When I was a kid, I used to wake up in New Mexico, wait for the school bus in Texas and then attend school back in New Mexico.
Such is life when your house is on the border between two states.
On the Texas side of my family’s property is a 25-tree pecan orchard that has kept us rolling in pecans for the past 25 years. In fact, it’s because of this resource that Momma began making pecan pies every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. After moving away and trying many different pecan pies, I’ve since found that NO ONE makes them better than Momma. Her recipe is an adaptation of an old Betty Crocker recipe, but her attention to detail is what produces the best pecan pie: flaky crust, tender filling, just the right amount of nuts and never gummy.
Since I tend to like smaller bites of more rich desserts, I decided to turn Momma’s confection into pecan pie tartlets this year.
The results? A perfect bite to enjoy with a cup of hot coffee.
Pecan Pie Tartlets
To start, prepare your favorite recipe for a single 9″ pie crust, and let it chill for 30 minutes. If you prefer to purchase a frozen pie shell, then I’m sorry, but you are no longer allowed to make this pie.
Just kidding. (Maybe.) But hey, if it’s speed you need then check out my video for 30 Second Pie Crust dough!
Roll dough out 1/8″ thick, and cut out circles using a biscuit or round cookie cutter.
Next, roll each dough circle out a bit wider until it’s about the diameter of your palm. Don’t roll it too thin, however, or the dough will tear.
Cook’s Note: You do NOT want your dough to tear when making pecan pie because all the filling will ooze out underneath the crust while baking.
Next, spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Carefully tuck a dough circle into a muffin cup. Push down so that the bottom of the dough is fully in contact with the bottom of the muffin cup. The dough should reach about halfway or more up the sides of the tin. Repeat with remaining dough and place pan in the fridge to chill.
One 9″ pie crust should make roughly 24 tartlets.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt 1/3rd cup of salted butter and allow to cool. Next, add:
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
Beat until pale yellow. Then add 1/2 cup light corn syrup and 1/2 cup dark corn syrup and 1-1/2 cups halved pecans.
Cook’s Tip: Spray the measuring cup with cooking spray before adding the corn syrup and it will pour right out. No gooey mess.
This next part is a bit of a mess but a 2-cup measure and tablespoon ought to see you through!
Pour some of the filling into the 2-cup measure making sure to get equal amount of the egg mixture and nuts. Then carefully pour the filling into each tartlet, using the spoon to stop the excess flow. Fill each shell within 1/8th” of the top.
While you’re doing this, the phone will ring and the cat will throw up. Also, make sure you have equal amounts of egg mixture and pecans in each tartlet.
There. 12 down, 12 to go. (Bake one pan while you assemble the next one.)
Bake at 375˚ for 25 minutes. The filling should be puffy and soft. Do not overbake or you will be left with gummy filling.
Place pan on a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes. Then, using a knife, carefully loosen the tartlets from each cup and transfer to a cooling rack.
Cool completely before serving.
Or eat a warm one.
Or eat a really hot one.
Or eat a raw one.
I dare you.
I decided to sneak a warm one because I am impatient and wanted a peek inside…
My curiosity was rewarded. Now that’s a tartlet to be thankful for. 🙂
Does your family serve a special pie at Thanksgiving?
Never miss a recipe by subscribing below!
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4th cup shortening, cold and cut in pieces
- 1/4th cup salted butter, cold and cut in pieces
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup melted butter, cooled
- 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dark Karo syrup
- 1/2 cup light Karo syrup
- 3 large eggs
- 1-1/2 cups pecan halves
- To prepare the crust, toss flour, sugar and salt into a food processor. Add the butter and shortening and pulse till the size of peas. Pour in water and vinegar and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
- Roll to fit a 9″ pie plate or roll and cut into circles using a biscuit cutter. Roll out circles a little more until as big around as your palm.
- Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Carefully tuck dough circles into muffin cups making sure not to piece the bottom of the dough. One pie crust recipe should fill roughly 24 muffin slots.
- For the filling, melt butter in a glass bowl and allow to cool. Add sugar and eggs and beat until pale yellow. Pour in the syrups and pecans.
- Carefully spoon or pour filling into the the tartlet shells making sure there is an even amount of nut and egg mixture in each one. Bake at 375˚ for 25 minutes, rotating muffin pan halfway through. Do not overcook the filling.
- Allow pan to cool on a rack for 5 minutes and then carefully loosen tartlets from muffin cups with a knife. Transfer tartlets to a cooling rack and cool completely before storing.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze in a single layer in Ziploc bags for up to 1 month.
Linking up today with: