There’s always something extra enchanting about individual desserts. Maybe it’s the perfect serving size, or that you feel like you get to eat an entire tart all to yourself. Whatever it is, it makes for both a delectable treat and a crowd pleaser. These Pecan Butter Tarts are ideal for a sizable gathering and also customizable. Swap out the pecans for coconut, butterscotch, chocolate, whatever your heart desires. These easy and straightforward tarts leave less time stressing and more time socializing this holiday season.
Yield: 12 individual tarts Time: 2 h 30 min total, 40 m active
- Flaky Pastry Dough (recipe follows)
- 3/4 (165 g) firmly packed brown sugar
- 5 tbsp (70 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup (85 g) light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup (85 g) dark maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp (6 g) vanilla extract
- 1 tsp (5 g) distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (57 g) chopped pecans
- 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
Flaky Pastry Dough
- 3 1/2 cups (438 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp (12 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp (3 g) kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (113 g) cold all-vegetable shortening, cubed
- 1/2 cup (113 g) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 g) fresh lemon juice
Prepare Pie Dough
Step 1 Cube both the butter and shortening and place in the freezer for at least 5 minutes.
Step 2 In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture has pea sized chunks of butter. Should resemble wet sand.
Step 3 In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cold water, egg yolk, and lemon juice. While the food processor is on, slowly add the liquid mixture until the dough comes together. It should be moist but not sticky. Add more water if necessary
Step 4 Turn dough out onto a well floured work surface and kneed by hand until a cohesive dough forms. Divide into 2 and shape both halfs into a disk 1/4-inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 1 hour (up to overnight).
Step 1 Butter a 12-cup muffin pan and set aside. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out one dough disk to an 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 4.5-inch biscuit cutter (or a bowl with a similar circumference and a knife to cut around), cut dough into 6 circles, re-rolling the scraps when necessary. Gently press and shape each dough circle into the bottom of each muffin cup making sure the dough makes contact with the bottom edges. Repeat with the other half of prepared dough. Place in freezer for 20 minutes.
Step 2 Preheat oven to 450 F and place oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, vinegar, salt, and nutmeg. While continuously whisking, slowly pour in melted butter to combine.
Step 3 Remove muffin pan from the freezer. Spoon roughly 2 tbsp pecans into the bottom of each tart. Pour the prepared filling into each tart 1/2-inch below the edge of the cup.
Step 4 Place in oven and bake for 10 mins. Reduce temperature to 400 F and continue to bake for an additional 8-10 mins or until filling is set. Cover with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning if necessary. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Take a sharp knife around each tart to loosen them from the sides of the muffin pan then let cool completely inside pan. Serve at room temperature.