to combine. Stir in chopped pecans, then pour filling into the prepared pie crust. If desired, line the top of the filling with extra pecans.
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the filling is set. If the edges of the crust begin to turn too brown, briefly remove the pie from the oven and cover the crust with a pie crust shield or loosely wrap with aluminum foil, then return to the oven. Once the filling is set, remove the pie and let cool completely on cooling rack, 3 to 4 hours, before slicing.