Browned Butter Pecan TartPrint Print Without Images
A traditional tart is a bit larger than a pie in diameter but is also much shallower than a pie. This way your guests can still enjoy a slice of this rich and buttery dessert, but in a smaller portion than a traditional pecan pie. The ready-made pie pastry from Krause Farms is always my go-to when I need a pie crust, and makes this recipe a lot easier to execute. However, feel free to use your own favourite pie crust recipe. Using browned butter is optional, but gives the filling a nutty and modern flavour. Another delicious option is adding a few tablespoons of bourbon or whiskey to the filling, a perfect holiday addition!
1 package Krause Farms Pastry Patties, thawed but kept chilled
Dry beans (for cooking the crust)
3 cups pecan halves, about 12 oz.
5 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
6 tbsp packed brown sugar (not golden sugar)
1 cup Roger’s golden syrup
1/2 cup butter, melted & cooled to room temperature. See notes on how to brown butter as a delicious option
2 Tbsp. whiskey or bourbon, optional
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare an 11-inch round tart pan with removable bottom or a shallow, round pan with baking spray or rub with butter. Press the 2 pastry patties together into one mass and roll it out on a floured surface to a minimum 12 inch diameter circle with even thickness. Place rolled pastry into the prepared flan pan and ensure that the pastry is gently pressed into all grooves in the edges of the pan and that the pastry reaches the top of the sides. If the pastry doesn’t go all the way to the top of the sides, then the filling will flow over the pastry and make it soggy. Trim any excess that folds over. Place a piece of parchment paper over the pastry lined pan and fill with enough dry beans to fill the flan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the beans by picking them up with the parchment and let the cooked pastry cool to room temperature. (Cooking the pastry by itself with the beans will cook the crust first and the weight of the beans will keep any air bubbles from forming, thus keeping the pastry nice and flat). Reserve the beans once cooled and store for future pastry cooking in the same manner.
Set the oven now to 300 degrees.
Optional step of browning butter.
To make brown butter, simply start melting butter over medium heat. Use a pan with a light-colored bottom so you can keep track of the color. Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is cooking evenly. As the butter melts, it will begin to foam. The color will progress from lemony-yellow to golden-tan to, finally, a toasty-brown. Be careful as once it changes color, it goes very quickly, and you don’t want to brown it past a light nut-brown color as it will continue to brown a bit once you take it off the heat. As you start to smell that nutty aroma, take the pan off the heat and transfer the browned butter into a heat-proof bowl to cool.
Allow the pastry to cool for 15 minutes, and then evenly arrange the pecan halves in the pastry shell.
In a mixing bowl combine the eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, syrup, butter, and salt and whiskey, if using. Mix until completely combined. Pour this mixture evenly over the pecans, but make sure that the level of this egg mixture does not pour over the sides of the cooked pastry. Use a spatula to gently press the pecans down a bit to ensure that they all get covered by this egg mixture. Bake for 1 hour until cooked through and the filling is puffy but firm. Let cool on a cooling rack (the puffiness will subside) until room temperature is reached.
Once completely cooled, remove the side of the tart pan and gently slide one or two lifters under the pastry and carefully transfer to a serving platter.
The tart keeps well, and can be made a day ahead of serving but should be refrigerated overnight. Allow it to come to room temperature before slicing.
I have also used a 10 inch tart pan, which gave me a little extra filling and pastry dough, so I found a small round pan and made a second little tart. One for the guests, and one for the baker!